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Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is also known as "The Upper Peninsula", "The U.P." (or "The UP"), and "Above the Bridge" by Michiganders, and is sometimes called "Northern Michigan" by non-Michiganders ("Northern Michigan" usually refers to the northern half of the Lower Peninsula, to Lower Peninsula residents).

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is separated from the Lower Pennisula of Michigan by the Mackinac Straits, five miles across at its narrowest, 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 peninsulas, and at the busiest times of year the wait could stretch to hours. In winter travel was only possible over the ice after complete and solid freeze-up of the straits.

The residents of the Upper Peninsula are often called "Yoopers[?]", (from "U.P.ers"), and many consider themselves Yoopers before they consider themselves Michiganders. (People living in the Lower Peninsula are commonly called "trolls[?]" by Yoopers, as they live "under the {Mackinac} bridge.") 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; it was given to the 30-year-old 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 of 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. (It is perhaps due to this association with Wisconsin that there are many fans of the Green Bay Packers in the Upper Peninsula.)

Early settlers included multiple waves of Scandinavians. There are still active Swedish and Finnish communities in many areas of the U.P. today.

More realistically, there is a strong movement in the Upper Peninsula for secession from the state of Michigan; secessionists propose making the peninsula into the state of "Superior" (named for Lake Superior).

The Upper Peninsula is very rich in mineral deposits including iron, silver and copper. (Small amounts of gold have also been discovered.) In the 19th century mining dominated its economy and it was home to many isolated company towns[?]. Lumbering was the other major industry. Some mines are 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. Tourism is the main industry. The U.P. has large tracts of state forests, cedar swamps, coastline, 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.

State prisons are located in Baraga and Marquette.

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.:

Major Attractions of the U.P.:



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