By Kenneth D. LaFayette
In this colorful story, Kenneth D. LaFayette traces the history of charcoal iron production from its earliest origins in the Upper Peninsula, providing added insight into Michigan’s iron mining industry. Cleveland-Cliffs [currently known as Cliffs Natural Resources] is closely linked to charcoal iron production through the Jackson Iron Company, which first produced charcoal iron at its Carp River Forge on February 10, 1848, and later at its Fayette Iron Works. In addition, the predecessor companies of Cleveland-Cliffs—the Cleveland Iron Mining Company and the Iron Cliffs Company—both ventured into charcoal iron production in their early days.
This remarkable work, resulting from much reading and research by LaFayette, reminds us again of our rich heritage and the important role these early pioneers played in laying the groundwork for today’s iron and steel industry.
(Source: Preface by Samuel K. Scovil, page v of Flaming Brands: Fifty Years of Iron Making in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 1848-1898)