Let’s Celebrate the 185th Anniversary of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with 5 Little Known Facts
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This week marked the anniversary of the Toledo Compromise on December 14, 1836, which gave Michigan a vast region of land to the north. At that time, it was considered to be a loss compared to having the Toledo Strip. Some thought the Upper Peninsula would forever remain a wilderness due to the harsh climate and complicated terrain. But we all know that as time went on, people in Michigan realized that they in fact got the best end of the deal. Especially when it was discovered in the 1840s that there were rich mineral deposits of copper and iron which soon after led to a mining boom in the region.
So to celebrate this anniversary, we tried to find some of the most little-known facts we could about the U.P. that maybe even the most seasoned Yooper wouldn't know. How many of these did you know about? And if you want to read more about these, you can click or tap on them for links to other articles about these fun facts.
1. It wasn't until 1979 that the word "Yooper" was first published
What?! It seems like this word has been around forever. And if that isn't enough of a surprise, the word didn't make it into the dictionary until 2014
2. People had trouble pronouncing "Sault Ste. Marie" pretty much from the beginning
Settled as early as 1668, it is the oldest city in Michigan and among the oldest in the United States. But as Yoopers started moving there, they were troubled by the pronunciation of the city. In 1850, the Lake Superior Journal even published an article about the frustrations of people who didn't know how to spell it, much less say it.
3. It's home to one of the oldest and largest lava flows known on Earth
It's located on the Keweenaw Peninsula and is said to be about 1.1 billion years old. It is also responsible for helping create the copper that the region became famous for.
4. Only 3% of Michigan's entire population lives in the Upper Peninsula
We all know that the U.P. is rural, but the fact that 97% of Michigan's population are "trolls", living below the Mackinac Bridge, is still surprising. As of the 2020 census, the region had a population of 301,608 compared to 9,484,261 in the Lower Peninsula.
5. There is no spot in America further from an Interstate highway than Copper Harbor
Yes, Michigan, with its 13 different Interstate trunk lines totaling 1,239 miles, also boasts the one spot on the maps that's farther than anywhere else from an Interstate. That spot is the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Copper Harbor in the most rural part of the U.P.
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