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All Things Michigan

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Anchor and limestone cliffs at Fayette harbor

Andrew Norton

It wasn't until recently that I knew such limestone cliffs existed on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. As a lifelong Michigan native I had always had the notion that the southern edge of our Upper Peninsula just gently sloped on into Lake Michigan.

It was the natural harbor and close proximity of the limestone cliffs that drew the Jackson Iron Company's agent, Fayette Brown, to locate their iron smelting operations here. Limestone is a key ingredient in the smelting of iron ore.

Smelting operations at Fayette continued for 24 years until closing in 1891 after demand for charcoal iron declined. The state of Michigan has made Fayette into a wonderful Historic State Park. It's a great look at a well-preserved ghost town. You can wander the overgrown streets and paths as you explore the empty buildings of Fayette.

More information on Fayette at