The Upper Peninsula

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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Upper Peninsula

 

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that comprise 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 south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the west 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.

The peninsula's largest cities are Marquette, Escanaba, Sault Ste Marie, 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.



 

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