Welcome to Upper Country, a journal of the Lake Superior region. This site has been developed to support and promote the journal, Upper Country, published by the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies at Northern Michigan University. Here are some links to the work of the Center:

The Upper Country Journal can be found here in several PDF files in the posts by Ted Bays.

Upper Country, Vol. 1, 2013, entire

by Ted Bays Wed, March 19 2014 06:52

The entire journal, Upper Country, from front cover to back cover.

UCfinal.pdf (3.63 mb)


CONTENTS of Upper Country

by Ted Bays Wed, March 12 2014 07:07


back cover

by Ted Bays Tue, March 11 2014 10:06

Excerpts from articles; NASA Landsat photo of the Lake Superior Region with labels showing the sites of events documented in the articles.

backcover2.pdf (304.32 kb)


Big Finn Hall, Thunder Bay, Ontario

by Ted Bays Fri, March 07 2014 15:53

The Big Finn Hall in Thunder Bay recently received National Historic Site status.  The photos here, from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and from Parks Canada in Ottawa, include captions detailing two tendencies--Temperance and Socialist--of one of the Upper Country's most industrious ethnic groups.  Church Finn or Red Finn, their vigor pioneered the mines, the lumbercamps, the farms, the churches and the collectives.


"The Upper Country in the War of 1812: A Chronology," compiled by Russell Magnaghi and Ted Bays

by Ted Bays Wed, March 05 2014 08:03

Several episodes of armed conflict in the War of 1812 took place across the Upper Country, especially at Mackinac Island and Sault Ste. Marie.  This chronology lists all of them, and includes events leading to the U. S. declaration of war.  It also lists details of the treaty that ended the war and set the new U.S.-Canada boundary--the longest peaceful international boundary in the world. 

Chron.pdf (451.86 kb)


"Place Mats: Calumet, MI, and the State Capital Myth," by Emily Schmitz

by Ted Bays Tue, March 04 2014 09:31

Some residents of Michigan's Copper Country, with restaurant place mats as their documentation, believe far-off Calumet vied with downstate towns for a new state capital site in 1847.  One problem:  Calumet didn't exist in 1847.  Emily Schmitz debunks the notion and explains the tenacity of pride in the form of myth in boom and bust towns. 



Schmitz,edited[1].pdf (382.02 kb)


"Making Something Out of Nothing," by Mary Hoefferle

by Ted Bays Mon, March 03 2014 11:20

Mary Hoefferle's uncle Carl Domitrovich had an unusual hobby:  He built shacks.  Five of them.  Well-built from scavenged material, they served as get-away sites for family and friends.  Hoefferly traces their construction and places them in the north country tradition of shacks, cabins and camps.  With photos.

Hoefferle[1].pdf (943.24 kb)



by Ted Bays Fri, February 28 2014 07:48

In his "Introduction to Upper Country: A Journal of the Lake Superior Region," editor Ted Bays traces the emergence of the notion, and the name, of the Upper Country through the early missionaries' and explorers' writings.

Introduction.pdf (60.08 kb)



by Ted Bays Thu, February 27 2014 07:30

Dr. Russell Magnaghi, Director of the Center for U. P. Studies at Northern Michigan University, explains the sources of Upper Country: A Journal of the Lake Superior Region.  As with historians of the southwest U. S. borderlands, Dr. Magnaghi sees the northern borderlands as a unified region with a common early history, a history unnecessarily--even detrimentally--cut in half by an international boundary.

Foreward.pdf (31.73 kb)


LS&I Ore Dock Centennial

by Ted Bays Fri, December 07 2012 04:27

This 1950s photo from Superior View Studio in Marquette shows the LS&I Upper Harbor ore dock.


The Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad ore dock in the Upper Harbor near Presque Isle in Marquette, MI, celebrated its centennial this year. Observances included a visit from the brig Niagara from Erie, PA - dwarfed by the dock in the color photo, previous post. The 1950's black and white photo above shows the ore dock, railroad sheds, yards and roundhouse; the 75-ft. high trestle over Lake Shore Drive; the 2816-ft. breakwater and light completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1939; and Presque Isle. Also visible are the remains of the much shorter 1896 wooden ore dock.

Begun in 1911, construction of the ore dock ended in 1912 at a cost of $1,250,000; the first load of iron ore went out August 5, 1912.