Tucked away in the Snail Shell Harbor of the Garden Peninsula is 170 acres of pure Michigan history. Fayette Historical State Park was once a thriving community, manufacturing charcoal pig iron. It was established in 1867 by the Jackson Iron Company to help fill the demand for iron in the post-civil war era. During it’s 24 years of operation, blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of Iron. Nearly 500 people resided in the town.
Like with most historical towns in Michigan, the charcoal iron market began to decline and in 1891 the Jackson Iron Company closed its Fayette smelting operations. The town site became a state park in 1959 where the buildings still standing have been persevered to allow visitors to see into the life of the people who once lived here. In addition to the buildings, the park offers 5 miles of hiking trails and stunning views of Snail Shell Harbor, Big Bay De Noc and Dolomite Cliffs.
I loved visiting Fayette and highly recommend it to anyone curious about Michigan history. The park is one of the best I’ve ever seen with lots of information, beautiful scenery and an amazing glance into the day to day life the community had. I look forward to a return trip.
Fayette is located just past Garden, Michigan off of M-183 S, approximately 32.0 miles south-west of Manistique, Michigan.