Central Upper Peninsula

Hauntings in Central Upper Peninsula

Old City Orphanage - Holy Cross Orphanage Marquette

Join us at Northern Michigan History as we journey through our 5-part series, uncovering the secrets of the most haunted destinations in Northern Michigan. Our fourth installment leads us to the quest for specters in the Central Upper Peninsula. Surprisingly, we didn’t need to venture too far, as the Marquette area and its surroundings offer a multitude of uncanny encounters and strange happenings! Marquette County Old City Orphanage (formerly known as Holy Cross Orphanage): This Catholic orphanage was built in 1915 and was abandoned in the mid-60s after serving as a Catholic orphanage. The orphanage has a long history of… Read More »

Fort Wilkins

Flagpole in front of Lake Fanny Hooe at Fort Wilkins

Fort Wilkins is a historic military outpost located in Copper Harbor at the northern tip of Keweenaw Peninsula. It was established in 1844 by the U.S. Army during a time of increased tensions between miners and the local Ojibwe people in the Keweenaw Peninsula, which is known for its rich copper deposits. The fort was named after Secretary of War William Wilkins. The Army built 27 structures, including a guardhouse, powder magazine, 7 officer’s quarters, two barracks, two mess halls, hospital, storehouse, sutler’s store, quartermaster’s store, bakery, blacksmith’s shop, carpenter’s shop, icehouse, four quarters for married enlisted men, stables, and… Read More »

Michigan Rail Ferries

SS Landsdowne carrying passenger train cars in 1905.

We wrote about the Michigan Car Ferry System that primarily took cars across the Straits of Mackinac last week. While researching those ferries we discovered that there were ferries that transported railcars. We touched on it a little last week with the Chief WaWatam that would transport the railcars across the Straits.  Michigan State Car Ferries, also known as the “Michigan State Railways,” had a significant role in the transportation history of the Great Lakes region. Operating primarily during the early to mid-20th century, these ferries were responsible for transporting railroad cars across Lake Michigan between Michigan and Wisconsin. The… Read More »

Escanaba Michigan

Escanaba is a city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, located on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. It was founded in the 1840s as a fur trading post by Eli P. Royce and later developed into a logging town. The city’s name is derived from the Ojibwe word “iskanaba,” some say it means “flat rock”, others say it translates to “land of the red buck” Port Town An American settlement that began as a port town and was founded in 1863. Escanaba’s port played a vital role for the Union Army during the Civil War. Escanaba was a shipping… Read More »

Germfask, Michigan

Germfask Michigan

Germfask is a small unincorporated community in Schoolcraft County in the Upper Peninsula. The area is known for its natural beauty, particularly the nearby Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Germfask was founded in the late 19th century and was named after the eight original settlers of 1881. Using the first initial of each’s surname: John Grant, Matthew Edge, George Robinson, Thaddeus Mead, Dr. W. W. French, Ezekiel Ackley, Oscar (O.D.) Sheppard, and Hezekiah Knaggs. The community was a station for the Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad and is situated in the middle of a large tract of land known as the… Read More »

Don’t Forget The Fudge!

Michigan Fudged

Ever wonder how Fudge became a staple Up North? Atlantic City is known for Saltwater Taffy, Maine for Lobster and New Orleans for Beignets. Many tourist areas have their own specialty that you have to try when you visit and take some home for later. Northern Michigan is known for many things, the views, pasties, the dunes, wine, craft beer, and so much more. There is one common treat found in almost every town up north and that is fudge. You will find many local candy/fudge shops where you can watch the fudge being made, enjoy a sample, and buy… Read More »

Northern Michigan Gold Rush

Gold Panning Sign

Did you know that there was a gold rush in Northern Michigan in the late 19th century? Gold was left throughout the state waterways when the glaciers moved across the entire state during the last ice age. Small amounts of gold can be found in just about any creek or river in Michigan. According to the US Forest Service, gold has been found in over 100 places in Michigan. Gold has been found in the Manistee, Au Sable, Flat, Little Sable, Rapid, Yellow Dog and other rivers and on countless Great Lakes beaches. Rivers and lakes are not the only… Read More »

Central Upper Peninsula Hauntings

Central Upper Peninsula Hauntings

Join Northern Michigan History in our 5 part series as we explore the most haunted places in northern Michigan. This is our 4th installment in the series is finding ghosts in the Central Upper Peninsula. We didn’t have to go far, there are plenty of strange happenings in the Marquette area and beyond! Marquette Old City Orphanage – This Catholic orphanage was originally known as the Holy Cross Orphanage and was built in 1915. The orphanage has a long history of abuse, both physical and mental by the nuns that ran it. The orphanage last resident was in 1967 and… Read More »