Sunday, October 04, 2009

Upper Peninsula Upventure: Ishpeming and Iron Mining

The rich earth of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is blessed with more than copper, iron. The Cliffs Shaft mine operated for 99 years in the town of Ishpeming, which is located in the Marquette Iron Range. Once home of many iron mines, the U.P. has only two left.

Cliffs Shaft is now a musuem. I arrived there after it closed for the day, while I was traveling east on U.S 41 to Munising, I saw the old mine shaft and I figured Ishpeming was worth a look. It was.

Ishpeming is also the home of the National Ski Hall of Fame.

It's also the hometown of onetime Michigan Supreme Court Judge John D. Voelker, who wrote the novel, "Anatomy of a Murder," which was made into a film with the same name.

The book was published in 1958, the film a year later--there have been some 50th anniversary celebrations in the U.P.

Voelker, writing under the pen name Robert Traver, based the story on a trial in which he served as a defense attorney. The movie, considered a classic--but more importantly, I enjoyed it--was directed by Otto Preminger and starred James Stewart, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick, and George C. Scott.

The movie was not only set in the U.P, but was also filmed there.

This will be my final mining post of this series, although I plan to keep an eye on the proposal to open up the first new Upper Peninsula mine in decades in the Yellow Dog Plains in Marquette County, not too far from Ishpeming.

It will provide something the U.P. and Michigan desperately needs: jobs.

Panoramic views of the Upper Peninsula are next.

Earlier posts:

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