Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum to open Memorial Day weekend

North Central UP

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum is excited to invite visitors back this summer after being closed last year due to COVID-19.

Step into the past and explore Marquette County’s rich mining history at Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum. The mine was open until 1967, but the location is still used today to help tell the stories of the men who once walked through its tunnels and beyond.

“The museum was put together about 20 years ago by quite a few individuals from CCI that decided to take the property and turn it into something to pay respect to all the miners of not only Cliff Shaft, but to all the mining in the Marquette Range,” said Executive Director Craig Ilmonen.

Tourists and locals can learn from the beginning of iron ore discovery in the Marquette Range in Negaunee, all the way to the Tilden Mine that is still operating today.

“If we don’t take care of it, who’s going to, you know? There are so many different artifacts and so many different things here that you can see and see the progression of iron mining from the 1840s all the way to present day,” said Ilmonen.

The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum will have an early season kick-off with full tours to take place on Memorial Day weekend, May 28 through May 31. The regular season will follow on Tuesday, June 1 through Saturday, September 25, 2021, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Hour-long guided tours will run at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.

Guided tour rates are $12 per adult, $6 for children under 17-years-old. Self-guided tours are $6 for all ages.

Visitors are reminded to dress warm and wear protective shoes if participating in the guided tour, as it takes you down into the mining tunnel underground.

The working forge will be fired up with David Arbelius, the museum’s resident blacksmith, at the helm with his handmade wares for sale. The gift shop will be including new local Michigan-made food items, along with many other popular items.

Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum will comply with applicable COVID19 restrictions and recommendations.

For more information, you can visit the museum’s Facebook page or call (906) 485-1882.

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