NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Iron Industry Museum welcomed back visitors today for the first time since being closed for over a year.
The museum was built in 1987 and allows the public to delve into the rich mining industry from around the region. And after being closed for so long due to the pandemic, the museum is ready to share this history once again.
“It is very exciting. It’s been a long year and just having people in the museum,” said Troy Henderson, a historian for the Michigan History Center. “We had a little school group in the museum today, it’s very refreshing to have kids back in the museum, and get the general public back in the museum because that’s why we’re here, for the community. It was a very awkward year the last year, but we’re very happy to be open.”
The museum is open year-round. Visitors can experience the Marquette Iron Range and its mining communities through audiovisual programs, outdoor interpretive paths, and hands-on exhibits.
“The background of those miners kind of shaped the way the community is sprung up today. I mean, there were so many miners from different groups like Finland and Sweden and Italy. And they all brought with them traditions that kind of shaped the iron ranges as they are today.
Foods like cudighi and things like that that we have in the Upper Peninsula stems from the iron industry so it’s a big part of who we are. It’s the story that people not only in the community but people from across the country come here to learn about,” said Henderson.
This summer, the museum will be having virtual programs on Tuesdays where people can learn various aspects of not only mining history but the history of the Upper Peninsula. Henderson also said he is bringing back bike tours around the Iron Ore Heritage Trail in August, which starts and ends at the museum. For more information, you can visit the museum’s Facebook page or website.
The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is free.