Sister Bay, WI It was a day of errands – getting the oil changed on the car, handing some financial matters, and securing provisions – so we had only 1 adventure today. Fayette Historic Townsite was the site of an industrial community that manufactured charcoal pig iron between 1867 and 1891. The town has been reconstructed into a living museum showing what life was like then. In the mid-1800s, iron ore was shipped from the Upper Peninsula mines to the foundries in the lower Great Lakes at an enormous cost. This high cost of shipping was caused by inefficient transportation combined with the nearly 40% waste the ore contained. The solution was to build a blast furnace close to the mine where the ore could be smelted into pig iron before it was shipped to the steel-making centers. During 24 years of operation, Fayette's blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of iron, using local hardwood for fuel and quarrying limestone from the bluffs to purify the iron ore. We saw 19 structures including residences which housed the people of Fayette. The company provided workers a house depending upon their value to the company. The unskilled workers had small log cabins and the more skilled workers had better frame homes. The company store provided the workers with the necessities and at the end of each month, the debt was paid to the company store first and any money left was given to the worker. If they missed a day of work, the workers got no money. We were fascinated by the prices back then: beef was 11¢/lb, pork 16¢, ham 18¢ and eggs 20/doz. We paid considerably more today when we purchased groceries for this coming week!