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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Republic in Marquette County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Welcome to the Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site

 
 
The Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
1. The Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site Marker
Inscription.  Twice in history the Republic mine was one of the greatest producers in the country: from 1872 to 1928 and again from the 1950s through the 70s.

The late, great Republic Mine was the impetus for the creation of the village of Republic in 1871, also known as Iron City. The mountain of specular oxide of iron that loomed over the Michigamme River was recorded by government geologists in 1848. The men who formed the Republic Iron Company in 1870 were: Edward Breitung, S.P. Ely and E.D. Parsons.

The path from Humboldt to the new mine was widened in the fall of 1871 under the direction of the first mine captain, Peter Pascoe. He served in that position for twenty years then served two years as a state senator. Eager immigrants from Cornwall, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Ireland quickly flooded the town, making the area an exciting, vital part of the Upper Peninsula. By 1920 the Finns outnumbered other groups.

Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company took ownership of the underground Republic Mine in 1914. By 1928 the demand for ore had dropped, the mine closed and the Great Depression followed. When CCI reopened and expanded as an
Marker detail: Republic Mine, 1880s Lithograph image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Republic Mine, 1880s Lithograph
open pit mine during the 1950's an eager workforce again resumed mining. An exciting 30-year period of boom and prosperity followed. The mine expansion led to the historic moving of several sections of the town to a site about 3 miles south. By 1981 high production costs and the recession forced CCI to close the mine. Removal of equipment during the late 1990's and eventual demolition of buildings finally made the mine a thing of the past. It is hard to believe something so important and vital to the town and the steel industry has disappeared. We are left with a towering man-made mountain as the huge open pit fills with water. The history and memories of a mining town are all that remain.
 
Erected by Republic Area Historical Society and Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Incorporated.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 46° 24.212′ N, 87° 58.901′ W. Marker is in Republic, Michigan, in Marquette County. Marker can be reached from Park City Road 0.2 miles south of River Road (County Road 601), on the right when traveling south. This is one of several interpretive markers at observation site overlooking the former Republic Open Pit Mine. Site access is from a parking area on
Welcome to the Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
3. Welcome to the Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site Marker
(first of four markers on the left)
the west side of Park City Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Republic MI 49879, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Mine Exploration and Development (here, next to this marker); The Life of a Miner (a few steps from this marker); Community History and Other Industries (a few steps from this marker); The Republic Open Pit Mine (a few steps from this marker); Reopening the Mine and Moving Republic (a few steps from this marker); The Republic Iron Company (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cecil E. Munson Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Memory of the Men Who Lost Their Lives (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Republic.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Republic Iron Mine, Republic, Michigan
 
Also see . . .  Republic Mine Observation Site. The Republic Mine is the only open pit mine in Michigan open for free public viewing. This inactive open pit iron mine, owned by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, provides a unique opportunity for viewing by the public. From the observation stand near the pit's edge, you gain an appreciation of the enormous magnitude of planning and effort involved in the mining of low grade, surface deposits of iron ore which supply our nation's steel mills. The village of Republic grew
Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
4. Republic Open Pit Mine Observation Site
(access site from this gate on west side of Park City Road)
up around the Republic Mine which first operated from 1872 to 1926. In the late 1950's, development of the open pit and crushing concentration facilities were begun. Approximately 1.5 million tons of concentrated iron ore pellets were shipped annually, until the national economic conditions forced inactivation of the mine in 1982. The ore produced from this mine was 88% pure iron oxide. (Submitted on August 7, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Republic Open Pit Mine Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
5. Republic Open Pit Mine Ruins
(looking south from observation site)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 7, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Jan. 28, 2021