Upper Michigan offers unique history and beauty

October 6, 2008

By Caroline Wigmore
Staff Writer

For this week’s feature location of “Places to go before you die,” I have selected Upper Michigan. This article also has an online feature at www.herald-journal.com

Upper Michigan, often called the UP, is all that a traveler could hope for when it comes to breath taking scenery. Lake Superior’s waves break against jagged cliffs under charming, old lighthouses, and the lake reaches to the horizon, just like an ocean.

My husband and I went to Calumet, MI on our honeymoon in August, thanks to some good friends who allowed us the use of their cabin (or their “camp,” as they call it up north) positioned right on the edge of Lake Superior.

When standing on the shore and looking out at the water, it seems silly to call such a gigantic body of water a mere lake.

It’s very satisfying to hold an almost perfectly round stone in your hand that has been rounded by the powerful tides.

Upper Michigan tends to be a chilly, snowy part of the country (exceeding the snowfall in Minnesota), but has summers that cater to campers, bonfires and lake swimming.

Calumet features unique, old buildings with deep, red stonework that is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere.

In the history books, Calumet will probably be remembered for a tragic incident involving a copper miner’s Christmas party when an unidentified man cried “Fire,” after which 73 men, women, and children were crushed to death as everyone attempted to escape the building, but were prevented by a door that didn’t open outward.

The local museum tells of this event that changed the course of history for the town and also is the reason why doors all across America are now required to open outward.

Calumet, along with other small towns in Michigan are quaint and inviting, offering good food, gift shops full of copper art, and scenic campgrounds.

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