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The City of Caspian is situated in lower Iron County, between Iron River to the north and Gaastra to the southeast, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The chief route through the city is M-189, which makes up the city's western border. Alpha is 14.0 miles to the east, and Crystal Falls is 17.9 miles east-northeast of Caspian.

Caspian was founded as a mining town. In the region, iron mining began on the west side of Iron County in the late 1800s. To facilitate shipping, the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad opened a station in Caspian in 1884, and in the first decade of the 1900s, five mines were opened in the area that would later become part of the village of Caspian. The Baltic Mine opened in 1900, the Caspian in 1903, Young's in 1904, the Fogarty in 1907, and the Berkshire in 1908.

In 1922, the Buck Mine opened, and each of these mines brought more miners to the area. Beginning in 1904, the mining companies began building housing for their employees, a practice that continued until 1929.

The village that grew up around these mines was platted and recorded as Palatka in 1901. A post office was established under that name on April 12, 1906, with William G. Hanson as the first postmaster. This first post office was housed in the offices of the Veroner Mining Company, which operated the Caspian, Baltic, and Fogerty mines.

To provide additional housing, an adjacent village named Caspian was platted in 1908, and the Palatka post office was moved there. This proved to be a poor location, and another village named New Caspian was platted in 1909. The post office was moved there in 1915 and renamed Caspian in 1918.

To serve the mines and the mining population, a business center developed. By 1908, there were two grocery stores, two hotels, a livery stable, saloon, and a shoemaker's shop.

These villages, as well as Spring Valley and Newtown, were merged, and Caspian was incorporated as a village in 1919, after which a series of municipal improvements were begun, including a water system in 1919, a village hall in 1923, and a sewer system in 1926. Caspian was incorporated as a city in 1950.

Unfortunately, by then it has already begun its decline, as the mines were closed. Caspian's peak population was 1,912 in 1920. Since then, it has declined each census year. Today, Caspian is a quiet residential community of fewer than nine hundred people who are largely dependent upon Iron River for employment, goods, and services.

The focus of this guide is on the City of Caspian, Michigan. Websites representing the city or any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events are appropriate resources.

 

 

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