Postcard: Trespassing Into Marquette’s Past

Marquette sits like a bowl surrounding the harbor and its massive ore dock, now derelict, 85 feet tall and 1,000 feet long.

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Marquette, Michigan is an adventure mecca for Northerners, with its miles of ski and mountain bike trails departing from downtown, its plethora of microbreweries, trendy bistros and coffee bars and its location on Lake Superior. The town sits like a bowl surrounding the harbor and its centerpiece is the massive ore dock. Now derelict, it looms 85 feet tall and 1,000 feet long, like some beached sea creature’s skeleton or the remains of a shipwreck. What once served as the loading point for huge freighters during the Upper Peninsula’s mining golden age, is now a white elephant; no one quite knows what to do with it. Meanwhile, it remains as an unofficial mascot of the city, one that draws photographers and after-hours trespassers who sneak over a flimsy chain-link fence with six-packs to carouse among the shadows of Marquette’s past.

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