Marquette County (pop. 67,077) is the most populous county on the Upper Peninsula and the largest county (in land area) in Michigan.
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.
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).
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).
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.”
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.
The Marquette County Courthouse was built in 1904.
Much of the 1959 movie “Anatomy of a Murder” was filmed in the courthouse and in other locations around Marquette.
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.
St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette was built in 1890 and rebuilt after a fire in 1935.
About 15 miles east of Marquette is Lakenenland, a free outdoor sculpture park.
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.
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