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Publisher's Summary

Copper mining is as ubiquitous to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as the automobile industry is to the Lower. Centuries before the first white man set foot in the New World, local natives used rocks to pound copper free from the earth, shaping it into goods traded across the continent. It was not long before European settlers followed up on the natives’ work, and when industry came to Copper Country, mines sprung up, quickly dominating the economy and lives of the Upper Peninsula’s residents.  

Copper was not the only mineral harvested from the Earth. Iron mines spread out as well, becoming profitable if less known than their copper cousins. Even less well known but just as integral to the Peninsula’s history, gold and silver prospectors prowled the land, looking for metals whose value had started and ended empires.  

Mining, especially copper mining, left a deep mark in the Upper Peninsula by affecting the region’s growth, landscape, culture, and economic structure. Where once a booming industry churned out tons of copper, feeding the nation’s need for the ever utilitarian metal, there now lay empty shafts and a few mines, still scraping metals from the earth. Though the heyday of mining in the state has long passed, its mark on the region, the state, and the nation itself remains, and it all started long before the first men of Europe set foot in the Americas.  

Iron mining continues, though the industry is now a pale shadow of its former self. Though not as extensive or well known as copper mining, the iron mines also played an important role in the region, and they also supported much of the region’s silver and gold prospecting and mining.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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