Republic Michigan in the Upper
and the Republic Mine
The Republic Mine is open for viewing.
Republic is 25 miles southwest of
Ishpeming and 45 miles north of Iron Mountain on Highway
M-95. The Republic Mine was part of the Marquette Iron
Click here for
information on lodging and recreation in Republic
Republic Mine Observation Site
Overlooking the open pit mine in Republic, just south of
The open pit nime is now filled with water.
A raised platform offers impressive views of the Mine
property and Republic area.
Etched signs describe the mining process.
observation stand is located only 1/2 mile off M-95. Turn
east immediately south of the Michigamme River bridge (at
Republic Township Beach), then right at the yield sign, then
1/4 mile to stand. A fence crosses the road here, but ends
at the shoulder. The observation post is up the hill on the
right side of the fence.
The village of Republic grew 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.
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 Pit is 600 feet deep, with a pit surface area of
250 acres. The total mine area is 4 square miles. When
operational, the annual production was 2.7 million tons of
pellets of specular hematite. The ore was transported by
rail to Marquette and Escanaba and then shipped by ore boat
throughout the Great Lakes area.
By 1890, the 3 Upper Peninsula Iron Ranges, Marquette,
Menominee and Gogebic, were producing 7 million tons of iron
ore a year and became the nation's major producer of iron
ore. By the end of the century, the 3 ranges were shipping
out 9 million tons per year.
The size and depth of the pit attest to the millions
of tons of overburden and ore-bearing rock removed. It is
hard to imagine that this gigantic hole was once a 200 foot
cliff rising from the banks of the Michigamme River.
The town name of Iron City was changed to Republic by
Mr Ed Breitung, the founder or the mine, in 1880. He named
it Republic for "the land of the free and the home of the
- Lodging in the
- New Listing: Republic Four Seasons Getaway is a cozy two-bedroom vacation cottage on the shores of the Michigamme River in the town of Republic. Fully furnished with a washer and dryer for your convenience. Dock at the shoreline. 4 kayaks are included in the rental. Enjoy wonderful recreational opportunities and amazing sunsets. Easy access to ATV and snowmobile trails. Open Year Round. Phone: 218-929-1702
Moose Rapids Campground has 12 rustic grass sites (2 pull-through) by the Michigamme River, 7 miles west of Republic on River Road (County Road LG). Sites have a fire ring, grill, and picnic tables. There are two porta-potties and a hand pump for water. Nice peaceful location by the river. Enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and ATVing. Donation of $5 per site recommended. Contact the Republic Township Hall at 906-376-8827 for reservations.
New Listing: Northern Lights Campground in Republic offers 11 RV sites with water and electric service and 12 sites with water available for tent camping. Some sites are handicap accessible. Sites have fire pits and a picnic table. Vault toilets. RV dump station. Located on Park City Road between the Michigamme River and School Lake and near the south entrance to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Contact the Republic Township Hall at 906-376-8827 for reservations.
Crest Resort, 12199 Pine Crest Lane, Republic, Michigan,
49879. Phone: 906-376-8237 or Cell: 906-371-0090. Remote
lakeside cottages on the Michigamme River and Juncob
Lake. Pine Crest offers outstanding northern style
accommodations for all, from sportsmen to families to
honeymooners. Great fishing and rock collecting. On the
- Historical Society
- Pascoe House Museum is owned and operated by the
Republic Area Historic Society, 114 Cedar Street, South
Republic. Hours: 1:00 - 3:00 PM Saturday & Sunday
from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Phone: Mary Lou at
906-376-2335 or LaVerne at 906-376-2258
- Republic Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 201,
Republic, Michigan 49879.
- The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a 48-mile, multi-use, year round
trail from Republic to the east side of Marquette. The
trail includes historic sites and stories of the
Marquette Iron Range and our mining heritage. The western
trailhead is in Republic. This trail is designed for
walkers, bikers, runners, nature lovers, equestrians,
cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and those interested in
the history of the area. Parts of the trail will be for
collecting in the Upper Peninsula
for more information
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Photograph of ore boat Ilford Sykes by Shane Costello
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