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”
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 point for lumber, copper, and iron ore. Until 2017 the town continued to be an important shipping port for iron ore to other Great Lakes ports, especially Chicago and Indiana.
Escanaba is located on Little Bay de Noc at the northern edge of Lake Michigan and as shipping increased there was a need for a lighthouse. There were sand shoals that reach out into the bay and a sandspit jus south of and adjacent to the harbor that ships needed to be warned of. The Sand Point Lighthouse was started in the fall of 1867 and completed in the spring of 1868. The United States Coast Guard used to house seamen assigned to Escanaba after it was deactivated in 1939. It has since been restored and is on the Nation Register of Historic Places.
The House of Ludington is a landmark hotel in downtown Escanaba. It was built in 1865 and named the Gaynor House Hotel. In 1871 it was renamed after lumberman Nelson Ludington. In 1883 it was rebuilt in Queen Anne Style as a brick structure became the New Ludington Hotel. It is believed that Al Capone may have used the tunnels below the basement during prohibition.
Escanaba is also home to a number of cultural and historical attractions, including the Delta County Historical Society Museum, William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, U.P. Steam Gas Engine Museum, and the historic Sand Point Lighthouse. The city is known for its annual U.P. State Fair, which has been held every summer since 1887.