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Trillium in Alger County at Silver Lake

May is a favorite time of the year for me in the U.P. and if you missed it this year you should put it on your calendar for next year! I’ve been a little slow in editing my flower photos so these postings are not as timely as I’d like, but still I think definitely worth passing on. As you can see, trillium covered the forest floor this year as far as I could see.

 

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L’Anse History

Braga Courthouse in L AnseThe L’Anse area was first occupied by the Sugar Island Band of Ojibwa Indians who utilized the rich fishing grounds in the area. 1660 was marked by the entrance of Father Rene Menard, a French Jesuit Priest. Menard was the first white person on record to arrive in the area.

L’Anse was founded in 1871 when a preliminary route was platted from the eastern end of Lake Michigamme to the head of the Keweenaw Bay. The village was founded with the intention that it would become a port and house numerous stamping mills for the nearby iron ore mines. It was in August of 1871 that village stores were built. The first railroad engine did not reach L’Anse until December 17, 1872.  The village was in the midst of a boom when it quickly came to an end with the panic of 1873.

Again twenty-three years later L’Anse was faced with another setback. On May 9, 1896 a fire, started at the L’Anse Lumber Company, ravaged the village. The village was gradually rebuilt. Henry Ford bought the sawmill in 1922. The mill went on to ship as much as 180,000 board feet of lumber a day.

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L’Anse

Downtown L AnseThe village of L’Anse is the local hub of activity, and is home to the county government seat and the business center for the area. The village is surrounded by beautiful Lake Superior shoreline, pristine wilderness, waterfalls, lakes and streams. The highest point in Michigan, Mt. Arvon at 1,979 feet, is close by.

L’Anse Township

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Hancock

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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Houghton


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 History

Munising Michigan HistoryThe Munising area was originally inhabited by Ojibwa who used the area as a summer camping ground. After the first exploration by Europeans, Grand Island soon became a fur-trading outpost, and later a steamship fueling station. In 1895 construction began on the town of Munising.

It wasn’t until the 1870s that a iron blast furnace was built, attracting permanent settlers to the area. Sawmills, a tannery, and the Munising Woodenware Company led to greater development in the area.

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Munising

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

Munising

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Champion

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

Champion

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

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

Michigamme

Craig Lake State Park

Van Riper State Park

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