In 1866, Thomas and Bartley Breen, timber speculators from Menominee, located iron deposits near present Waucedah, Michigan. Although the Breen brothers had discovered what later became the very profitable Breen Mine, actual mining operations on this location did not commence until 1870 when several test pits were sunk, and two exploratory trenches were cut along the formation.
In 1872 the Breen mining company was incorporated with a capital stock of $500,000. The company owns the Breen mine containing 120 acres of land. The original stockholders were Eleazer S. Ingalls, Salmon P. Saxton, Bartley Breen, Thomas Breen, and afterwards Seth C. Perry. The first officers were E.S. Ingalls, Prest.; Thomas B. Rice, Sec'y; Salmon P. Saxton, Treasurer. The officers at present are E.S. Ingalls, President; Thomas Breen, Treasurer; Salmon P. Saxton, Secretary. Directors are E.S. Ingalls, Bartley Breen, Thomas Breen, S.P. Saxton and Oscar M. Saxton.
Dr. Nelson P Hulst, geologist and chemist for the Milwaukee Iron Company, began conducting extensive prospecting in 1873 on the Breen property. He found the first deposit of good ore on the range and developed the Vulcan Mine. (Vulcan was the Greek God for metal working.)
The village, which developed from the Vulcan mine, was founded by Lewis Whitehead on September 12, 1877.
In 1880, New Yorker E.F. Brown came to Vulcan, as clerk of the East Vulcan mine. He was in charge of the surface and explorations of this mine from 1881 until the spring of 1887, and in 1887 was appointed superintendent of the Pewabic mine. His residence was in Iron Mountain with his wife, Emma and four daughters: Muriel, Ione, Lucille and Elizabeth.
Vulcan was in Menominee County until Dickinson was organized in 1891.
Vulcan is located on US-2 in Dickinson County.
History of the upper peninsula of Michigan: containing a full account of its early settlement; its growth, development and resources. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1883.
Ingalls, E.S. Centennial history of Menominee County. Menominee Michigan: Herald Power Presses, 1876, pages 56, 68-69.