The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to the only national park in the state, Isle Royale National Park. The park is a remote wilderness area consisting of a large island in Lake Superior and over 400 smaller islands, and is known for its scenic beauty, hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, including moose, wolves, and bald eagles.

Houghton County, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Ojibwa and the Huron. European settlement began in the early 19th century as a result of the fur trade, with Houghton County being officially established in 1845.

The discovery of copper in the mid-19th century changed the course of Houghton County's history. The region quickly became a hub for copper mining, attracting thousands of immigrants from around the world, particularly from Cornwall, England, and Finland. The mining industry boomed, and Houghton County became known as the "Copper Country." Copper mining continued to be the economic backbone of the county for the next century.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Houghton County experienced significant growth and development. The cities of Houghton and Hancock became bustling mining towns, with new infrastructure, schools, and cultural institutions. Michigan Technological University was established in Houghton in 1885 as a school to train mining engineers and further strengthen the mining industry.

However, the decline of the copper industry in the mid-20th century resulted in economic struggles for Houghton County. Many mines closed, leading to a loss of jobs and population decline. In recent decades, the county has shifted its focus to diversifying its economy, emphasizing tourism, education, and outdoor recreation. Additionally, the mining history of Houghton County has been preserved and celebrated, with a vibrant heritage tourism industry attracting visitors from far and wide.

Today, Houghton County continues to be a charming and picturesque region, with its rich history still evident in its architecture, museums, and cultural events. The county's resilient spirit can be seen in its efforts to adapt and thrive in the face of economic challenges, making it a unique and fascinating place to explore.

  • 1830 - Native American tribes, including the Ojibwa and Dakota, inhabit the area that would later become Houghton County.
  • 1843 - Douglass Houghton, a geologist, surveys the region and discovers rich copper deposits.
  • 1845 - The Pittsburgh and Boston Mining Company is the first to mine copper in the area, establishing a settlement called "Houghton" in honor of Douglass Houghton.
  • 1846 - The first post office is established in Houghton.
  • 1852 - Houghton County is officially established by the legislature of the Michigan Territory.
  • 1861-1865 - Houghton County experiences a copper boom during the American Civil War, as copper is in high demand for ammunition production.
  • 1875 - The Michigan College of Mines is founded in Houghton, later becoming Michigan Technological University.
  • 1901 - The Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, one of the largest copper mining companies in the world, reaches its peak production in Houghton County.
  • 1923 - The Quincy Mining Company suspends operations, signaling the decline of the local copper industry.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression further devastates the local economy, leading to the closure of many mines in Houghton County.
  • 1940s-1950s - After World War II, Houghton County experiences a brief resurgence in mining activity due to increased demand for copper.
  • 1960s-present - Houghton County transitions its economy towards education, healthcare, tourism, and small-scale mining.