Archive for September, 2015
Republic, MI – A celebratory Run/Bike event with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 26, 11 am at the western terminus of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail in downtown Republic . The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority (IOHRA) recently upgraded 2.5 miles of trail reaching from downtown Republic at the Chicken Coop/Iron Ore Heritage Trailhead , along School Lake, and proceeding north on the LS&I rail grade to the Republic/Humboldt Township Line. The trail was built and upgraded with a fine crushed aggregate ranging from eight feet to ten feet wide to accommodate walkers, bikers, ORVers, snowmobilers, and equestrians.
Awarded a $281,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant and $100,000 from the Cliffs Eagle Mine Community Fund, the Iron Ore Heritage Trail used these funds and their general fund to upgrade the Republic portion of the trail as well an additional 2.5 miles of trail within the City of Ishpeming and Tilden Township. A kiosk with four Republic story panels, researched and written with the help of the Republic Historical Society, has also been placed at the trail head. The total project is expected to be nearly $500,000.
“Our board is ecstatic to see this last trail upgrade project finalized. We promised voters in 2010 that we would use their tax dollars to build, manage and maintain the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. Now, we have combined their money with State, Federal and other private monies to upgrade all sections of the trail within the boundaries of our township and city members and have done it earlier than expected,” cited Carol Fulsher, administrator of the IOHRA. “Now we get to celebrate this final construction project.”
Elizabeth Hangas, a Republic Township Planning Board member added, “Republic residents feel connected to the Marquette County communities with this new trail in place that brings all sorts of trail users to our downtown. We have already seen more bikers and ORV’ers coming into Republic. We look forward to being the western most start or stop for people looking to experience the iron Ore Heritage Trail. We have an interesting mining history and look forward to sharing the stories of the people and places of Republic.”
For more information on the September 26 event, please contact Elizabeth Hangas at 906-376-8005.
Negaunee Township – Users of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail will be treated to a new functional and interpretive art installation underneath the LS&I trestle in Negaunee Township. The painted mural depicts miners, methods and tools from the earliest days of mining on the Marquette Iron Range, ca 1850’s. It is adhered to steel framing and functions to keep the iron ore pellets on the southern hillside from rolling onto the trail.
Awarded a $10,000 grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, with a portion coming from the National Endowment for the Arts, the IOHRA requested Artist proposals for a unique way to provide interpretation of mining and the transportation of ore while stopping pellets from rolling on to the trail underneath the LS&I trestle.
Mike Lempinen’s proposal was chosen earlier this year. Since February, he has been working on his mural using the Jackson Mine as his backdrop for that era of mining. He drew and painted his mural on canvas stretching 12 feet. Mr. Jim Martin, a photographer at Ben Franklin, photographed the mural in high quality digital format. The photograph was then sent to Signs Now who printed the photograph onto vinyl and adhered to a substrate. That substrate was then be adhered to a steel sheet provided by Rick Kauppila of U.P. Fabricating.
“We have always taken the interpretation of this trail seriously. When we found we were having problems with pellets rolling onto the trail from the southern hill, we wanted to fix the problem creatively. In this location we are underneath the active LS&I railroad while we are following the old rail grade so we wanted to interpret the various means of moving ore from picking it out of rock to moving it along plank roads and railroads,” said Carol Fulsher, Administrator for the IOHRA. “We believe this will be a show piece for the trail. It’s absolutely stunning.”
Mike Lempinen, added, “I really was humbled to be chosen for this project and researched the early miners, especially those who worked in the Jackson Mine. I’m fascinated by this industry and its evolution and wanted to pay homage to the hard and dangerous work of moving ore. I visited various museums, used models for posing so I’d get the positioning of bodies correctly and read a lot about the plank road and the various railroads. This is truly been a labor of love.”