Fayette Historic Townsite
In the mid-1800s, iron ore was shipped from the Upper Peninsula mines to the foundries in the lower Great Lakes at an enormous cost. This high cost of shipping was caused by inefficient transportation combined with the nearly 40 percent waste the ore contained. The solution was to build a blast furnace close to the mine where the ore could be smelted into pig iron before it was shipped to the steel-making centers. The town had to be relatively close to the Escanaba ore docks, have a natural harbor, and be near the limestone and hardwood forests that were needed to smelt the iron ore.