Few things are quite as haunting as walking through a once-bustling town that now sits abandoned and silent. Michigan is home to many such spots, but the town of Fayette in the Upper Peninsula is especially eerie. Its storied past and rapid decline make it an informative yet spooky spot to visit.
Located within Fayette Historic State Park between Escanaba and Manistique, the townsite of Fayette sits quietly as a reminder of what used to be. While the scenery is stunning, the town fell victim to a quick economic decline.
In the mid-19th century, Fayette was a major hub for the iron ore industry. Ore was shipped to the town, where it was melted down before being transported to various steel-making centers.
Fayette’s location on the water made it a perfect harbor location for imports and exports of iron ore and its byproducts. During its 24 years of operation, the town produced and exported over 200,000 tons of iron.
The town itself was home to nearly 500 residents, many of whom had immigrated to Michigan from northern Europe and Canada. At its height, Fayette was home to everything from a hotel to an opera house.
Unfortunately, with the decline of the iron industry near the turn of the century, Fayette’s primary economic operation could no longer be sustained. By the mid 1890s, the area was well on its way to ghost town status.
Today, the town is both informative and spooky. While visitors will be provided with a slew of interesting information about Fayette, there’s something undeniably eerie about venturing through now-abandoned buildings and docks that were once full of life.
Wander through the townsite to see remnants of iron production equipment and former housing for the town’s residents.The timeworn buildings are a sight to behold — both beautiful and mysterious in equal parts.
So if you’re looking for a destination that will combine history, natural beauty, and a ghostly vibe, Fayette Historic Townsite is the place for you. You might not spot any spirits, but you’ll leave with a new understanding of Michigan’s past and a few extra chills down your spine.
Have you made the trip out to Fayette to explore its long-empty buildings? Tell us about your experience (and any spooky encounters you had) in the comment section.