Upper Peninsula of Michigan
-also known as "The Upper Peninsula", "The U.P." (or "The UP"), & "Above the Bridge" by Michiganders
-and known as "Northern Michigan" by non-Michiganders ( "Northern Michigan" usually refers to the northern half of the lower Peninsula to Lower Pewninsula residents)
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is is seperated from the Lower Pennisula of Michigan by the Mackinac Straits, 5 miles across at it's narrowist, and is connected to it only by the Mackinac Bridge. Until the bridge was completed, travel between the two peninsulas was difficult and slow (and sometimes even impossible during winter months). Car ferries ran between the two penninsulas and at the busiest times of year wait could stretch to hours. In winter travel was only possible over the ice after complete and solid freeze-up of the straights.
The residents of the Upper Peninsula are often called "Yoopers", (from "U.P.ers"), and many consider themselves Yoopers before they consider themselves Michiganders. This regionalism is not only a result of the physical separation of the two peninsulas but also the history of the area. The U.P. was not originally a part of Michigan Territory but was given to the 30-yearold Michigan Territory in 1835 only a few years prior to statehood, as a settlement to end the Toledo War being fought between Michigan and Ohio over the city of Toledo. Before this, it had been part of Wisconsin Territory. Ohio got the city of Toledo and was considered the winner. So, not only did the Lower Peninsula of Michigan exist for 30 years without the Upper Peninsula, but the entire Upper Peninsula was considered less valuable than the city of Toledo. Today, many residents in the western half of the Upper Peninsula still associate themselves with Wisconsin, possibly because the urban areas, shopping malls and Universities in Wisconsin are a much shorter drive than those in the Lower half of the State.
Early settlers included multiple waves of Scandanavians. There are still active Swedish and Finnish communities in many areas of the U.P. today.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is, along with the states of Texas, Alaska, Vermont and Hawaii, one of the few areas of the United States nationally recognized as having an active movement for secession from the country. More realistically, there is also a strong movement in the Upper Peninsula for it's withdrawal from the state of Michigan and it becoming the 51st state, the state of "Superior" (named for Lake Superior).
The Upper Peninsula is very rich in mineral deposits including iron, silver and copper. In the 19th century mining dominated it's economy and it was home to many isolated company towns. Lumbering was the other major industry. There are mines still active today, though, on a much smaller scale than 100 years ago. Because of the climate and the short growing season, there is very little agriculture in the Upper Peninsula. There are few jobs in the rural areas and a high rate of unemployment. The majority of Michigan's state welfare goes to U.P.. Tourism is the main industry. The U.P. has large tracts of state forests, cedar swamps, coast line, over 150 waterfalls, and very low population densities. Because of the camping, boating, fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities, many Lower Peninsula and Wisconsin families take their summer vacations there.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has three state universities: Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, Lake Superior State University in Sault St. Marie, Michigan and Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.
larger cities of the U.P.:
- Sault St. Marie, Michigan
- Menominee, Michigan
- Escanaba, Michigan
- Marquette, Michigan
- Crystal Falls, Michigan
Major Attractions of the U.P.: