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Michigan Iron Industry Museum hosts snowshoe hike of Carp River Forge site Feb. 7

Contact: Troy Henderson, 906-475-7857
Agency: Natural Resources

Jan. 27, 2015

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum will host an interpretive snowshoe hike at the Carp River Forge Historic Site on the museum grounds Saturday, Feb. 7, at 1 p.m. The tour will view the historic site, industrial ruins, foundation remains, historic roadways and the monument installed by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in 1904.

The hike will begin at the museum and last about an hour. Museum guests will be invited to return to the museum to enjoy warm refreshments and view some of the artifacts discovered during state-sponsored archaeological investigations in the 1990s and 2000s. There is no registration for the hike, but participants will need to bring their own snowshoes.

The forge has its origins with the Jackson Mining Company. During the mid-1840s the company hired workers to construct a dam and forge on the Carp River. There, iron ore from the Jackson Mine would be processed and made into iron blooms. The forge site was selected three miles east of the Jackson Mine, near the falls of the Carp River, which provided water power for the operation. Surrounding hardwood forests furnished charcoal to fire the furnaces.

In the 1840s, residents at the forge site built some 20 buildings, including a store, blacksmith shop, barns, log cabins and frame houses. During the winter of 1847-1848, 24 men and two women were at the forge. By 1851, the forge population had increased to around 50 people. "We will be able to see foundation depressions in the ground where some of those people lived, as well as a good look at the ore-roasting kiln site. This is a rare opportunity to see where the pioneers lived and experience the winter conditions that they endured," said DNR historian Troy Henderson.

The Carp River Forge Historic Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

For more information about the snowshoe hike, call Troy Henderson at 906-475-7857 or email him at [email protected].

The museum entrance is located on U.S. 41E, one mile west of Junction M-35, in Negaunee Township. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. During the winter months the museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month. For more information call 906-475-7857 or visit online at www.michigan.gov/ironindustrymuseum.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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