Marquette Michigan Iron Ore Dock

  One of the most striking features of the waterfront in Marquette is the Upper Harbor ore dock. Built in 1912, the pocket dock is still in use today.

Maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse says the city of Marquette began because of the discovery of iron ore back in 1844 in the Ishpeming and Negaunee area, about 20 miles west of Marquette. The city developed as the shipping port for the delivery of iron ore.

Marquette Michigan iron ore dock

Iron ore carrier Herbert C. Jackson docked in Marquette, Michigan at the ore dock

“And in fact, during the American Civil War, the bulk of the iron ore used by the Union Army came out of the city of Marquette,” said Stonehouse.

The ore dock near Presque Isle State Park is owned and operated by Cliffs Natural Resources. It’s 1,250 feet long, 60 feet wide and 75 feet above water. The ore dock has 200 pockets and can store 50,000 tons of iron ore pellets with an annual capacity of 9.5 million tons.