“once a bustling industrial community”
Fayette Historic Townsite is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan between Escanaba and Manistique. Fayette is seventeen miles south of U.S. 2 in Fayette Historic State Park, accessible via Delta County Road 183 off US-2 west of Manistique. It once was a bustling industrial community which manufactured charcoal pig iron for economical shipping to the Great Lakes steel companies. In the mid-1800s, iron ore was shipped from the Upper Peninsula mines to the foundries in the lower Great Lakes at an enormous cost. This high cost of shipping was caused by inefficient transportation combined with the nearly 40 percent waste the ore contained. The solution was to build a blast furnace close to the mine where the ore could be smelted into pig iron before it was shipped to the steel-making centers. The town had to be relatively close to the Escanaba ore docks, have a natural harbor, and be near the limestone and hardwood forests that were needed to smelt the iron ore. Named after Fayette Brown, the Jackson Iron Company agent who chose the site, Fayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula's most productive iron-smelting operations. Located on the Garden Peninsula at Snail Shell Harbor, Fayette grew up around two blast furnaces, a large dock and several charcoal kilns after the Civil War. Nearly five hundred residents, many immigrating from Canada, the British Isles and northern Europe, lived in and near the town that existed to make pig iron. During twenty-four years of operation, 1867 to l891, Fayette's blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of iron, using local hardwood forests for fuel and quarrying limestone from the bluffs to purify the iron ore. When the charcoal iron market began to decline, the Jackson Iron Company closed its Fayette smelting operation. :
This is worth the hike. The view of Lake Michigan is as always one to experience. My family has stories of visiting this place in its prime. You still can find ore in the water. This is only for those who like rustic camping sites or stay on a boat.
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Fayette Ghost Town
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