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.

"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.  Hoefferle 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.