Fayette Historic State Park, Garden

Fayette Historic State Park is the state park of the historic town of Fayette in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located on the Big Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan, between Snail Shell Harbor and Sand Bay, on the southern side of the Upper Peninsula, about 17 miles south of US 2. Fayette was the site of an industrial community that manufactured charcoal pig iron between 1867 and 1891. The town has been reconstructed into a living museum, showing what life was like in this town in the late 19th century.
Fayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula's most productive iron-smelting operations. Fayette grew up around two blast furnaces, a large dock, and several charcoal kilns, following the post-Civil War need for iron. Nearly 500 residents—many immigrating from Canada, the British Isles, and northern Europe—lived in and near the town that existed to make pig iron. During 24 years of operation Fayette's blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of iron, using local hardwood forests for fuel and quarrying limestone from the bluffs to purify the iron ore. When the charcoal iron market began to decline, the Jackson Iron Company closed its Fayette smelting operations in 1891. Another event leading to the demise of the Jackson Iron Company was the use of the hardwoods and limestone to purify the iron, leading to the exhaustion of hardwoods in the area. This was the main source for purifying the iron and therefore led to the decline of the Jackson Iron Company. After shutting down operations, many residents left Fayette in search of employment elsewhere, though some chose to stay nearby and used the land for farming.
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Fayette Historic State Park Reviews
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  • The harbor with the cliffs at the state park is very picturesque. Today, when we were there, the water was calm and it looked so serene. Even though I'm not a camper, we drove through the campground, ...  more »
  • We set up at our nice campsite, then biked to the Historic Townsite. Having our bikes made it easier to get from one building to the next as there are many historic buildings. Had a good tour guide wh...  more »
  • STOP HERE! This was an amazing find in the UP. Kind of out of the way but so very worth it. This old town was perfectly preserved from the late 1800s. Not only was it a cool historic place but the views out to Lake Michigan and the hiking were equally wonderful. It might have helped that it was a perfect summer day.
  • Interesting out of the way place to visit. You could spend an entire day here exploring and seeing the remnants of a ghost town. They've done a great job of restoring some of the buildings and furnishing them to what they looked like in the town's heyday.

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