Learning the U.P.’s Mining History

Mining plays a big part in the history of the U.P.

And local kids got to see that first-hand this afternoon.

The 2nd-graders from Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming Township went on a field trip to Negaunee’s Old Towne area.

It’s an immersion in the history behind Marquette County’s Iron Ore Heritage Trail, which runs through there.

Aspen Ridge teacher Cindy Poupore says the state curriculum requires teaching local history, and since they don’t have any textbooks to work with, they decided to do it this way.

The kids got an up-close look at the pit left over from the Jackson Mine, as well as the surrounding caving grounds.

They were especially interested in the former home of the long-since-demolished Jackson School.

Jim Thomas, a retired Ishpeming teacher and principal, is one of the members of the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority.

That’s the group behind the effort to build and pave the trail.

He guided the kids around and shared his memories of Old Towne being abandoned in the early 1960s.