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Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Michigan
The Porcupine Mountains within the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Nickname: The U.P.
Country  United States
State  Michigan
Area 42,610.5 km2 (16,452 sq mi)
Area code 906
The Upper Peninsula is bordered by the Lower Peninsula, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. More casually it is known as the land "above the Bridge" (above the Mackinac Bridge linking the two peninsulas). It is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by the St. Mary's River, on the southeast by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the southwest by Wisconsin.

The Upper Peninsula contains almost one-third of the land area of Michigan but just three percent of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers (derived from "U.P.-ers") and have a strong regional identity. It includes the only counties in the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. Large numbers of Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian emigrants came to the Upper Peninsula, especially the Keweenaw Peninsula, to work in the mines, and they stayed on and prospered even after the copper mines closed.[1]

Ordered by size, the peninsula's largest cities are Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Menominee, Houghton, and Iron Mountain. The land and climate are not very suitable for agriculture. The economy has been based on logging, mining and tourism. Most mines have closed since the "golden age" from 1890 to 1920, and the land is heavily forested. Logging remains a major industry.

Contents

History

The first known inhabitants of the Upper Peninsula were tribes speaking Algonquian languages. They arrived roughly around AD 800 and subsisted chiefly from fishing. Early tribes included the Menominee, Nocquet, and the Mishinimaki. Étienne Brûlé of France was probably the first European to visit the peninsula, crossing the St. Marys River around 1620 in search of a route to the Far East.[2]

French colonists laid claim to the land in the 17th century, establishing missions and fur trading posts such as Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace. Following the end of the French and Indian War (part of the Seven Years' War) in 1763, the territory was ceded to Great Britain.

American Indian tribes formerly allied with the French were dissatisfied with the British occupation, which brought new territorial policies. Whereas the French cultivated alliances among the Indians, the British postwar approach was to treat the tribes as conquered peoples. In 1763 tribes united in Pontiac's Rebellion to try to drive the British from the area. American Indians captured Fort Michilimackinac, near present-day Mackinaw City, Michigan, then the principal fort of the British in the Michilimackinac region, as well as others and killed hundreds of British. In 1764 they began negotiations with the British which resulted in temporary peace and changes in objectionable British policies.

Although the Upper Peninsula nominally became United States territory with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the British did not give up control until 1797 under terms of the Jay Treaty. As an American territory, the Upper Peninsula was still dominated by the fur trade. John Jacob Astor founded the American Fur Company on Mackinac Island in 1808; however, the industry began to decline in the 1830s as beaver and other game were overhunted.[3]

When the Michigan Territory was first established in 1805, it included only the Lower Peninsula and the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. In 1819 the territory was expanded to include the remainder of the Upper Peninsula, all of Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota (previously included in the Indiana and Illinois Territories). When Michigan was preparing for statehood in the 1830s, the boundaries proposed corresponded to the original territorial boundaries, with some proposals even leaving the Upper Peninsula out entirely. Meanwhile, the territory was involved in a border dispute with the state of Ohio in a conflict known as the Toledo War.

The people of Michigan approved a constitution in May 1835 and elected state officials in late autumn 1835. Although the state government was not yet recognized by the United States Congress, the territorial government effectively ceased to exist. A constitutional convention of the state legislature refused a compromise to accept the full Upper Peninsula in exchange for ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio. A second convention, hastily convened by Governor Stevens Thomson Mason, consisting primarily of Mason supporters, agreed in December 1836 to accept the U.P. in exchange for the Toledo Strip.

In January 1837, the U.S. Congress admitted Michigan as a state of the Union. At the time, Michigan was considered the losing party in the compromise. The land in the Upper Peninsula was described in a federal report as a "sterile region on the shores of Lake Superior destined by soil and climate to remain forever a wilderness."[2]

This belief changed when rich mineral deposits (primarily copper and iron) were discovered in the 1840s. The Upper Peninsula's mines produced more mineral wealth than the California Gold Rush, especially after shipping was improved by the opening of the Soo Locks in 1855 and docks in Marquette in 1859. The Upper Peninsula supplied 90% of America's copper by the 1860s. It was the largest supplier of iron ore by the 1890s, and production continued to a peak in the 1920s, but sharply declined shortly afterward. The last copper mine closed in 1995, although the majority of mines had closed decades before. Some iron mining continues near Marquette.[2]

Thousands of Americans and immigrants moved to the area during the mining boom, prompting the federal government to create Fort Wilkins near Copper Harbor to maintain order. The first wave were the Cornish from England, with centuries of mining experience; followed by Irish, Germans, and French Canadians. During the 1890s, Finnish immigrants began settling there in large numbers. In the early 20th century, 75% of the population was foreign-born.[3]

The Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon River, near the northern shore of the peninsula.

Geography

The Upper Peninsula contains 16,452 square miles (42,610 km²), almost one-third of the land area of the state (exclusive of territorial waters, which constitute about 40% of Michigan's total jurisdictional area). The maximum east-west distance in the Upper Peninsula is about 320 miles (515 km), and the maximum north-south distance is about 125 miles (200 km). It is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by St. Mary's River, on the south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the west by Wisconsin and (counting the water border on Lake Superior) by Minnesota. It has about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) of continuous shoreline with the Great Lakes. There are about 4,300 inland lakes, the largest of which is Lake Gogebic, and 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of streams.[4]

The peninsula is divided between the flat, swampy areas in the east, part of the Great Lakes Plain, and the steeper, more rugged western half, called the Superior Upland, part of the Canadian Shield.[5] The rock in the western portion is the result of volcanic eruptions and is estimated to be at least 3.5 billion years old (much older than the eastern portion) and contains the region's ore resources. A considerable amount of bedrock is visible. Mount Arvon, the highest point in Michigan, is found in the region, as well as the Porcupine and Huron Mountains. All of the higher areas are the remnants of ancient peaks, worn down over millions of years by erosion and glaciers.[6]

The Keweenaw Peninsula is the northernmost part of the peninsula. It projects into Lake Superior and was the site of the first copper boom in the United States, part of a larger region of the peninsula called the Copper Country.[7] Copper Island is its northernmost section.

About one third of the peninsula is government owned recreational forest land today, including the Ottawa National Forest and Hiawatha National Forest. Although heavily logged in the 19th century, the majority of the land was forested with mature trees by the 1970s.[2]

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Wildlife

The Upper Peninsula contains a large variety of wildlife. Some of the mammals found in the U.P. include shrews, moles, mice, white tailed deer, moose, black bears, gray & red foxes, wolves, river otters, martens, fishers, bobcats, coyotes, snowshoe hares, cotton-tail rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons and bats. There is a large variety of birds, including hawks, osprey, gulls, hummingbirds, chickadees, robins, woodpeckers, warblers, and bald eagles. In terms of reptiles and amphibians, the UP has common garter snakes, red bellied snakes, pine snakes, northern water snakes, brown snakes, eastern garter snakes, eastern fox snakes, smooth green snakes, northern ringneck snakes, Eastern Milk snakes (Mackinac and Marquette counties) and Eastern Hognose snakes (Menominee County only), plus snapping turtles, wood turtles, and painted turtles (the state reptile), green frogs, bull frogs, northern leopard frogs, and salamanders. Lakes and rivers contain many fish like walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Salmon, and bass. The UP also contains many shellfish, such as clams, aquatic snails, and crayfish.

The American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society have designated several locations as internationally Important Bird Areas.[8]

Climate

The Upper Peninsula has a humid continental climate (Dfb in the Köppen climate classification system). The Great Lakes have a great effect on most of the peninsula. Winters tend to be long, cold, and snowy for most of the peninsula, and because of its northern latitude, the daylight hours are short— around 8 hours between sunrise and sunset in the winter. Lake Superior has the greatest effect on the area, especially the northern and western parts. Many areas get in excess of 100–250 inches (250–630 cm) of snow per year—especially in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Baraga, Marquette and Alger counties, where Lake Superior contributes to lake-effect snow, making them a prominent part of the midwestern snow belt.

Records of 390 inches (990 cm) of snow or more have been set in many communities in this area.[9] The Keweenaw Peninsula averages more snowfall than almost anywhere in the United States—more than anywhere east of the Mississippi River and the most of all non-mountainous regions of the continental United States.[10] Because of the howling storms across Lake Superior, which cause dramatic amounts of precipitation, it has been said that the lake-effect snow makes the Keweenaw Peninsula the snowiest place east of the Rockies. Herman, Michigan, averages 236 inches (600 cm) of snow every year.[11] Lake-effect snow can cause blinding whiteouts in just minutes, and some storms can last days.

The area along the Wisconsin border has a more continental climate since most of its weather does not arrive from the lakes. Summers tend to be warmer and winter nights much colder. Coastal communities have temperatures tempered by the Great Lakes. In summer, it might be 10 °F (5 °C) cooler at lakeside than it is inland, and the opposite effect is seen in winter. The area of the Upper Peninsula north of Green Bay though Menominee and Escanaba (and extending west to Iron River) does not have the extreme weather and precipitation found to the north. Locally it is known as "the banana belt."[12]

Time zones

Like the entire Lower Peninsula of Michigan, most of the Upper Peninsula observes Eastern Time. However, the four counties bordering Wisconsin are in the Central Time zone.

In 1967, when the Uniform Time Act came into effect, the Upper Peninsula went under year-round CST, with no daylight saving time.[13] In 1973, the majority of the peninsula switched to Eastern Time;[14] only the four western counties of Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, and Menominee continue to observe Central Time.

Government

There are fifteen counties in the Upper Peninsula (see map).

Upper Peninsula counties map.svg


State prisons are located in Baraga, Marquette, Munising, Newberry, Marenisco and Kincheloe.

Politics

The U.P. tends to vote for the Democratic Party, which is commonly considered to be politically liberal, however its people tend to be culturally conservative, which is similar to neighboring areas of the northern Midwest (Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). The vote during the 2008 presidential election ended with some of the counties in the Upper Peninsula going for the Democratic Party, and others for the Republican Party. The breakdown of the 2008 presidential election by county was as follows:[15][16]

Election results of the 2008 Presidential Election by County in the Upper Peninsula
County
# of Registered Voters
# of Votes Cast
McCain/Palin (Rep)
Obama/Biden (Dem)
Result
4,790
4,750
2,188
2,472
Dem
3,699
3,644
1,846
1,725
Rep
16,869
16,708
8,267
8,184
Rep
19,231
19,064
8,763
9,974
Dem
13,463
13,311
7,049
5,995
Rep
8,366
8,264
3,330
4,757
Dem
16,116
15,972
8,101
7,476
Rep
6,249
6,162
2,947
3,080
Dem
1,428
1,410
756
610
Rep
2,769
2,740
1,490
1,191
Rep
6,466
6,396
3,268
3,027
Rep
33,624
33,185
12,906
19,635
Dem
11,166
11,072
4,855
5,981
Dem
3,974
3,885
1,823
1,966
Dem
4,393
4,326
2,058
2,184
Dem
TOTAL
152,603
150,889
69,647
78,257
Dem

Bart Stupak (Dem) currently represents Michigan's 1st congressional district, which includes the Upper Peninsula. In 2006 incumbent Governor Jennifer Granholm (Dem) received a majority of the votes from the Upper Peninsula to help her win re-election to her second four-year term.

Superior (proposed state)

Superior is the name of a longstanding 51st state proposal for the secession of the Upper Peninsula from the rest of Michigan. Named for Lake Superior, the idea has gained serious attention at times. Because stronger connections to the rest of the state exist since completion of the Mackinac Bridge, the proposal is unlikely to gain passage.[17] Several prominent legislators, including local politician Dominic Jacobetti, attempted to gain passage of the bill in the 1970s, with little traction.[18]

Demographics

The Upper Peninsula remains a predominantly rural region. As of the 2000 census, the region had a population of 317,258, and was predicted to have fallen to 308,319 according to the Census Bureau's July 1, 2008 estimate.

According to the 2000 census, only 91,624 people live in the twelve towns of at least 4,000 people, covering 96.5 square miles (155.365 km²). Only 114,544 people live in the 21 cities and villages of at least 2,000 people, which cover 123.7 square miles (320.4 km²)—less than 1% of the peninsula's land area.

Cities and Villages of the Upper Peninsula
City Population Area (sq mi)
Marquette 19,661 11.4
Sault Ste. Marie 16,542 14.8
Escanaba 13,140 12.7
Menominee 9,131 5.2
Iron Mountain 8,154 7.2
Houghton 7,134 4.3
Ishpeming 6,535 8.7
Ironwood 6,293 6.6
Kingsford 5,549 4.3
Gladstone 5,266 5.0
Negaunee 4,576 13.8
Hancock 4,323 2.5
Manistique 3,583 3.2
Iron River 3,122 3.5
Norway 2,959 8.8
Newberry 2,686 1.0
St. Ignace 2,678 2.7
Munising 2,539 5.4
Bessemer 2,148 5.5
Laurium 2,126 0.7
L'Anse 2,107 2.6
Wakefield 2,085 8.0
TOTAL 114,544 123.7
Upper Peninsula Land Area and Population Density by County
County Population Land Area (sq mi) Population Density (per sq mi)
Alger 9,862 918 10.7
Baraga 8,735 904 9.7
Chippewa 38,413 1561 24.7
Delta 38,520 1170 32.9
Dickinson 27,427 766 35.8
Gogebic 17,370 1102 15.8
Houghton 36,016 1012 35.6
Iron 13,138 1166 11.3
Keweenaw 2,301 541 4.3
Luce 7,024 903 7.8
Mackinac 11,943 1022 11.7
Marquette 64,634 1821 35.5
Menominee 25,109 1043 24.3
Ontonagon 7,818 1312 6.0
Schoolcraft 8,903 1178 7.6
TOTAL 317,258 16,420 19.3
Typical ruins found in the western U.P.

The Upper Peninsula is one of the few regions in the United States that experiences population decline. Although not every county in the Upper Peninsula has a declining population, this phenomenon does have a significant impact on the social and economic aspects of many of its communities and citizens. Some of the contributing factors to the Upper Peninsula's shifts in population are the boom and bust cycles of the timber and mining industries, as well as the severity of its winters.[citation needed] Some areas in the Upper Peninsula are more prone to declining population than others, with the six westernmost counties being the most dramatic, going from a 1920 level of 153,674 people (representing 59% of the total population of the entire Upper Peninsula) to a 2000 census level of 85,378 persons (dropping to 29% of the total Upper Peninsula's population). It is quite common to see abandoned buildings and ruins in this area; there are even a number of ghost towns that are slowly succumbing to the ubiquitous forest.

Generally speaking, the population of the Upper Peninsula grew throughout the 19th Century, and then leveled off and even experienced decline during the 20th Century, as can readily be seen in the tables below. The data for these tables is from the U.S. Census;[19][20] green indicates an increase in population from the previous census, and red indicates a decrease in population from the previous census.



19th Century Population by Census Year of the Upper Peninsula by County
County
1830
1840
1850
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
1,238
5,868
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
1,804
3,036
4,320
626
534
898
1,603
1,689
5,248
12,018
21,338
N/A
N/A
N/A
1,172
2,542
6,812
15,330
23,881
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
17,890
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
13,166
16,738
N/A
N/A
708
9,234
13,879
22,473
35,389
66,063
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
4,432
8,990
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
4,205
4,270
2,894
3,217
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
2,455
2,983
877
923
3,598
1,938
1,716
2,902
7,830
7,703
N/A
N/A
136
2,821
15,033
25,394
39,521
41,239
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
1,791
11,987
33,639
27,046
N/A
N/A
389
4,568
2,845
2,565
3,756
6,197
N/A
N/A
16
78
N/A
1,575
5,818
7,889
TOTAL
1,503
1,457
5,037
12,180
29,821
62,557
145,133
195,299



20th & 21st Centuries Population by Census Year of the Upper Peninsula by County
County
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2010
7,675
9,983
9,327
10,167
10,007
9,250
8,568
9,225
8,972
9,862
N/A
6,125
7,662
9,168
9,356
8,037
7,151
7,789
8,484
7,954
8,735
N/A
24,472
24,818
25,047
27,807
29,206
32,655
32,412
29,029
34,604
38,413
N/A
30,108
30,909
32,280
34,037
32,913
34,298
35,924
38,947
37,780
38,520
N/A
20,524
19,456
29,941
28,731
24,844
23,917
23,753
25,341
26,831
27,427
N/A
23,333
33,225
31,577
31,797
27,053
24,370
20,676
19,686
18,052
17,370
N/A
88,098
71,930
52,851
47,631
39,771
34,654
34,652
37,872
35,446
36,016
N/A
15,164
22,107
20,805
20,243
17,692
17,184
13,813
13,635
13,175
13,138
N/A
7,156
6,322
5,076
4,004
2,918
2,417
2,264
1,963
1,701
2,301
N/A
4,004
6,149
6,528
7,423
8,147
7,827
6,789
6,659
5,763
7,024
N/A
9,249
8,026
8,783
9,438
9,287
10,853
9,660
10,178
10,674
11,943
N/A
46,739
45,786
44,076
47,144
47,654
56,154
64,686
74,101
70,887
64,634
N/A
25,648
23,778
23,652
24,883
25,299
24,685
24,587
26,201
24,920
25,109
N/A
8,650
12,428
11,114
11,359
10,282
10,584
10,548
9,861
8,854
7,818
N/A
8,681
9,977
8,451
9,524
9,148
8,953
8,226
8,575
8,302
8,903
N/A
TOTAL
237,528
260,626
265,825
275,913
262,487
304,952
304,347
319,757
313,915
317,213
N/A

Economy

Industries

The Upper Peninsula is rich in mineral deposits including iron, copper, nickel and silver. Small amounts of gold have also been discovered and mined. In the 19th century, mining dominated the economy, and the U.P. became home to many isolated company towns. For many years, mines in the Keweenaw Peninsula were the world's largest producers of copper. The mines began declining as early as 1913, with most closing temporarily during the Great Depression. Mines reopened during World War II, but almost all quickly closed after the war ended. The last copper mine in the Copper Country was the White Pine Mine, which closed in 1995.

Ever since logging of white pine began in the 1880s, timber has been an important industry.[21] However, the stands of hemlock and hardwood went under-exploited until the mid-twentieth century as selection cutting was practiced in the western reaches of the forest. Because of the highly seasonal climate and the short growing season, agriculture is limited in the Upper Peninsula, though potatoes, strawberries and a few other small fruits are grown.

Tourism has become the main industry in recent decades. In 2005, ShermanTravel, LLC listed the Upper Peninsula as No. 10 in its assessment of all travel destinations worldwide.[22] The article was republished in April 2006 by MSN.com.[23] The peninsula has extensive coastline on the Great Lakes, large tracts of state and national forests, cedar swamps, more than 150 waterfalls, and low population densities. Because of the camping, boating, fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, and hiking opportunities, many Lower Peninsula and Wisconsin families spend their vacations in the U.P. Tourists also go there from Chicago and other metropolitan areas.

Notable attractions

Casinos

American Indian casinos contribute to the tourist attractions and are popular in the U.P. Originally the casinos were simple, one-room affairs. Some of the casinos are now quite elaborate and are being developed as part of resort and conference facilities, including features such as golf courses, pool and spa, dining, and rooms to accommodate guests.

Transportation

Straits of Mackinac and bridge in winter

The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower by the Straits of Mackinac, five miles (8 km) across at the narrowest, and is connected to it by the Mackinac Bridge at St. Ignace, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Until the bridge was completed in 1957, travel between the two peninsulas was difficult and slow (and sometimes even impossible during winter months). In 1881, the Mackinac Transportation Company was established by three railroads, the Michigan Central Railroad, the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, and the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad, to operate a railroad car ferry across the Straits. Beginning in 1923, the State of Michigan operated automobile ferries between the two peninsulas. At the busiest times of year the wait was several hours long.[26] In winter, travel was possible over the ice only after the straits had solidly frozen.

Despite its rural character, the Upper Peninsula offers many transportation options.[27]

Automobiles

The primary means of transportation in the Upper Peninsula is by automobile. It is served by one interstate and several U.S. highways and Michigan state trunklines.

Major highways

Great Lakes Circle Tour

The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a designated scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.[30]

Airports

There are 43 airports in the Upper Peninsula.

There are six airports with commercial passenger service: Gogebic-Iron County Airport north of Ironwood, Houghton County Memorial Airport southwest of Calumet, Ford Airport west of Iron Mountain, Sawyer International Airport south of Marquette, Delta County Airport in Escanaba, and Chippewa County International Airport south of Sault Ste. Marie.

There are 19 other public use airports with a hard surface runway. These are used for general aviation and charter. Notably, Mackinac Island, Beaver Island, and Drummond Island are all accessible by airports.

There are 5 public access airports with turf runways.

There are 13 airports for the private use of their owners.

There is only one control tower in the Upper Peninsula, at Sawyer.[31]

Ferries and bridges

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority operates car ferries in its area. These include ferries for Sugar Island, Neebish Island, and Drummond Island. Three ferry companies run passenger ferries from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island.

The three major bridges in the Upper Peninsula are:

  • Mackinac Bridge, connecting Northern Michigan to the Upper Peninsula;
  • Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, which connects the city of Sault Ste. Marie to its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie in Canada; and
  • Portage Lift Bridge, which crosses Portage Lake. The Portage Lift Bridge is the world's heaviest and widest double-decked vertical lift bridge. Its center span "lifts" to provide 100 feet (30 m) of clearance for ships. Since rail traffic was discontinued in the Keweenaw, the lower deck is used to accommodate snowmobile traffic in the winter. As the only land-based link between the north and south sections of the Keweenaw Peninsula, the bridge is crucial to transportation.[32]

Railways

Education

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has three state universities: Michigan Technological University in Houghton; Northern Michigan University in Marquette and Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. Finlandia University is a private university located in Hancock, Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula. There are also two community colleges, Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba and Gogebic Community College in Ironwood.

Culture

"Da Yoopers Tourist Trap", near Ishpeming, features a host of gaudy items in its museum and store that play up Yooper stereotypes.
Map showing primary Upper Peninsula ancestry by municipality. Key:  Finnish   German   Native American   Swedish   African American   Italian   French   Polish   Colonial American   French Canadian   English   Irish 

Early settlers included multiple waves of people from Nordic countries. There are still Swedish- and Finnish-speaking communities in many areas of the Upper Peninsula today. People of Finnish ancestry make up 16% of the peninsula's population. The U.P. is home to the highest concentration of Finns outside Europe and the only counties of the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. The Finnish sauna and the concept of sisu have been adopted widely by residents of the Upper Peninsula. The television program Finland Calling, filmed at Marquette station WLUC-TV, is the only Finnish-language television broadcast in the United States; it has aired since March 25, 1962. Finlandia University, America's only college with Finnish roots, is located in Hancock.[33] Street signs in Hancock appear in English and Finnish to celebrate this heritage.

Other sizeable ethnic communities in the Upper Peninsula include French-Canadian, German, Cornish, Italian, and American Indian ancestry.

Upper Peninsula natives speak a dialect influenced by Scandinavian and French-Canadian speech. A popular bumper sticker, a parody of the "Say YES to Michigan" slogan promoted by state tourism officials, shows an outline of the Upper Peninsula and the slogan, "Say yah to da U.P., eh!" The dialect and culture are captured in many songs by Da Yoopers, a comedy music and skit troupe from Ishpeming, Michigan.

The Mining Journal, based in Marquette, is the only daily newspaper that publishes on Sundays. The Sunday edition is distributed across the entire U.P., while on the other six days of the way it publishes in its local area only. There are other newspapers, such as The Daily News of Iron Mountain, the Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton, and The Reporter of Iron County that serve the rest of the U.P.

The Keweenaw peninsula is home to several ski areas. Mont Ripley, just outside of Houghton, is popular among students of Michigan Technological University (the school actually owns the mountain). Further up the peninsula in the small town of Lac La Belle is Mt. Bohemia. A skiing purist's resort, Bohemia is a self proclaimed "experts only" mountain, and it does not groom its heavily gladed slopes.[34]

Regional identity

Today, the Upper Peninsula is home to 328,000 people—only about 3% of the state's population— living in almost one-third of the state's land area. Residents are known as Yoopers, (from "U.P.ers") and many consider themselves Yoopers before they consider themselves Michiganders. (People living in the Lower Peninsula are commonly called "trolls" by Upper Peninsula residents, as they live "Under da Bridge.") This regionalism is not only a result of the physical separation of the two peninsulas, but also the history of the state.

Residents of the western Upper Peninsula take on some of the cultural identities of both Wisconsin and Michigan. In terms of sports fandom, residents often gravitate toward the nearby Wisconsin teams, particularly the Green Bay Packers. This is a result of both proximity and the broadcast and print media of the area. The four counties that border Wisconsin are also in the Central Time Zone, unlike the rest of Michigan, which is on Eastern time.

A trip downstate is often rather difficult: a trip from Ironwood to Detroit is roughly 600 miles (960 km) long, more than twice the distance to Minneapolis and almost as long as a trip to St. Louis. Such a trip is made more difficult by the lack of freeways: a short section of I-75 is the only interstate in the U.P. Commonly, people of the western U.P. will go to Minneapolis or Wisconsin for trips, but they have managed to retain identity with Michigan. Residents of the northeastern part of the U.P. may cross the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge to Canada more often than they cross the Mackinac Bridge to the Lower Peninsula, and they often associate more closely with Northern Ontario.

Cuisine

A Yooper pasty (beef)

The Upper Peninsula has a distinctive local cuisine. The pasty (pronounced pass tee), a kind of meat turnover originally brought to the region by Cornish miners, is popular among locals and tourists alike. Pasty varieties include chicken, venison, pork, hamburger, and pizza. Many restaurants serve potato sausage and cudighi, a spicy Italian meat.

Finnish immigrants contributed nisu, a cardamon-flavored sweet bread; pannukakku, a variant on the pancake with a custard flavor; viili (sometimes spelled "fellia"), a stretchy, fermented Finnish milk; and korppu, hard slices of toasted cinnamon bread, traditionally dipped in coffee. Some Finnish foods such as juustoa (squeeky cheese) and sauna makkara (a ring-bologna sausage) have become so ubiquitous in Upper Peninsula cuisine that they are now commonly-found in most grocery stores and supermarkets.

Maple syrup is a highly prized local delicacy.[35] Fresh Great Lakes fish, such as the lake trout, whitefish, and (in the spring) smelt are widely eaten, despite concerns about PCB contamination and elevated mercury concentrations. Smoked fish is also popular. Thimbleberry and Chokecherry jam is a treat[36].

Notable residents

See also

References

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  21. ^ Graham, Samuel A. (1941). "Climax Forests of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.". Ecology 22 (4): 355–362. doi:10.2307/1930708. 
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Further reading

External links


Coordinates: 46°14′00″N 86°21′00″W / 46.2333333°N 86.35°W / 46.2333333; -86.35


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