Henry Ford a Big Deal in the U.P.

Filed under: The 8th Day |
Henry Ford Model T Yooper Upper Peninsula 1900s

Black and white photo of Henry Ford’s Model T

Marquette, MI –  Have you thought about Henry Ford lately?  Did you know he had a huge impact on the U.P.’s resources and people in the early 1900’s?

Recently on the 8th Day, Todd Paz spoke with the curator of the Marquette Regional History Center, Jo Wittler, about the special exhibit featuring Henry Ford and the footprint he left on the Upper Peninsula.

In the early 1920’s, a Ford saw plant opened up in Iron Mountain. The plant originally provided lumber for the Model-T’s. Towards the middle of the 1900’s, manufacturing expanded to include gliders for World War II and Woodie Station Wagons.

Ford wanted to control all aspects and resources involved in the prodcution of his automobiles. His passion drove him to purchase half a million acres of timber lands and to operate mines and lumber mills that employed 500 Yoopers in L’Anse and Alberta. In addition, he owned the small logging town Pequaming in Baraga County. Ford’s boats frequented the Marquette harbor to pick up iron ore from the Marquette Iron Range.

An hour visit to the History Center is all you’ll need to browse through the artifacts linked directly to Henry Ford, lent by museums and private collectors. The exhibit features four employee name tags from the U.P. Ford operations. Only a handful still exist of the 10,000 tags that used to be in circulation.

The admission fee ($7 for adults, $2 for kids 12 and under) covers the main exhibit gallery and special exhibit gallery. The exhibit runs Sept. 12, 2015 to Jan. 2, 2016, so plan your trip to the Marquette Regional History Center now.

You can contact the History Center by calling (906) 226-3571 or e-mail mrhc@marquettehistory.org.

Listen to the interview between Todd Paz and Jo Wittler from Sunny FM’s The 8th Day.

 

Henry Ford Boot Filter Old Courtesy Bill Vicary Camping 1923

Ford with Boot, courtesy of Bill Vicary Henry Ford, ca 1923

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