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

Situated on the north shore of Lake Michigamme, Michigamme, Michigan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in the Upper Peninsula.

Having defined borders due to its status as a CDP, Michigamme is in southwest Michigamme Township in Marquette County, bordering on Spurr Township in southeast Baraga County to the west. The historic community is surrounded by Craig Lake State Park and sections of the Nicolet National Forest.

Michigamme is accessed by US-41, which runs concurrently with M-28 in this section. US Highway 41 runs from Miami, Florida to Copper Harbor, in the extreme north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The only incorporated city or village within twenty-five miles of Michigamme is Ishpeming, which is just over twenty-three miles to the east, although the unincorporated communities of Imperial Heights, Beaufort Lake, Three Lakes, and Nestoria are all within ten miles of Michigamme.

Like many northern Upper Peninsula communities, Michigamme was a mining town after Jacob Houghton discovered iron ore there in 1872. Originally known as Mt. Shasta, the Michigamme Mine began operations that year but closed in 1901. Early operations were in seven open-pit mines, but the mining company soon reverted to underground mining operations, establishing at least ten production and ventilation shafts. After its closure, the shafts were filled in with waste rock from the mining operations.

The area was once a popular location for rockhounds who collected what was known as black diamonds. More properly known as Almandine garnets, these were the most frustrating waste products to miners, as they were abundant and they tended to get caught up in the mine's rock-crushing equipment, often damaging it. However, as highway crews worked to straighten US-41 in the area, they placed the extra boulders on top of the site, effectively burying them.

The town's first building was a log cabin built on the shore of Lake Michigamme, then known as Great Lake, for use by mining engineers. The Michigamme Mining Company platted the townsite in 1872, and settlement began almost immediately as workers came to work in the mines. A post office was established on January 20, 1873, with John C. Powle as postmaster, and Michigamme was incorporated as a village that same year.

However, as mining operations declined, the town dwindled. Although the village unincorporated, the Michigamme post office continues in operation, serving a much larger area than its CDP, particularly north and west of the lake, including portions of Michigamme Township, Republic Township in Marquette County, and Spurr and Covington townships in Baraga County.

Today, the community's mines and supporting industries are gone, but the region has reverted to its original beauty, and enough of the town exists to meet the needs of its resident population of about three hundred, as well as tourists, vacationers, and passersby on US-41.

Michigamme is home to the Michigamme Historical Museum, which is filled with local memorabilia and antiques from the area's heyday, as well as a restored log cabin, a circa 1900 American LaFrance horse-drawn, steam-powered fire pump, and a Model-T firetruck.

The focus of this section of our guide is on the community, census-designated place, and former village known as Michigamme, Michigan.



Recommended Resources

Search for Michigamme on Google or Bing