Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula
logo

Marquette Branch Prison

Marquette Prison
An early photo of Michigan's most fanciful prison, opened in 1889 to house the state's most dangerous criminals.

Opened in 1889, this prison, modeled after Michigan's Ionia House of Corrections, looks something like a Victorian boarding school, what with the picturesque towers of its imposing central administration building and the beautiful flower gardens in front. Marquette was a remote place where difficult prisoners were and are sent. It's one of the most secure prisons in the country, says a management staffer. Another portion of the prison has always been minimum-security. Today the prison has some 1150 inmates. Some 500 are in the maximum security part, which is protected with a concrete wall, razor-ribbon wire, electronic detection systems, and eight gun towers. The remainder of the prisons are in the minimum security section. Designed for a much smaller population, the prisoners there are "packed in like sardines" according to the prison official we chatted with.
Visitors are welcome to drive in, briefly admire the flowers (grown from seed in prison greenhouses) and the historic buildings. If you take a photo of the handsome front of the complex, like we did, prison guards are going to come out and want to confiscate your camera. 8/2010
-
1960 U.S. 41 South, just south of the Carp River and the Michigan Welcome Center at the south entrance to town. (906) 226-6531.

Return to Marquette

MARQUETTE
POINTS OF INTEREST
Downtown Marquette. A major U.P. destination for people who like to shop, nibble, drink coffee, dine, and explore interesting downtowns. Stroll past ornate buildings, a historic hotel, many restaurants, a classic department store, an 1883 saloon ... more

Marquette Wi-fi Hotspots. Peter White Public Library has wi-fi & public computers. 217 N Front between Ridge & Bluff. Olson Library (NMU) has wi-fi & public computers. On Tracy St., off Wright St. Dead River Coffee has wi-fi. 119 W. Baraga, just west of S. Front St. ... more

Presque Isle Park. One of the coolest city parks anywhere, it's a rocky, wooded peninsula jutting into Lake Superior with great vistas, 5 miles of walking paths, swimming pool and water slide, picnic grounds, bandshell ... more

Marquette Mountain. With plenty of snow and some of the state's highest runs, this is one of the better known Midwest ski destinations ... more

Huron Mountain Bakery . Terrific, unpretentious bakery along the highway just south of Marquette ... more

Marquette Baking Co.. This exceptional bakery complements a delightful cluster of food-related shops ... more

Marquette County History Museum. Choice artifacts, some life-sized exhibits with audio, and a good gift shop make this stand out. See an Ojibwa family group,the Burt survey party, a child-scale street of shops ... more

Risak Pottery. Beautifully complex colors adorn the pieces at this Japanese-inspired gallery ... more

Zero Degrees Artist Gallery. Cool new cooperative of broad array of artists. ... more

Greywalls Golf Course. One of Michigan's finest and arguably its visually most dramatic course, Greywalls attracts golfers from across the nation ... more

Ridge and Arch Historic District. A well-maintained neighborhood of historic homes in a variety of late 19th-century styles, and two richly detailed red sandstone churches with unusual stained glass windows, one by Tiffany ... more

Lower Harbor. The beautifully designed focus of the city's Lake Superior waterfront, with a fresh and smoked fish shop, a playground/picnic park next to the marina, a historic lighthouse, a breakwall to walk out on ... more

Marquette Maritime Museum. A colorful museum with lots of great stuff: superb replicas of freighters, three Fresnel lighthouse lenses, hands-on fishing nets and a pilot house, colorful flags from Great Lakes freighters, a miniature reconstruction of a famous WWII naval battle ... more

U.S.S. Darter-Dace Silent Service Memorial. A fascinating computerized, narrated diorama of the Philippine naval battle that crippled the Japanese navy, highlighting the critical role of two subs with U.P. crews and a replica conning tower are part ... more

Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center . At the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center are exhibits on the various immigrant groups who populated the U.P., an historical look at student life at Northern Michigan University, and the artifacts from the life of philanthropist and business magnate Sam Cohodas. ... more

Marquette Harbor Light. Visitors can now tour this oft-photographed lighthouse on the rocks and take the catwalk 300' out to Lighthouse Point, with great panoramic views of Presque Isle, ore dock, harbor, and town ... more

Lakeside bike path from the Inner Harbor to Presque Isle. You can rent a bike or rollerblades for this beautiful, busy shoreline path from the inner harbor to magical Presque Isle Park, passing a beach and picnic area for students and one for families ... more

Lake Superior & Ishpeming RR Ore Dock. Extending a full quarter mile out into the lake, this huge 75' landmark is where you can watch taconite pellets of iron ore delivered by train and noisily dumped into a waiting ore carrier ... more

Alley Kat's Quilt Shop. Outstanding contemporary shop caters to quilters, fiber artists, home sewers, Lots of examples inspire quilters. Designer fabrics, geometrics, wools (for the primitive look), & linen-cotton blends for garments. ... more

Peter White Library. A dream library renovated and expanded through community visioning: restored 1904 reading rooms, an exhibit gallery, a children's room designed by kids, a community art gallery and shop, and a café/coffee bar with fresh Greek specialties ... more

The Village shopping district on Third Street. Between downtown and campus, Third Street has several popular restaurants, an excellent outdoors shop, a terrific fabric shop, a consignment shop, a bead shop ... more

Superior Dome. See the wood framework of the world's largest wood dome, used for athletics and community walking and jogging. Interesting exhibits in its outer corridor feature U.P. minerals, ethnic groups, and Upper Peninsula legends John Voelker, Dominic Jacobetti, Nita Engle, Glenn Seaborg, and Sam Cohodas ... more

DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University. With this facility, the Upper Peninsula has a real art museum, open year-round, with some high-level nationally important exhibits along with local and regional shows ... more

Father Marquette Park/ Chamber of Commerce.. Tourist info with a grand view of a picture-perfect town, harbor, and lighthouse ... more

Marquette County Courthouse. A grand public building from 1902, used with respect. See the impressive courtroom where the Anatomy of a Murder case was tried, the great view from the steps, and the display of Voelker legal memorabilia ... more

St. Peter Cathedral and Baraga Archives. In the cathedral, stained glass windows of saints and scenes from Jesus's life. Next door, the papers of the snowshoe priest from Slovenia involved with the early history of many Michigan communities ... more

Upper Peninsula Children's Museum. Low-tech, free wheeling, imaginative fun in a whacky micro city, a recyclatorium, and a great gift shop. Kids learn about microbiology after sliding down a toilet, fly in a real fuselage cockpit ... more

Marquette Food Co-op. Cheerful one-stop shopping with good produce and more trail mixes, energy bars, soy milk and juices for travelers in the attractive new location downtown ... more

Park Cemetery. Download WMOT deejay Jim Koski's chatty Park Cemetery walking tour and a stroll through this hilly, wooded cemetery becomes a guided tour of the graves of Marquette's founding elite ... more

Jilbert's Dairy. An ice cream parlor is the centerpiece of this headquarters complex of the U.P.'s premier dairy, where you can see milk being processed, picnic next to a giant cow, and shop for various U.P. foods and knick-knacks ... more

Brewmaster's Castle Home. The exterior is exotic, but get a look at what's inside ... more

Mount Marquette Scenic Lookout. A rocky summit provides a glorious views of the city, the bay, and the vast expanse of Lake Superior beyond ... more

Marquette Branch Prison. The 1889 part of the prison that looks like it's out of Victorian England, with pretty inmate-tended flower gardens out front ... more

U.S. 41 road cut with ancient algal stromatolites. Looming above Highway 41, this rocky cliff reveals eroded remains of ancient (2 billion-year-old) mountains once far higher than today's Rockies ... more

Michigan Welcome Center. The picnic area provides a striking view of Marquette Bay and the distant city of Marquette, with helpful tourist info in the log Welcome Center ... more

Blueberry Ridge Cross-Country Ski Trail/Escanaba River State Forest. 12K of trails, 1.7 miles of them lighted, are groomed for ski-skating and diagonal stride ... more

Lakenenland. One of the U.P.'s most unusual roadside attractions, a pipefitter's quirky sculpture park. Part political, part fanciful, done just for fun. No fee, nothing to buy. ... more

Our new interactive map to U.P. motels that offer exceptionally low rates. See also our useful detailed maps to U.P. TOWNS. These custom-made maps locate landmarks and attractions.
Our Most Frequently Shared Pages:
Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.

 
Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.
 
trees
Maps to the best of the U.P.
HOME       MAPS       ADVENTURES       TOWNS       RESTAURANTS       LODGINGS       CAMPGROUNDS       LIGHTHOUSES       SHOPS
Facebook