Located in the Tahquamenon River valley, Newberry was a lumbering and woodworking center but is now given over to hunting and fishing. In 1879 Detroit and eastern investors promoted a railroad line through the wilderness to connect the Marquette Iron Range with St. Ignace. Completed in 1881, the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad linked Detroit and Lower Michigan with the rich mineral regions and commercial centers of the western Upper Peninsula. The following year John S. Newberry and other businessmen created the Vulcan Furnace Company for the manufacture of charcoal iron at a key location along the new railroad. The settlement was located in the center of lush pine and hardwoods. Newberry grew as a center of logging and charcoal. Luce County was set off from Mackinac and Chippewa counties in 1882. Sawmills were established. In 1895 construction of the red brick Georgian Revival Newberry Hospital for the Insane (Upper Peninsula Asylum for the Insane and Feeble-Minded, 1895–1939, Charlton, Gilbert and Demar, and others; 3001 Newberry Avenue) began. Closed as a hospital since 1995, several of its surviving buildings serve as a prison.
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