Iron Industry Museum to show re-release of ‘The Mighty Mather’

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum will show a re-release of “The Mighty Mather,” a 30-minute documentary chronicling the 135 year-old history of the site of the Mather Mine, on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.


The story begins with the discovery of iron ore in the Lake Superior region, highlights the development of the Jackson Mine, and concludes with the story of the Mather Mine, including underground scenes from the mine.


“By popular demand, the museum converted its VHS production of “The Mighty Mather” into DVD format,” said museum historian Barry James. “The DVD is a tribute to the miners and community who made the mine truly ‘mighty.’”


The Mather Mine was developed in the Ishpeming and Negaunee areas shortly after the 1939 merger of Cleveland Cliffs and Bethlehem Steel, and its A and B shafts produced 57 million tons of iron ore. At its peak the mines employed 1,256 people.


The Mather Mine pioneered the pelletizing process, technology which extended the life of underground mining until 1979.


“The history of the Mather Mine is a special story for the communities of Ishpeming and Negaunee, and there are still many visitors to the museum who worked there,” James said.


Light refreshments will be provided at the movie showings. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged. The new DVD version of “The Mighty Mather” will be available at the museum for a $15 donation.


The museum entrance is located on US-41E, 9-miles west of Marquette, 1-mile west of Junction M-35, in Negaunee Township.


The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. It overlooks the site of the Carp River Forge, a pioneer industrial site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the winter months the museum is open Monday-Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, and the first Saturday of each month. For more information call 906-475-7857 or visit online at

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