Negaunee is a small town with a population of 4,568, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Negaunee was the site of the first discovery of iron ore in Michigan in 1844, and is rich with mining culture and history. The town is situated beside a beautiful inland lake and offers outdoor activities, historic neighborhoods, antique shops, and unique local cuisine.
Negaunee is located just 11 miles west of Marquette, a much larger city along the shore of Lake Superior. Marquette is a popular tourist destination, but Negaunee is sometimes overlooked by visitors to the region. Nevertheless, it has a great deal to offer tourists. Negaunee is closely tied to the neighboring town of Ishpeming, which is located just to the west. Historically, Negaunee and Ishpeming have formed the heart of the iron mining industry on the Marquette Iron Range. Iron ore was discovered by prospectors in Negaunee in 1844, and the first mine was built in 1845. Negaunee was settled by immigrants who moved to the region to work in the mining industry, particularly from Finland, Cornwall, Sweden, Italy, and Canada. These immigrants have left their mark on the cuisine and culture of the region -- an impact that can still be seen today.
Mining reached its peak in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Since then, the number of mines have steadily decreased. As of 2017, only one iron mine remains on the Marquette Iron Range. The decline of the mining industry brought big changes to Negaunee. Excessive underground mining had left much of Negaunee vulnerable to cave-ins and collapse, which lead to approximately half of the town being shut down, and the buildings and businesses having to relocate. Today, large portions of those formerly condemned neighborhoods have been reopened to the public, and are known as "Old Town." Negaunee's historic downtown has been repurposed, and now hosts a variety of antique stores, shops, bars, and restaurants. Additionally, the city has embraced its mining history with a museum, monuments, and several former mining locations open to the public. Negaunee is an important stop on Marquette County's Iron Ore Heritage Trail.
Negaunee is located on US-41, approximately 11 miles west of Marquette and 3 miles east of Ishpeming. The easiest and most common way to reach Negaunee is by car. When coming from the east (the direction of Marquette), visitors will turn left on Teal Lake Avenue to reach the downtown area. Negaunee can also be reached by bicycle. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail runs from Marquette to Negaunee, and continues west through Ishpeming and beyond. This trail has a number of interpretive stops and trailheads, including the Michigan Iron Industry Museum.
Negaunee is also served by Indian Trails Bus Lines , which operates a daily intercity bus service between Hancock, Michigan, and Milwaukee.
Negaunee has ample and free street parking, and is easily accessed by car. The entire city is less than two miles across, and can be conveniently traversed on foot. Additionally, the downtown area is only four blocks long, and is adjacent to the popular Old Town Neighborhood and Iron Ore Heritage Trail. Everything Negaunee has to offer can be seen on foot, by bike, or by car. There is no local public transportation, with the exception of the MarqTran buses, which run infrequent fixed routes to and from Marquette and do not serve tourist destinations.
- Teal Lake, (To access the beach and boat launch, turn north on Croix Street from US-41), . Teal Lake is a small (466 acre) freshwater lake located in the middle of Negaunee. Because the lake is small, the temperature in summer is much warmer than nearby Lake Superior, making it a popular swimming destination for those averse to cold water. Additionally, there is a public boat launch and fishing dock. Teal Lake does not allow motorized boats, but does have a plentiful supply of bass and crappie for fishing. Ice fishing is popular in the winter, when the lake freezes over completely. edit
- Old Town Neighborhood, (Located west of downtown, easiest access at the intersection of Jackson and Tobin Streets). In the mid 20th Century, the ground beneath much of Negaunee became unstable due to excessive tunnel-mining. This forced much of the town to be condemned and the buildings to be relocated elsewhere. In 2006, it was determined that this area was now safe, and the previously closed parts of town were reopened to the public. Although the buildings were removed, roads, signs, sidewalks, stairways, bridges, and foundations still remain. Additionally, several mine pits, quarries, and tunnels can be seen and accessed safely by the public. Today, visitors can explore this truly unique area on foot or bicycle. The town has erected benches, sculptures, and interpretive signs to enhance the experience. edit
- Michigan Iron Industry Museum, 73 Forge Road (located about 3 miles east of Negaunee off US-41.), ☎ (906) 475 7857, . This museum celebrates Marquette County's iron mining heritage, some of which is still taking place today. It's located just outside of town, but admission is free and it is a checkpoint on the popular Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The museum is also the point of departure for tours of Michigan's one operational iron mine, which are offered 5 days a week from June to August. Free (donations accepted). edit
- Jackson Monument, (located in Miners Park on the corner of US-41 and Maas Street). Jackson Monument is a large pyramid erected to honor the discovery of iron ore in Negaunee in 1844. The monument was originally located at the site of the Jackson Mine, but was moved to its present location in Miners Park when the area around Jackson Mine was closed to the public. edit
- Negaunee Historical Society Museum, 303 E Main Street, ☎ (906) 475-4614, . This museum is located in a large, historic house, and features a number of exhibits relating to this history of Negaunee, especially the mining and immigrant history. Also exhibits on the religious, architectural, and athletic history of the town. edit
- Iron Ore Heritage Trail, (Trailhead 6 in Negaunee is located at the west end of Main Street, in Jackson Park), ☎ (906) 235-2923, . The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a 48 mile, mixed use trail network in Marquette County. The trail connects major communities while offering a historical tour of the mining heritage in the Marquette area. It is also a beautiful trail network, great for biking, running, or walking. Trailhead 6 is located in Negaunee and runs through the Old Town Neighborhood, as well as several other quarries and mine pits. To the east the trail runs to Marquette and along the Lake Superior shore. To the west, the trail passes through the town of Ishpeming, the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, and further west toward the town of Republic. edit
- Suicide Hill Ski Jumps, Suicide Bowl Road, . Technically part of the Ishpeming Ski Club, Suicide Hill is one of the highest ski jumps in Michigan. Located in Suicide Bowl, there are actually 5 jumps, with Suicide Hill, the tallest at 90 meters. There is an annual Suicide Hill Ski Jump Tournament held every winter. The area also has an extensive cross country ski trail. edit
- Upper Peninsula Luge Club, 230 E County Road, ☎ (906) 361-4843, . The Upper Peninsula Luge Club is home to the United States' only full-length natural luge track. It is located at Lucy Hill in South Negaunee and is an 810 meter course with an 88 meter drop. The course is used for Olympic level training. The lower portion of the track is open to the public, and instruction and equipment rental is available. Check the hours and event schedule, as reservations may be required. edit
- Pioneer Days, Croix Street between US-41 and Owaissa Street, along Teal Lake. Pioneer Days are an annual, weeklong festival which take place in July. The event is a celebration of the community and its heritage, and culminates with a large street festival, featuring food, games, competitions, drinking, swimming, and fireworks in the evening. Always held the weekend after the 4th of July. edit
- Heikki Lunta Festival, Iron Street and Old Town Neighborhood. The Heikki Lunta Festival is a celebration of Negaunee's Finnish heritage. Heikki Lunta is a mythical Finnish snow god, and the event is held every winter. It features competitions, winter activities, live music, food, a bonfire, and fireworks over the downtown area. edit
Negaunee and Ishpeming are well-regarded for their antique shopping. Many of the historic buildings downtown have been converted to antique dealerships, and they offer some of the best antiquing experiences in the Upper Peninsula. Negaunee also has a grocery store and a Dollar General, but those looking for higher-end shopping or chain stores should head to Marquette, which has a wide variety of shops and stores.
- Adora's Antiques, 308 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 362-3769. Antique and gift shop located in Negaunee's downtown. edit
- Kate's Collectibles, 28 US-41 East, ☎ (906) 475-4443. Antique and collectible shop located on US-41 just outside of Negaunee. Only open from June to mid-October. edit
- Lowenstein's Antique Marketplace, 334 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-4567. Large antique shop with multiple vendors, located downtown in former department store built in 1916. edit
- Old Bank Building Antiques, 331 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-4777. This large, three story shop is located in a former bank building downtown. It offers products from several different dealers. edit
- Tickled Pink Antiques, 320 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-3087. An antique and collectible shop located downtown, offers a wide variety of products, including some more modern styles. edit
- 1844 Store, 211 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-7939, . Souvenir and clothing store selling Negaunee and Upper Peninsula apparell and gifts. edit
- City Green Market, 331 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-6000. Vegan and health-food store which sells locally grown produce, as well as local art and gifts. edit
- Hanna's Tea Times, 327 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 362-1426, . Quaint shop selling various specialty teas, teapots, tea sets, and antiques. edit
Negaunee has a long history of immigration, particularly from Scandinavia, Italy, and Cornwall. These immigrants brought their culinary culture, which has combined to make the dining options in western Marquette County very unique. The area is known for cudighi, a Northern Italian-style sausage seasoned with cinnamon and clove. Like the rest of the Upper Peninsula, Negaunee residents eat plenty of pasties (meat and potato pies), which were brought to the region by Cornish immigrants. During Heikki Lunta festival, visitors can sample traditional Finnish dishes like panakkaku for breakfast, while Swedish-influenced Trenary Toast is available in supermarkets year-round.
- Border Grill, 400 US-41 #5, . An affordable local Tex-Mex chain with three locations in the area. edit
- Irontown Pasties, 801 N Teal Lake Avenue, ☎ (906) 475-6828, . Pasty shop serving traditional pasties as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. edit
- Jackson's Pit, 305 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 401-0411, . A bar and grill located in the historic downtown area, features a variety of appetizers, entrees, and local beers. edit
- Midtown Bakery and Cafe, 317 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-0064. The Midtown Bakery markets its "almost world famous cheesecake," but offers a wide selection of baked goods, as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches in an eclectic downtown location. edit
- Teal Lake Pizzeria, 81 Croix Street, ☎ (906) 475-6121, . Traditional Italian pizza place located on the shore of Teal Lake. Famous for cheesy bites, as well as subs, salads, and cudighi. edit
- Tino's Pizza, 220 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 475-6832. Dive bar that serves some of the best pizza and cudighi sandwiches in the county. edit
- Buster's Ice Cream Parlor, 442 Iron Street, ☎ (906) 401-0588. A small, old-fashioned ice cream parlor located downtown. Near the Heritage Trail and Old Town Neighborhood. edit
Negaunee has plenty of bars, but most are geared towards locals and may not be what tourists are looking for. A few establishments cater to a younger crowd and might be fun for tourists, but those looking for a lively nightlife experience should head to Marquette.
- Jackson's Pit, 305 Iron Street, . Negaunee's newest bar, features live music almost every night, guest DJs and a dance floor, as well as a full bar, food, and appetizers. On most nights, probably the busiest bar in town. edit
- Pasquali's, 100 Cliff Street, . A bar and pizza place with a dance floor, pool tables, and standup comedy every other Friday. Also sells cudighi and pizza. edit
- Smarty's Saloon, 311 Iron Street. Another fairly busy bar with pool tables, regular live music, and Wednesday karaoke. edit
Because Negaunee is small, and since it is so close to Marquette and Ishpeming, it does not have any hotels in town. Visitors to the area should refer to those destinations for individual hotel listings.
- Ishpeming is just a couple of minutes west of Negaunee, and offers antique shops, the National Ski Hall of Fame, a mining museum, and more.
- Marquette is 11 miles east of Negaunee, and is one of the top tourist destinations in the Upper Peninsula. It offers great shopping, food, outdoor and cultural activities.
- Houghton-Hancock and the Keweenaw Peninsula are about 80 miles northwest. People interested in the mining history of Negaunee may also want to visit the heart of copper mining in the UP.
- The Porcupine Mountains are 2 hours west of Negaunee. One of the top state parks in the country, the "Porkies" are a great hiking and wildlife destination.