Michigan: Baraga County

Baraga County (pop. 8,860) is on the shore of Keweenaw Bay on Lake Superior.

It was named for Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797-1868), a Slovenian missionary who founded missions for the Native Americans in the area in the 1840s. He was known as “The Snowshoe Priest” because he traveled hundreds of miles in winter on snowshoes.

Bishop Baraga shrine on Highway 41

L’Anse (pop. 2,011) is the county seat of Baraga County. L’Anse (“the cove,” in French) is at the southern end of Keweenaw Bay.

L’Anse from across the bay

From the 1920s to the 1940s, the Ford Motor Company owned extensive forests in Baraga County – as well as sawmills and entire towns. Lumber was shipped via Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake St. Clair to the River Rouge factory in Dearborn.

Henry Ford had this summer home in Pequaming.

The L’Anse Indian Reservation, which occupies about a third of the county, is the oldest and largest Indian reservation in Michigan.

Mount Arvon (elev. 1,979 feet), in Baraga County, is the highest point in Michigan.

About 12 miles east of L’Anse

Mount Arvon is in the Huron Mountains, which extend from Baraga County into Marquette County.


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