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Ishpeming, Michigan facts for kids

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Ishpeming, Michigan
City of Ishpeming
Ishpeming Municipal Building
Location within Marquette County
Location within Marquette County
Ishpeming, Michigan is located in Michigan
Ishpeming, Michigan
Ishpeming, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Marquette
Founded 1873
 • Type Mayor–council
 • Total 9.36 sq mi (24.23 km2)
 • Land 8.75 sq mi (22.66 km2)
 • Water 0.61 sq mi (1.58 km2)
1,407 ft (429 m)
 • Total 6,470
 • Estimate 
 • Density 733.42/sq mi (283.17/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49865 (National Mine)
Area code(s) 906
FIPS code 26-41220
GNIS feature ID 0629103
Ishpeming Michigan statue
Statue of "Old Ish" in downtown Ishpeming

Ishpeming is a city in Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 6,470 at the 2010 census, less than it was in the 1950s and 1960s when the iron ore mines employed more workers. A statue of a Native American figure, erected in 1884 in the small town square, is referred to as "Old Ish".

Ishpeming Township is located to the northwest of the city but is administratively autonomous. Ishpeming is considered the birthplace of organized skiing in the United States and is the home to the National Ski Hall of Fame. The city was also prominently featured in the 2010 documentary Catfish.

The name Ishpeming comes from the Ojibwe word ishpiming, meaning "above", "in the air" or "on high".


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.35 square miles (24.22 km2), of which 8.74 square miles (22.64 km2) is land and 0.61 square miles (1.58 km2) is water. Ishpeming's elevation is 1,436 feet (438 m) above mean sea level, which is over 800 feet (240 m) higher than that of nearby Lake Superior. The highlands of Ishpeming and the surrounding area, including the city of Negaunee to its east, receive an unusually high yearly average of lake effect snow.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 6,039
1890 11,197 85.4%
1900 13,255 18.4%
1910 12,448 −6.1%
1920 10,500 −15.6%
1930 9,238 −12.0%
1940 9,491 2.7%
1950 8,962 −5.6%
1960 8,857 −1.2%
1970 8,245 −6.9%
1980 7,538 −8.6%
1990 7,200 −4.5%
2000 6,686 −7.1%
2010 6,470 −3.2%
2019 (est.) 6,416 −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 6,470 people, 2,824 households, and 1,664 families living in the city. The population density was 740.3 inhabitants per square mile (285.8/km2). There were 3,149 housing units at an average density of 360.3 per square mile (139.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.0% White, 0.2% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 2,824 households, of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.1% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 40.3 years. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 17% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.



  • US 41 passes through the northern portion of Ishpeming, running westerly and northerly toward Houghton, easterly toward Marquette and southeast to Escanaba.
  • M-28 travels westerly toward Wakefield and east to Marquette.
  • M-28Bus.svg BUS M-28 serves the downtowns of both Negaunee and Ishpeming.



  • Marquette has a bus system called the "MarqTran" that runs through Ishpeming and nearby places such as Sawyer International Airport & Negaunee.
  • Indian Trails bus lines operates daily intercity bus service between Hancock and Milwaukee with a stop in Ishpeming.


  • Until 1969, the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad ran its Peninsula 400 to Ishpeming from Chicago. In its last days, the train consisted of one engine and one bi-level passenger car.
Emigration plaquette

Historical events

  • The movie Anatomy of a Murder was filmed in Ishpeming and surrounding areas in 1959, based on the novel by Ishpeming native John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Extensive 50th anniversary celebrations were held in 2009.
  • The Green Bay Packers played their first ever road game in Ishpeming on October 19, 1919. The Packers won 33–0.
  • At the end of the 19th century almost one third of the population of Åtvidaberg Municipality in Sweden emigrated to Ishpeming, as copper mines in the Åtvidaberg area closed down. In 1994 this was commemorated by a plaquette at the Mormorsgruvan mine of Åtvidaberg.
  • The National Ski Association, the forerunner of the present-day United States Ski and Snowboard Association, was founded in Ishpeming on February 21, 1905. The founder and president was local banker and skier, Carl Tellefsen.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ishpeming has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

Points of interest

Places of worship

  • Bethel Lutheran Church
  • Bible Baptist Church
  • Christ The King Lutheran Church (
  • Good News Assembly of God
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Hope Free Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Old Fashioned Baptist Church
  • [St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church]]
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church
  • Trinity Lutheran Church
  • United Evangelical Covenant Church
  • Wesley United Methodist Church
  • The Salvation Army

Festivals and events

  • Noquemanon Ski Marathon, January
  • Ski jumping competition at Suicide Hill, February and March
  • National Ski Hall of Fame membership induction ceremonies
  • St. Rocco and St. Anthony Society of Ishpeming annual "Italian Fest", July


Ishpeming Public School District No. 1 consisting of:

  • Ishpeming High School: The school nickname is the Hematites, after the iron ore mined in the city.
  • Ishpeming Middle School (sharing the high school)
  • Birchview Elementary School

In the adjacent Ishpeming Township, the NICE Community School District consists of

  • Westwood High School: Mascot – Patriots
  • Aspen Ridge Middle School: Mascot – Patriots
  • Aspen Ridge Elementary School: Mascot – Patriots

INN (Ishpeming-Negaunee-NICE) Community School is an alternative high school located in Ishpeming in a church on Pine Street that consists of about 30 students as of March 2019.

Notable people

  • Chuck Fairbanks, NCAA Division I and NFL Head Football Coach. IHS Head Coach, 1957, 1958
  • Tom Izzo, head coach, Michigan State University basketball. Head coach, 1977 Ishpeming High School.
  • Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, preeminent aviation engineer, designer of SR-71 and leader at the "skunk works."
  • Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel prize winning chemist.
  • John D. Voelker, author under the pen name Robert Traver, and Michigan state Supreme Court Justice.
  • Leonard C. Ward, United States Army Brigadier General who served as Chief of the Army Division at the National Guard Bureau and Commander of the 46th Infantry Division.
  • Da Yoopers, band.
  • Will H. Bradley, one of the most influential illustrators and designers of the Art Nouveau movement, was an apprentice in Ishpeming at the Iron Agitator, later known as the Iron Ore, from age 11 to 17, when he moved to Chicago.
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