Dating back 150 years, Delta County is home to multiple lighthouses and historic sites. A Blast Furnace From The Past Between 1867 and 1891, Fayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula’s most productive industrial communities with nearly 500 residents. Here, on the shores of Big Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan, the Jackson Iron Company’s blast furnace burned local hardwoods to smelt raw iron ore to produce charcoal pig iron. When the woodlands were all gone, Fayette became a ghost town. By 1916, the town transformed itself into a resort and fishing village. In 1959, Fayette attained its status as a state park. Today, blending nature and decades of memories, the Fayette History Town Site is located between Escanaba and Manistique, 17 miles south of U. S. 2 in Fayette Historic State Park. It houses a living museum village with costumed interpreters portraying former residents. The state park also now includes an interactive visitor center, 20 intact structures, exhibits, and walking tours along Big Bay de Noc. Guided or self-guided tours include the village, plus 100’ limestone cliffs, five miles of hiking trails through beech and maple hardwood forests, camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, and scuba diving in Snail Shell Harbor. During winter, the trails are also groomed for cross-country skiing. Michigan.gov/fayettetownsite SHIP SHAPE LIGHTHOUSES The Sand Point Lighthouse opened in 1867, cost $11,000 and was rebuilt by the Delta County Historical Society in 1990. The Peninsula Point Lighthouse on the Stonington Peninsula at a key point on Lake Michigan shipping lanes attracts visitors who climb its wrought iron spiral staircase to enjoy panoramic lake views. Both are on the National Register of Historical Places. Delta County Historical Museum This Museum, opened in 1956 in the location of a former radio station, is filled with artifacts and heirlooms portraying the rich history of Delta County and its people about logging, shipping, railroads, military, history, surveying, sports, history, fishing, local businesses, and Native American culture. The Delta County Historical Society has now collected a wide array of objects from our generous citizens –– all to preserve the past for future generations. The museum is located behind the Sand Point Lighthouse along Beaumier Way in Escanaba. Self-guided tours of the museum and lighthouse are available. Deltahistorical.org Historic Homes The Delta County Historical Society has a brochure with many historic homes for a self-guided tour, including the House of Ludington, the John D. Ross House, and the James MacDonald House, all in Escanaba. Visitescanaba.com Historic Lighthouses Two Delta County stone lighthouses have survived decades of use to now stand vigil on the Bays de Noc: • Sand Point Lighthouse and Historical Complex, at the end of Ludington Street across the street from Escanaba Municipal Marina, is fully restored, furnished, and complete with a fresnel fourth-class lens at the top of the tower. • Peninsula Point Lighthouse is also located on Stonington Peninsula. Its wrought iron spiral staircase awaits visitors and its park is part of an interpretive geological trail. Visitescanaba.com/lighthouses-46 (See Major Attractions for more information on each.) Maywood History Trail This easily accessible trail is 0.6 miles long and takes you through a 200-year-old hemlock forest on the shore of Little Bay de Noc in Rapid River. Once a focal point of human activity, it includes Noquet Indian sites and the foundations of an old resort hotel complex. Michigan.org/property/maywood-history-trail For more information, visit visitescanaba.com and deltahistorical.org.
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