So, over the years you’ve heard me talk a lot about visiting Michigan’s U.P. (Upper Peninsula), but I’m thinking it’s time to tell you more about this gorgeous area that’s so dear to my heart! Several of my in-law kids have never even seen our old stomping grounds, particularly Gerlinde (who’s from Germany), so while Jonathan and Gerlinde were visiting this summer, we took them up for a U.P. “Roots” tour. Maybe I should start by saying that Alan was born and bred in the U.P. and has lived in Michigan his entire life. I was a transplant from Indiana but lived in the U.P. from ages 10-17, and although you have to be born there to be a true citizen, I do still cherish my green card. 🙂 Also, Alan and I lived in Marquette (the largest city in the U.P., with a population of just over 20,ooo) for four years when our children were little,
and the vast wooded wilderness out our doorstep still looms large in family lore. Most of the U.P. was ceded to Michigan during Andrew Jackson’s “Frost-bitten Convention” that resolved the Toledo War, and folks thought Michigan had lost out to exchange the Toledo Strip for “da Yoop,” (the Upper Peninsula), but the U.P. turned out to be —well, if not a gold mine,a copper mine—because not long afterward the world’s largest vein of copper was discovered in the U.P., not to mention the income from 7 million acres of hardwood and 1,700 miles of pristine beaches along 3 of America’s Great Lakes!The fact is that the U.P. mines produced more mineral wealth than
the California Gold Rush,
but I think the winters were too harsh to attract many fortune hunters. The snowy winters may also be the reason that the U.P. contains 29% of Michigan’s land mass but only 3% of its population…and why the majority of residents in the northwestern U.P. claim Finnish heritage! Well, at any rate, off we went, and as you may know from my post yesterday,
the way to da Yoop is via the Mighty Mackinac Bridge, so that’s how we started! I hope sharing about our adventures will be as much fun for you as it is for me! “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
(The picture of the copper miners is from Wiki Commons; public domain. The other B&W pictures are of Alan’s family, as preserved by his dear cousin, Phyllis S. [Thank you so much, Phyllis!] I’ve taken the color photos over the past few weeks in da Yoop [although the sunset shot was taken on Mackinac Island, which is between the upper and lower peninsulas].)