Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Michigan » Cities & Towns » Ishpeming

The City of Ishpeming is in the north-central part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Situated in Marquette County, the city is bordered by Negaunee on the north and east, and by West Ishpeming, an unincorporated census-designated place, on the west.

Other than Negaunee, the only other incorporated municipality within twenty miles of the city is Marquette, which is about fourteen miles to the northeast. The unincorporated community of National Mine is about two and a half miles to the south, and North Lake is three and a half miles to the west, just northwest of West Ishpeming.

US-41 passes through the northern part of the city, running west and north toward Houghton, and southeast to Escanaba. M-28 runs west toward Wakefield and east to Marquette, and Business M-28 serves downtown Negaunee and Ishpeming.

Before the European-American settlement of the area, a member of the Ojibwe tribe let Philo Everett, an explorer, to a mountain of ore that measured a hundred and eighty feet high and a thousand feet wide. This spot became known as Jasper Knob.

Like several other UP cities, Ishpeming had its beginnings as an iron mining town. In 1856, Henry Ely hired a crew to clear timber on what became Lake Superior Mine land, and its first permanent building was a boarding house for miners. Prior to that time, workers had lived in tents. Until 1863, the mining settlement was known as the Lake Superior Location. Clusters of homes around the mines were generally given names based on the mine whose workers they housed. Some of these became villages or cities, others were absorbed by nearby cities or villages, and some were unincorporated places.

The first store was opened by Robert Nelson. It was located in a part of his boarding house, known as The Ishpeming House. On February 17, 1863, a post office was established in the same building, with Captain Gilbert D. Johnson as postmaster. The post office took the name of the building, and thus, the town became known as Ishpeming.

Other mines soon located in Ishpeming, as well. The Iron Cliffs Mining Company was formed by a group of New Yorkers headed by Samuel J. Tilden in 1865, and that company established the Barnum Mine in 1867.

In 1869, Ishpeming was organized as a village, and it became a city in 1873.

The Chicago & North Western Railroad completed its track from Escanaba to Fort Howard (Green Bay) in 1872, making it possible for people to travel from Chicago to Ishpeming, and vice versa.

The Norden Ski Club was founded in Ishpeming on January 24, 1887, becoming the Ishpeming Ski Club in January of 1901. The National Ski Association, organized in Ishpeming in February of 1905, later became the U.S. Ski Association, and is currently the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Acknowledging its place in the formation of skiing, as a sport, in the United States, Ishpeming was made the host city for the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

On October 19, 1919, the Green Bay Packers played their first road game in Ishpeming. The Packers won 33-0.

Although its mines were prosperous and the last mine in Ishpeming continued in production until 1979, several other mines across the country began to compete with the mines in the Marquette Iron Range. In 1937, US-41 was rerouted to barely touch Ishpeming in the northwest, whereas it had previously run through the center of town. The effect was to make the city nearly invisible to travelers. Although some businesses have since opened along the rerouted highway, Ishpeming's downtown business district suffered greatly.

The city began a decline that was seen in every census year since 1900, with the exception of 1940, when its population rose by 2.7%. Ishpeming's peak population was 13,255 in 1900, and its current population is under 6,500.

However, for those who can find work or otherwise support themselves in Ishpeming, it is a beautiful city with much to offer families and individuals. Housing costs are low, and, like most Upper Peninsula cities and villages, crime rates are low, which is particularly true of violent crime.

There are several lakes in the southern part of the city, including Lake Angeline, Grass Lake, Lake Minnie, Lake Ogden, and Lake Sally, while Lake Bancroft and Lake Bacon are downtown, and Deer Lake, Cooper Lake, Gunpowder Lake, Lake Miller, Rock Lake, and Teal Lake are just outside the city limits. Carp Creek, Ely Creek, and Partridge Creek flow through the city.

The focus of this guide is on the City of Ishpeming, Michigan. Online resources pertaining to the municipal government or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, attractions, events, or recreational opportunities within the city are appropriate topics for this guide.


Faith & Spirituality

Things to Do & Places to Go



Recommended Resources

Search for Ishpeming on Google or Bing