Cliffs Shaft Mine
Opened by the Iron Cliffs Co. in 1879, the mine was acquired by the present owner, the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., in 1891. The Cliffs Shaft was the nations largest producer of hard specular hematite, a type of iron ore. Over twenty-six million tons were mined and since 1887 ore was shipped every year but one. The mine was also one of the largest of Michigan iron mines, its sixty-five miles of tunnels running under most of Ishpeming and plunging to a depth of 1358 feet. As late as the 1930s, there were eight iron mines in Ishpeming. The Cliffs Shaft was the last of these, and its closing in 1967 marked the end of an era.