Fayette Historic State Park – Michigan’s Mining Past

We had a great tour of Fayette State Historic Town Site in Garden, Michigan.

Once a bustling community – home to hundreds of workers.  Named after Fayette Brown who chose the site based on the close proximity to local mines to convert the raw material to “Pig Iron” before shipment to steel-making centers.  Prior to sites like Fayette, shipping unprocessed was costly due to the large amount of waste it contained.

 Fayette’s natural harbor, proximity to limestone and plentiful hardwood forests required to fuel the furnace made it a productive location to produce pig iron. 
In operation for 24 years (1867-1891, Fayette produced almost 230,000 tons of iron using local hardwood for fuel and limestone from local bluffs for purification.  
The town had housing, a guest house and a doctor to support the employees.
Check-in Desk
Visitor’s “Log”
 The town boasted a hotel, theater, even a local doctor on site.
Most buildings have been nicely restored, some highlighting the beautiful local stone used to create the structures.
The original log cabin on the site had to be challenging in a hard Michigan Winter & directly on the water!
We were fortunate to have the best – local – tour guide who squired us around the area.
Semi-professional Tour Guide, Laurie Rubick
The Park currently has a small campground (no hookups) and this great small marina with 15 reservable boat slips.
 Always appreciate the local people who make places like this possible –
those who created and those who restored. 

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