Schoolcraft County (pop. 8,485), Michigan’s fourth-smallest county in population, is located at the northern end of Lake Michigan.
The county was named for Henry Schoolcraft (1793-1864), a geographer and geologist who explored the upper Mississippi River and served as Indian agent at Sault Ste. Marie.
Much of the western part of the county is in Hiawatha National Forest.
The county seat of Schoolcraft County is Manistique (pop. 3,097), located where the 71-mile-long Manistique River flows into Lake Michigan.
Manistique – which is one of several cities claiming to be the hometown of Paul Bunyan – has a Paul statue outside the Schoolcraft County Chamber of Commerce.
Manistique was once famous among civil engineers for the “Siphon Bridge” (1919); the bridge’s original roadway was actually below the level of the Manistique River.
The octagonal Manistique Pumping Station was built in 1922.
Germfask Township, northeast of Manistique, got its name from the surname initials of its eight founding settlers, whose last names were Grant, Edge, Robinson, Mead, French, Ackley, Sheppard, and Knaggs.
Palms Book State Park is best known for the “Kitch-iti-kipi,” Michigan’s largest natural freshwater spring. A self-operated observation ramp, running on a cable, allows visitors to look down into the clear water.
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