Delta County (pop. 37,069) is east of Menominee County on the north shore of Lake Michigan, mostly along the Big Bay de Noc and Little Bay de Noc.
The county was named for the Greek letter “delta.” The Bays de Noc were named for the Noquet (or Noc) Indians, who once lived in the area.
Delta County’s many historic lighthouses include the Poverty Island Light Station, which was in operation from 1875 to 1976. In 2011, Lighthouse Digest called it “America’s Most Endangered Lighthouse.”
A few miles west of Poverty Island, on St. Martin Island, is the St. Martin Island Light, built in 1905.
The county seat of Delta County is Escanaba (pop. 12,616), which has been an important port town (for copper, lumber, and iron ore) since the mid-19th century.
The 52-mile-long Escanaba River flows into the Little Bay de Noc, just north of the city.
The Historic House of Luddington, built in the 1880s, still operates as a hotel and restaurant.
The five-story Delta Hotel in downtown Escanaba (1914) now has apartments.
The city of Gladstone, nine miles north of Escanaba, is well-known for the factory tours at the Hoegh Pet Casket Company.
In Nahma Township is the 100-foot Bay de Noquet Lumber Company Waste Burner (approx. 1893), now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fayette Historic State Park, on the Big Bay de Noc, has reconstructed an industrial community that manufactured charcoal pig iron in the late 19th century.
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