MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The Old Mining Town of Ramsay
WOW. Here’s a northern Michigan site that’s mostly-ghost-town with LOTS of stuff…repeat: LOTS OF STUFF to see! This is one of THE coolest Michigan towns you will visit…many abandoned structures: old brick school, multiple storefronts and shops, old miners' houses and so much more!
The town of Ramsay seems to be split into two factions: the eastern section of Ramsay is populated, with many old miners’ shacks and homes. Drive thru most of the town streets & neighborhoods and you’ll be swamped with scads of these old homes; some empty, others occupied. It’s block-after-block of homes and houses, but no businesses! The old downtown is on the west side and worth a visit. So many old storefronts still stand as well as a hilltop brick-and-mortar school that’s been empty for many years.
Ramsay’s beginnings occurred around 1881 when two guys – Capt. N.D. Moore & Richard Langford - stumbled across the Colby open pit mine…a mine that contained the first discovered ore on the Gogebic range.
Ramsay grew rapidly from 1882-1883, thanks to all the ore being mined, exported and sold. Houses and other businesses sprang up, as well as other nearby communities. The railroad finally came through in 1884, bringing more trade and income to Ramsay and its surrounding areas.
Many of these mining towns – as well as lumber towns – had populations, with often less than 1,000. But Ramsay boasted a population of 1,700 by 1930.
The area was littered with mines: Anvil/Palms mine, Asteroid mine, Brotherton mine, Castile mine, Colby mine, Mikado mine, Plymouth mine, Ramsay mine, Sunday Lake mine, Tilden mine, Wakefield mine, Yale mine, and other smaller ones.
Another historic site to see in Ramsay is the Black River Bridge. One of the few existing arch bridges, it was constructed in 1891 out of limestone from Wisconsin. It features a series of arches with center keystones that keep the whole bridge secure. It’s located in the old part of Ramsay behind the post office.
I can’t recommend this site enough…there are many side roads to trek down with more surprises awaiting you…no kiddin’!
Ramsay is located in the U.P. in Gogebic County, Bessemer Township. Make sure you take plenty of pictures and video…you’ll dig this place! Other closeby communities include Bessemer, Plymouth, Verona, Wakefield and Wico, all former mining communities.
AND REMEMBER: if you see any abandoned structure you want to investigate, ALWAYS seek permission to protect yourself…..have fun!