Iron Mountain Iron Mine

Useful Information

Location: W4852 Hwy U.S. 2, Vulcan, Michigan 49892.
On US-2 in Vulcan, 16 km east of Iron Mountain.
(45.782370, -87.864130)
Open: Memorial Day to 15-OCT daily 9-17.
Fee: Adults USD 18, Children (6-12) USD 13, Children (0-5) free, Seniors USD 17, Veteran USD 17, Military USD 17.
Classification: MineIron Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: L=850 m.
Address: Iron Mountain Iron Mine, P.O. Box 177, Iron Mountain, MI 49801, Tel: +1-906-563-8077. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1872 first substantial prospecting in the area by the Milwaukee Iron Company.
1877 mine opened as East Vulcan Mine.
1885 purchased by Penn Mining Co.
1945 mine closed as lease ran out.
1956 three Iron Mountain businessmen, Eugene Carollo, Albert Carollo, and James Goulette plan an attraction about iron mining.
1958 show mine opened to the public.


Iron Mountain Iron Mine is best known for Big John, the World's Largest Miner! This enormous sign showing a miner with helmet and pickax, was built to attract visitors, and is now its own sight. Nevertheless, the mine is interesting too, it is a Michigan State Historical Landmark.

The underground tour gives insights into the local iron mining history. This mine produced over 22 million tons of iron ore during the 70 years of operation. The mine is entered on a mine train, the still operating electric underground locomotive was once used to haul iron ore to the surface. After almost 800 m the big stope is reached, 180 m long, 90 m wide and 55 m high. Much of the 22 million tons of iron ore came from this area.

The ore deposit was discovered by Dr. Nelson P. Hulst from the Milwaukee Iron Company who did first substantial prospecting in the area in 1872. The mine was originally named East Vulcan Mine and started producing in 1877. The ore was shipped to Escanaba on the new Chicago and Northwestern Railway. Dr. Hulst, the General Manager of the Menominee Range Mining Co., established his headquarters in Vulcan near Hanbury Lake. He operated six of the principal mines on the Menominee Range: Vulcan, Cyclops, Norway, Quinnesec, Chapin and Florence. When he left Vulcan in 1881 he had discovered and opened eleven mines on the Menominee Range.

East Vulcan Mine was one of the first two mines in the area. At one time it was called Breitung. Between 1877 and 1945 it produced ore every year except 1921 and 1932. In 68 years it produced 21,625,000 tons of ore.