The first known use of the word "Yooper" to refer to someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was in the 1970s. The term has since become a popular nickname for residents of the UP.

Wexford County, located in northern Michigan, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ottawa and Chippewa, who relied on the land for hunting and gathering. In the early 1800s, European settlers began to arrive, primarily of Irish descent, and established the county in 1840.

During the mid-1800s, Wexford County experienced a significant increase in population due to the logging industry. The vast forests provided ample resources, and logging camps were established, attracting workers from all over the country. The lumber industry played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape and economy of the county.

The construction of railroads in the late 1800s further accelerated the growth of Wexford County. This allowed for easier transportation of lumber, agricultural products, and other goods. The county's primary city, Cadillac, became a central hub for trade and commerce, attracting businesses and settlers to the area.

In the 20th century, Wexford County transitioned from a primarily lumber-based economy to a more diverse one. The decline of the logging industry led to a focus on agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Today, Wexford County is known for its natural scenic beauty, with lakes, rivers, and forests that provide opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. The county also celebrates its history with various heritage festivals and cultural events.

Overall, Wexford County's history is intertwined with the rise and fall of the logging industry, the development of transportation infrastructure, and the shift towards a more diversified economy. It has evolved from a wilderness inhabited by Native American tribes to a thriving community that combines its rich history with a focus on nature-related tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing.

  • 1839 - Wexford County is organized and officially recognized by the State of Michigan.
  • 1840 - The first settlement in Wexford County is established in what is now known as Hanover Township.
  • 1867 - The county seat is moved from Hanover to the newly established city of Cadillac.
  • 1872 - The Michigan Central Railroad arrives in Cadillac, enhancing transportation and promoting growth in the county.
  • 1881 - The logging industry booms in Wexford County, leading to rapid growth in the region.
  • 1883 - The Wexford County Courthouse, a prominent landmark in Cadillac, is completed.
  • 1899 - The famous Clam Lake Canal, connecting Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac, is opened for navigation.
  • 1907 - A disastrous fire sweeps through much of Cadillac, destroying a large portion of the city's central business district.
  • 1923 - The first state park in Michigan, Mitchell State Park, is established near the city of Cadillac.
  • 1944 - Wexford County experiences an economic boom with the discovery of oil and gas resources.
  • 1970 - The Wexford County Historical Society is founded to preserve and celebrate the county's heritage.