Hancock from HoughtonHancock is the northernmost city in Michigan and has strong Finnish heritage which is evident in the annual midwinter festival – Heikinpaiva – and the many street signs printed in both English and Finnish and the Finlandia University.

Hancock is connected to Houghton by the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which is the heaviest aerial lift bridge in the world.

Hancock links

City of Hancock

Wikipedia – Hancock

Hancock Houghton Aerial

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Winter in HoughtonHoughton is one of the premiere “Winter Cities” and one of “The 100 Best Small Town in America” and is home to Michigan Technological University. It was the birthplace of professional ice hockey in the United States with the formation of the Portage Lakes in 1903 and in the winter of 2001 became the site of the first lumitalos – a Finish temporary show dwelling – in the United States.

Although Houghton is known for its winters it’s also a great summer destination, offering numerous biking, hiking, and kayaking experiences around the area.
Isle Royal National Park is a ferry ride away and the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve offers excellent diving.

Houghton Links

City of Houghton

Wikipedia – Houghton

Houghton County

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Munising MichigaMunising sits on the edge of a beautiful bay with the thick forested hills of the Hiawatha National Forest providing shelter behind. Grand Island sits just beyond the harbor while the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore lies along the coast to the east. The Lake Superior waters around Grand Island and Munising are home to the Alger Underwater Preserve which protects eight major wrecks.

Munising Links

Munising Visitors Bureau Inc

City of Munising


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Champion Stamp MillChampion was first settled by French-Canadian lumberjacks and miners from Cornwall. By 1900 new immigrants, Scandinavians, Germans, Italians, Irish, and Finns had settled the area. Champion soon became a vital railroad, mining, logging, and farming center.

In 1912 a cave-in struck Champion. A hole one hundred feet deep and three hundred feet wide was formed, which destroyed several homes. The cave-in caused the Champion Mine to collapse and was subsequently shut down for good. By that time the mine had brought up over 4 million tons or iron ore.

Champion links


Van Riper State Park

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Big Bay

Big Bay Michigan AerialBig Bay was founded as a company-built sawmill town, tucked between the Huron Mountains and Lake Superior. In 1943 after a brief recession the mill was bought and reopened by Henry Ford. Like many other of Henry Ford’s model towns it was pretty but unprofitable and soon closed. Big Bay is neighbored by the Huron Mountain Club, a vast fenced off fishing and hunting retreat and wilderness area owned by extremely wealthy families, most of whom made their money in the 19th century, including the Ford family.

Big Bay is most famously known as the location of the Robert Traver book “Anatomy of a Murder” which was also made into a movie directed by Otto Preminger and starring Jimmy Stewart and Lee Remick.

Big Bay is also the western trailhead of the Hiawatha Water Trail, and near unusual Jacobsville sandstone formations under the waters of Lake Superior that rise up to become cliffs.

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Michigamme Township MichiganLocated on the shores of Lake Michigamme, Michigamme draws visitors into what is now a quaint mining town with proximity to the Craig Lake State Park and Van Riper State Park. When first settled Michigamme served as a hub between several mines operating in the area. The Michigamee Mine, located just northeast of the village on Mt. Shasta, produced almost a million tons of iron ore before it shut down in 1900. Henry Ford started another boom in the 1920s when he opened the Imperial Mine one mile to the west of Michigamme, in a place still called Imperial Heights. Like many of his Upper Peninsula locations, it was never a money-maker. It closed in the 1930s.

Michigamme Links


Craig Lake State Park

Van Riper State Park

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Negaunee City HallNeqaunee was founded by The Jackson Iron Company in 1846. Today Negaunee is a safe, friendly community that is home to the Michigan Iron Industry Museum, the historic Vista Theatre, and the Negaunee Historical Museum.

Due to the large population of miners and mine managers the village is both plain and stately. The village celebrates its heritage with the mid winter Heikki Lunta Winterfest and the mid-summer Pioneer Days.

City of Negaunee


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The City of Marquette, Michigan

Marquette LighthouseHistorian Fred C. Rydholm wrote a brief history of Marquette, Michigan that begins:

It was the Noque band of Chippewa Indians that lived along the shore of Marquette County for hundreds of years. The Jesuit Father Marquette, namesake of the city, passed along these shores for times between 1668 and 1671. He reported the Noquets to be less than 150 souls. Indian legend says that Marquette’s favorite camping spot was at Lighthouse Point near Marquette’s Lower Harbor.

Marquette Links

Travel Marquette

City of Marquette

UP Health System – Marquette Regional medical center; a modern, well run facility opened in 2019, with over 200 doctors.

Northern Michigan University in Marquette is a four-year, public, coeducational university which offers over 170 degree programs to about 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Marquette Weather

Marquette Panorama

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The moose is loose

This young bull moose, a yearling, visited my camp recently… and I had my camera handy! I followed him in my car, snapping photos through the passenger side window.

Moose on the Loose

After a few hundred yards he stopped, peeked at me around a tree, and then came straight for the car! There was nothing aggressive about it, through. This is the time of the year when last year’s calf gets kicked out of the family because the new one has arrived. I suppose this little bull was used to having a big moose around, and it was surely a little lonesome in the woods. He looked for all the world like someone looking for a friend to pal up with, and was checking me out. I guess I’m flattered.

Moose in the Woods

Finally he stood in this “King of the Woods” pose. That’s what he’ll be before long. I hope to see him then.

Moose in the Woods II

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The Lore of the Lakes

Lighthouse Point, Marquette, Michigan

Granite Island Scott Holman’s Lake Superior Light House rehab (great site)

Lighthouses of the Upper Peninsula can be found through Exploring the North’s list of Upper Peninsula Lighthouses open to the public and Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is dedicated to the perils of maritime transport on the Great Lakes. It is fittingly located at Whitefish Point, Michigan, site of the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Superior near Paradise, Newberry and the Tahquamenon Falls. The collection includes artifacts like the bell from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and a fully restored 1861 Lightkeepers Quarters.

Photo: Marquette, Mich., Lighthouse Point, courtesy Library of Congress (LC-D4-4759)

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