Money raised for kiln, mural projects

MARQUETTE — Money is being raised for the Iron Ore Heritage Trail Beehive Kiln Project and a mural along Third Street in Marquette.

A fundraiser at Patronicity focuses on helping the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority raise $25,000 to resurrect the historical Carp River beehive kiln and feature it on the new destination plaza along the IOHT.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. will contribute $25,000 if the financial goal is reached.

The Patronicity campaign will collect all funds raised by 10:30 p.m. June 21.

The kiln stood in Marquette for over 130 years, according to the campaign description. However, after a heavy wet snowfall in 2016, the remains of the last standing kiln of the Carp River Furnace complex collapsed under the weight, with stones abandoned on the ground.

The IOHT is a 47-mile trail stretching across the Marquette Iron Range connecting Chocolay Township with Republic, with the IOHRA adding 48 interpretive signs, designing eight trailheads, installing artwork and maintaining the trail.

The IOHRA wants to develop a new plaza at the southern entrance of Marquette along the trail, featuring the resurrected kiln as the main attraction. The site is located just north of the Carp River and was the site of the furnace complex from 1874-1902.

Charcoal kilns were used to burn wood into charcoal, which fed blast furnaces that converted iron ore and limestone into pig iron.

It is hoped the site also will include decorative walkways; interpretive signage; custom benches; and landscaping, lighting and public art.

Contributors can donate at!/ at various levels.

People who wish to donate by cash or check can send their donations to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, 102 W. Washington St., Suite 232, Marquette, MI 49855.

Another Patronicity fundraiser involves the Power of Words Project, which is part of UPlift, an Upper Peninsula-wide mural campaign that involves three new public mural projects in Marquette, Manistique and Gladstone.

The fundraising goal is $20,000, with the campaign to collect funds raised by 10 p.m. June 15.

The Marquette mural, which would be part of a building restoration at Third and Ohio streets, is in partnership with the city of Marquette Arts and Culture Division and Be Kind LLC.

The timeline for the murals is July for Manistique, August for Gladstone and September for Marquette.

Once particular words that describe what communities want for their future are chosen, artist Mia Tavonatti will use these community-elected words as the themes for each new public mural. Teams of artists will be involved in the project.

To vote for words, visit

People can donate to the mural project at!/, with the MEDC contributing $20,000 if the goal is reached.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.