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Republic, Michigan is mostly in Republic Township, although a portion of it extends north into Humboldt Township.

Situated in western Marquette County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the unincorporated community has a defined boundary due to its status as a census-designated place (CDP), although this holds no legal status. The Michigamme River and Bruce Creek form most of the CDP's eastern boundary, while M-95 forms its western boundary.

Besides M-96, Country Road 601 is also a prominent route to and from the community. Republic is about five miles north of South Republic and thirteen miles north of Witch Lake, both being unincorporated communities in Republic Township. Only a few Republican residents reside in the Humboldt Township section of the community.

The cities of Ishpeming and Negaunee are the only incorporated municipalities within twenty-five miles of Republic, and the only cities or villages within fifty miles, besides those already mentioned, are Marquette, Crystal Falls, Alpha, Iron Mountain, Kingsford, and L'Anse.

Named for the Republic Iron Mining Company, an area post office called Republic has been in operation since 1873. The Republic post office currently serves an area much larger than its CDP, including most of Republic Township and a portion of Mansfield Township in Iron County.

Republic was a mining town, although the railroads had much to do with its early development, as well.

Government land surveyors had noted the iron deposits in 1846 when they were surveying township lines in the region. Early mining exploration began along the Michigamme River in 1854. Several mines were opened, but only the Republic Mine was a long-term success.

The first European-American settlers came to the region in the early 1870s, and the settlement began when the Republic Iron Mining Company established the Republic Mine nearby, which operated from 1872 to 1926. Peter Pascoe, an Englishman, and manager of the Republic Mine, is acknowledged as the founder of the locality.

A post office was established on September 2, 1873, with James O. St. Clair as postmaster. In 1874, the community was platted as Iron City, and an addition was platted by George C. Cummings for the Republic Mining Company in 1879, although Republic was never incorporated as a village.

In the late 1950s, after mining operations were taken over by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, the development of open-pit mining, and crushing concentration facilities began. More than a million and a half tons of concentrated iron ore pellets were shipped each year until economic conditions brought about the inactivation of mining activities in 1982.

Mining operations near Republic were part of the Marquette Iron Range.

Today, the Republic Mine is the only open-pit mine in the state that is available for free public viewing. The inactive open-pit iron mine, now owned by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, may be viewed from an observation stand near the edge of the pit, which is 600 feet deep, with a pit surface area of 250 acres, and a total mine area of four square miles. Prior to mining operations, this huge hole in the ground was a 200-foot cliff rising from the banks of the Michigamme River.

While operational, nearly three million tons of specular hematite ore was transported by rail to Marquette and Escanaba, and then shipped by ore boat throughout the Great Lakes region.

Originally known as Iron City, the community's name was changed to Republic by Ed Breitung, founder of the Republic Mine.

Republic was served by at least four railroads over the years, including the Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western, Duluth South Shore & Atlantic, and the Lake Superior & Ishpeming.

From 1980 to 2004, the U.S. Navy operated an extremely low-frequency submarine communication site near Republic. Named Project ELF, it was a scaled-down version of Project Sanguine. Project ELF included two linked transmitters, one in Republic and the other at Clam Lake, Wisconsin.

Today, Republic is a small residential community whose economy is largely dependent upon tourism and outdoor recreational activities, given its location in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and its proximity to the Michigamme River and several forest and wildlife areas, as well as Bruce Creek and Trout Falls Creek, which flow through the community..

At the time of the 2010 census, the Republic CDP had a population of 570. In 2020, there were 470 people in the CDP.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the small Upper Peninsula locality known as Republic, Michigan. Online resources for government facilities in the area, businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities are appropriate for this category.



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