Kiln UPdate January 2020

Marquette, MI – Work continues on the rebuilding of the historic Carp River Kiln in South Marquette within the large construction sleeve erected by Premeau Construction. Premeau was chosen by the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority through a bid process to resurrect the Carp River Kiln as the main feature in a new Interpretive Plaza near the mouth of the Carp River.

“As early snow hit the region in November, work on the kiln stopped, but Wayne Premeau decided he wanted to keep working through the winter and decided to build a construction tent around the kiln so workers can continue to build the kiln in temperatures conducive to masonry. We’re excited that the work continues and look forward to the final product,” stated Don Britton, Chair of the IOHRA. “Premeau hopes to finalize the kiln rebuilding by the end of February and that allows us to finish up the remainder of the project when we see ground again.  In addition to the kiln, we’ll be adding a kiln door, fencing, interpretive signage, pavers, another bench, landscaping and lighting bollards.”

The IOHRA has raised nearly $100,000 to offer trail users a new interpretive spot on the trail that tells the major story of making pig iron in blast furnaces fueled by charcoal burnt in the kilns.  Donors will be recognized on site through signage on the site.

Carol Fulsher, Administrator of the IOHRA, adds that area residents can still support the project through the purchase of a paver. “Since we didn’t get the pavers embedded in the ground last autumn, there’s still an opportunity for supporters to get their name associated with the project.  We are selling pavers for $100 each and they will be placed around the entrance to the kiln in the late spring. We hope to have a ribbon cutting on the entire project in early summer and will invite everyone to come out and see the final product. This has been the largest interpretive project we’ve undertaken and we are thrilled to see progress and can’t wait to share the plaza with our trail users. There’s a reason there’s so little virgin timber left in the region and that’s because our forests were used to burn wood into charcoal in the blast furnace era of iron making. We wanted to tell that story surrounding an actual kiln.”


The IOHRA thanks everyone who has donated to the project and has recognized the need to preserve the Marquette Iron Range’s history. NMU’s Construction Management class aided in installation projects, the welding class is manufacturing the lighting bollards, local non-profits, individuals and businesses have provided funding and fundraising opportunities. The City of Marquette provided the site and the stones and Sanders & Czapski Associates have been vital in providing the overall scope of the project.

Photos and updates are available on the IOHRA’s website, The Iron Ore Heritage Trail (a Pure Michigan Trail and National Recreation Trail through the U.S. Park Service) is a 47-mile, multi-use, rail trail crossing the Marquette Iron Range from Chocolay to Republic. For more information on the trail and the Carp River Kiln project, contact IOHRA at 906-235-2923 or