Term: mining in northern Wisconsin
Native Americans mined copper on the shores of Lake Superior in prehistoric times. In 1739 a French officer, Louis Denis De La Ronde (q.v.), attempted the first systematic mining of copper in northern Wisconsin, but it was not until the 1850s that Lake Superior¿s iron and copper mines began to be systematically exploited, funded largely by investors from Eastern cities. The Panic of 1857 and the Civil War diverted this capital from northern mines, but after the war, the discovery and mapping of high-grade Bessemer ore in the Gogebic Range in 1872 renewed interest in the region, and even led to a frenzy of speculation. Fortunes were made -- and lost -¿ overnight in northern Wisconsin during the 1880s. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.
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[Source: Turning Points in Wisconsin History]