Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company Records
Table of Contents
- Summary Information
- Biographical/Historical Note
- Scope and Contents
- Administrative Information
- Other Finding Aids
- Controlled Access Headings
- Collection Inventory
- MS 86-100. Agents Annual Reports and Historical Maps
- Annual Reports: Mining Reports 1892-1960
- Annual Reports: Land Reports 1904-1942
- Annual Reports: Lumber Reports 1907-1929
- Annual Reports: Land and Lumber Reports 1943-1955
- Historical Maps 1882-1937
- Return to Home
- Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives
- Cleveland - Cliffs Iron Mining Company records
- 150 Volumes; 235 Maps
- The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company Records consist of business records and maps from the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company and its subsidiary mines and operations.
- Preferred Citation
- Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company Records, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, CCI
Rachael Bussert, 2011
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives acquired the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company (CCI) records from the state of Michigan in 2001. The records are on deposit with NMU and are still owned by the state of Michigan. Previously, the State Archives of Michigan maintained the records. In 1959 the State of Michigan acquired land formerly owned by CCI in Fayette, Michigan, and restored it as a State Historical Park by the Michigan Department of Conservation. Among the materials found by the Department during the first days of the restoration project were the records of the Cleveland Cliffs Company. Wooden storage boxes full of records were removed to the Department's headquarters at Marquette for examination. Those relating to Fayette were sorted out and returned to the Park. Boxes of records relating to other aspects of the Company were removed to the museum of the Marquette County Historical Society for storage. Records described here were delivered to the State Archives on June 25, 1965, following the transfer of records from the Company to the Michigan Department of Conservation, Parks Division. The State Archives received two more accessions in 1966 and 1968.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the iron and steel industry was the foundation of the industrialization of the United States. The iron ore mining industry provided the raw materials that fed this industry and shaped the historical development of the Upper Midwest of the United States. The Cleveland Iron Mining Company was one of the pioneering producers in the Lake Superior Iron Mining District by 1890. In 1850, the Michigan legislature chartered the Cleveland Iron Mining Company with operations centered in Ishpeming, Michigan. Over the next 40 years, many more iron mining companies formed, failed, or merged into the Cleveland Iron Mining Company. In 1891, the Cleveland Iron Mining Company and the Iron Cliffs Company merged to become the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company (CCI). After the merger, CCI began to form or acquire a number of companies to carry out its different functions. The component companies were classified as constituent, allied, or associate firms. Constituent companies were those whose capital stock was entirely owned by CCI. Allied companies were those in which CCI owned part of the capital stock. Associated companies were those in which CCI owned no capital stock but which were operated by CCI. In 1914, CCI reorganized and consolidated these companies, ending the business operations of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, the Iron Cliffs Company, and the Jackson Iron Mining Company.
Prior to the reorganization and full consolidation in 1914, the constituent companies were listed as:
Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, Cleveland Iron Mining Company, Iron Cliffs Company, Jackson Iron Company, Pioneer Iron, Company Munising Company of Ohio, Bay Mills Land and Lumber Company, Central Land and Timber Company, Grand Island Steamship Company.
Among the allied firms of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company before and after the reorganization were the following:
Bunker Hill Mining Company, Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway Company, Munising, Marquette, and Southeastern Railway Company, Munising Paper Company, Munising Woodenware Company, Cliffs Chemical Company, Upper Peninsula Land Company.
CCI organized its lumbering activities into various operations and jobs which may be indentified by either the name of the contractor or by the operation number. Whether cut by the Lumbering Department or outside contractors, the Land Department was in charge of the sale of forest products and kept a varying percentage of the stumpage price of those products. CCI established the Land Department in 1896 to be responsible
Scope and Contents
The records of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company span the period from 1856 to 1960. These records document three of the major turning points in the history of American iron ore mining: (1) the shift of the iron and steel industry from reliance on local supplies of low to medium-grade ore to reliance on distant supplies of high-grade ore shipped long distances from the Lake Superior basin to the lower Great Lakes and the related shift of the American iron and steel industry from the east side of the Alleghenies to the upper Midwest; (2) the consolidation of iron ore mining in the hands of large corporations between 1895 and 1904, stimulated by and coexistent with the emergence of U.S. Steel as America's first billion dollar corporation; and (3) the replacement of natural with artificial ores in the aftermath of World War II (beneficiation and pelletization).
MS 86-100 is the largest of the collection's record groups and includes 2,908 items and 235 maps. The record group consists of numerous record series, including Routine Business records Formal Business records, Agents Annual Reports, Mining records, Transportion records, Correspondence, and Maps and Plans. These record series include, but are not limited to, a variety of record types, including payroll books, ledgers, balance sheets, deeds, leases, bondholder agreements, contracts, and cost analyses.
This collection is arranged by the following Record Groups: RG 65-30, 1869-1930, 66 cubic feet, 8 volumes RG 66-36, 1864-1931, 149 volumes RG 68-102, 1860-1933, 213 volumes, 12 cubic feet MS 86-100, 1856-1960, 1,025 cubic feet, 235 items.
Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University ArchivesHarden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette, Michigan, 49855
Restrictions on Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions on accessing material in these records groups.
The State of Michigan acquired the records in 1959 after the acquisition of land formerly owned by the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company. The records were moved to Marquette County Historical Society for storage.The records were moved to the Michigan State Archives on June 25, 1965 after the transfer of records from CCI to the Michigan Department of Conservation, Parks Division. The State Archives received accruals in 1966 and 1968. The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives acquired the records from the state of Michigan in 2001. The records are on deposit with Northern Michigan University and are still owned by the state of Michigan.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
The Agents' Annual Reports of the Mining, Lumber, and Land Reports were digitized at 300 dpi in Grayscale on a Plustec OpticPro A320 large format scanner. The master files were saved in the TIFF format and derivative PDF files were created for use on the project website. The text on some of the Agents' Annual Reports is light and difficult to read because the print is light on the original documents. The master files for the Historic Maps were scanned using a Xerox 510 Wide Format map scanner with a Color Enhancement Key module at 300 dpi in 24-bit color and saved in the TIFF format. Derivative JPEG files were then created from the master files and a watermark was added to each map for additional security.
Other Finding Aids
CCI Inventory in the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan Archives Reading Room; Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company, RG 86-100 Maps and Plans located in the Archives Reading Room.
Controlled Access Headings
- Annual Reports.
- Maps, Mine
- Gwinn (Mich.)
- Ishpeming (Mich.)
- Marquette (Mich.)
- Negaunee (Mich.)
- Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
- Lumbermen--United States
- Miners--United States--History.
- William Mather, President, Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company
- Marquette Iron Range (Mich.)
- Mining--United States.
- Upper Peninsula (Mich.)--Economic conditions.
- Upper Peninsula (Mich.)--History, Local.
MS 86-100. Agents Annual Reports and Historical Maps 1856-1960 1025.0 Cubic feet
Scope and Contents note
MS 86-100 is the largest of the collection’s record groups and includes 2,908 items and 235 maps. The record group consists of numerous record series, including Routine Business records Formal Business records, Agents Annual Reports, Mining records, Transportion records, Correspondence, and Maps and Plans. These record series include, but are not limited to, a variety of record types, including payroll books, ledgers, balance sheets, deeds, leases, bondholder agreements, contracts, and cost analyses.
Series 3: Agent's Annual Reports 1893-1960 92.0 volumes
Scope and Contents note
The Annual Reports of the Land, Lumber, and Mining Departments contains 150 volumes that date from 1893 to 1960. CCI agents hand wrote, typed, and assembled the reports and sent them to the Company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. These reports document the operations of iron mines, furnaces, and the exploitation of forest resources. The reports contain detailed comments and descriptions of local management regarding mine, furnace, chemical, land, and lumbering operations, but also detailed quantitative data on the costs of operating mines, furnaces, and logging operations. The reports also provide accounts of the ethnic composition of the workforce, labor union and strike activity, and information on the status of the company’s social welfare and safety programs.* In essence, the annual reports bring together all the various financial, production, and labor records found in the other disparate components of the collection into one easily accessible source. Not surprisingly, therefore, this record series is the most heavily used by researchers. *Reynolds, Terry. Archival Report: The Cleveland – Cliffs Iron Company Collections, Northern Michigan University Archives, Michigan Historical Review, 30:1, Spring 2004, 142.Mining Reports 1892-1960 » Land Reports 1904-1929 » Lumber Reports 1907-1929 » Land and Lumber Reports 1943-1955 »
Series 8: Historical Maps 1882-1937 235.0 items.
Scope and Contents note
The Historic Maps and Plans include 235 items that date from 1882 to 1937. The maps describe individual mines and their surrounding communities on the Marquette Range, Minnesota iron ranges, and Wisconsin. Some of these are maps of the surface plant, while others deal with underground workings or details of shaft houses. A considerable number detail the timber interests of CCI and other large landholders in the central and western Upper Peninsula. Still other maps relate to the development of the watersheds that CCI tapped in the early twentieth century to produce hydroelectric power for its mining and other related operations. Numerous students, scholars, and the general public have accessed this record series to gather historical information on land use, forestry practices, and environmental depredation.Maps 1882-1937 »