From 1870 to 1885, Leland, Michigan was a smog-filled industrial town supported by the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company. After the smelting industry failed the remains of the industry, including heaps of slag, were dumped into the harbor. Slag is a byproduct of the smelting process. Leland Blue, specifically, is the mix of blue glass with other chemicals, but this varying chemical medley can also cause the slag to appear purple, gray, or a shade of green. Today, people find this slag material on the shores of Leland’s beaches.
These unique stones are not only cherished for their beauty but also for the historical connections they evoke. They serve as reminders of Michigan's industrial past and the laborers who toiled in the iron smelting factories.