Michigan was the birthplace of the American automobile industry. In the early 20th century, automakers such as Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler established headquarters and factories in Michigan, leading to a boom in the state's economy and population. Detroit became known as the "Motor City" and a symbol of American industrial power.
Delta County, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Native American tribes, including the Ojibwa, Menominee, and Potawatomi peoples, who relied on the region's abundant natural resources for survival.

In the 17th century, French explorers arrived in the area and established fur trading posts along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. These early French settlers paved the way for future European colonization of the region, leading to the establishment of the fur trade as a key economic activity.

The area's first permanent settlement, known as Escanaba, was established in 1863. The town quickly grew as the timber and iron industries attracted an influx of settlers. The availability of timber and the construction of the railroads fueled the growth of the lumber industry, while the discovery of iron ore in the nearby areas led to the establishment of iron mines. Escanaba became a major shipping port, exporting timber and iron ore to the growing cities around the Great Lakes.

In the early 20th century, the construction of hydroelectric power plants along the rivers in Delta County brought about a new era of industrialization and economic prosperity. These power plants provided electricity for local industries, including paper mills and chemical plants, further fueling the area's growth. Today, Delta County continues to thrive as a hub for manufacturing, tourism, and outdoor recreational activities, offering visitors and residents an abundance of natural beauty and historical landmarks to explore.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Delta County, Michigan.

  • 1827: Delta County is created as a county in the Michigan Territory.
  • 1831: The first European settler, Joseph F. Wilson, arrives in the area.
  • 1843: The first permanent settlement, Escanaba, is established.
  • 1863: The Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad is completed, connecting Escanaba to neighboring towns.
  • 1869: The city of Escanaba is officially incorporated.
  • 1895: The Ford River is dammed, creating a hydroelectric power plant to support the growing industries.
  • 1915: The Delta County Historical Society is founded to preserve the history of the area.
  • 1959: The Upper Peninsula State Fair is held in Escanaba for the first time.
  • 1967: The Delta County Airport is opened, providing air transportation for the region.
  • 2005: The William Bonifas Fine Arts Center is established in Escanaba, promoting arts and cultural events.