Museum Rd., Caspian, Michigan
This is an exemplary museum of mining, lumbering, and everyday life in Iron County. It occupies the former site of the Caspian Mine, whose gaunt old head frame presides over the site like a somber guardian of times gone by.
In the onetime engine house is the Mining Hall, where intricate glass dioramas indicate different levels and convey the immense labor and skill of the old miners.
In the Lumbering Hall is the Monigal Miniature Lumber Camp, which contains more than 2,000 items, hand carved from cedar telegraph poles by William Monigal. It’s an astonishing piece of work, full of vigor, color, and information. Among other exhibits are fine photographs, including one of a 20-sled logging train carrying a 900-ton load.
The main exhibition area houses numerous other exhibits, among them the Pioneer Hall (with oil-paper maps and surveying instruments), the Athletics Hall (note the photograph of the 1911 girls basketball team), and the Pioneer Home.
The Village Green, an extensive section of the exhibition hall, contains authentic re-creations of local craft and trade shops. MacDonell’s Blacksmith’s Shop, for instance, has been rebuilt with the original timbers, bricks, and tools—even the furnace ashes.
On the grounds of the museum are the Transportation, Mining, and Farm complexes and the Logging Camp, all showing relevant tools and equipment.
Open daily mid-May–Oct. Admission charged.