The old mining town of Negaunee has one heckuva history. The Jackson Mine is the thing to see here, an open mine pit that was part of the Marquette Iron Range.

The Jackson Mine was the first iron mine in the Lake Superior region and is now officially regarded as one of Michigan’s State Historic Sites as well as being on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places.

In 1844, the land was visited by government surveyor Doug Houghton and his deputy Billy Burt to fully survey the area. The iron ore was discovered by accident thanks to the odd effect it had on their compasses. After investigating, it was confirmed there was plenty of iron ore to be mined. In order to start working the area, they obviously needed funds for a mine. So, on June 1845, the Jackson Mining Company was formed 438 miles down-state  in the city of Jackson. Mining finally kicked off in 1847.

After the success of the Jackson Mine, others soon followed and the U.P.’s iron mining boom was on.

The original miner town of Negaunee has been swallowed up and demolished, except for some foundations and stairsteps that go to nowhere …they can easily be found by driving or walking through the Jackson Mine Park. The photos below show the area where the old town was, as well as photos of Negaunee as it looks today. These are pretty mind-blowing in person.

It really is a cool thing to see in person, so much better than what you can see in these photos. So take a roadtrip there and get some great shots for yourself!