Michigan: Marquette County

Marquette County (pop. 67,077) is the most populous county on the Upper Peninsula and the largest county (in land area) in Michigan.

The only other Marquette County is in Wisconsin.

It was named for Father Jacques Marquette, the French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan’s first European settlement (at Sault Ste. Marie) and explored the northern part of the Mississippi River with Louis Jolliet.

Pere Marquette (1637-1675)

Iron ore in the county’s Marquette Iron Range has been mined since 1847. The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum is in Ishpeming (pop. 6,470).

Cliffs Shaft Headframe (1919)

Ishpeming, known as the birthplace of organized skiing in the U.S., is the home of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum. The Suicide Hill Ski Jump is in the nearby city of Nagaunee (pop. 4,568).

In existence since 1925

Parts of the movie “Catfish” (2010) took place in Ishpeming.

Da Yoopers Tourist Trap is a popular attraction in Ishpeming. (The “Yoop” in Yoopers comes from U.P., or Upper Peninsula.)

Ishpeming is also well-known for its statue of “Old Ish.”

Erected in 1884

The county seat of Marquette County is the city of Marquette (pop. 21,355), largest city in the Upper Peninsula. Marquette has long been a major port (mostly for iron ore) on Lake Superior.

Presque Isle Park, Marquette

The Marquette County Courthouse was built in 1904.

Built of local sandstone over a steel frame

Much of the 1959 movie “Anatomy of a Murder” was filmed in the courthouse and in other locations around Marquette.

James Stewart in the Marquette courthouse

Marquette is the home of Northern Michigan University, which has about 9,000 students. The Superior Dome (“The World’s Largest Wooden Dome”) is located there.

Home of the NMU football team

St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette was built in 1890 and rebuilt after a fire in 1935.

Mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette

About 15 miles east of Marquette is Lakenenland, a free outdoor sculpture park.

Created by Tom Lakenen

The unincorporated community of Gwinn was designed as a “Model Town” by the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. Today, Gwinn High School’s sports teams are still known as the Modeltowners.

In Ishpeming, the teams are called the Hematites.

NEXT: DICKINSON COUNTY

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One comment on “Michigan: Marquette County

  1. John Dodds says:

    That might be the coolest sports team name!

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