35 Interesting Facts About Michigan
Michigan, a state in the upper Midwestern region of the country, is well-known for its forestry sector, world-class fishing, breathtaking landscape, and the spectacular Great Lakes. There are a lot of interesting facts about Michigan to understand before coming, and it is overlooked among the best U.S. tourist destinations in many aspects.
So many things define Michigan. It is first and primarily a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with just ten million inhabitants, many of whom reside in cities. With a total area of 97,000 square miles, of which 50% is forest, there are many locations to slink away into the wilderness and engage in a wide range of outdoor pursuits.
1. Michigan is a 26th State in the USA
The 26th state to join the Union, Michigan, received official admission in 1837. Yet there was drama along the way for Michigan as well on the road to statehood. The Upper Peninsula joined Michigan but Toledo remained in Ohio as a result of a conflict with Ohio known as the Toledo War, which also caused Michigan’s statehood to be delayed. The only state in the union with two peninsulas is Michigan today.
The state of Michigan is endowed with a bounty of untainted nature, including the nation’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes that resemble oceans, golden beaches, an abundance of fresh produce straight from the farm, magnificent sunrises and sunsets, and endless opportunities for living, working, and playing.
2. One of the longest suspension bridges in the world can be found in Michigan
Between the Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, a suspension bridge across the Straits of Mackinac, is located. The 26,372-foot (4.995 mi; 8.038 km) bridge, sometimes referred to as “Big Mac” and “Mighty Mac,” was built in 1957. It is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere between anchorages. Its main span is the 27th-longest main span in the world. In addition to being a section of the U.S. North Country National Scenic Route, the Mackinac Bridge spans the straits and connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to the Great Lakes Circle Tour. St. Ignace, which is located on the northern end, and Mackinaw City, which is located on the southern end, are connected by the bridge.
3. Michigan is divided into 83 counties
The majority of the states in the United States are divided similarly to how Michigan is, with the exception of the use of charter townships. The number of local governmental entities in Michigan is ranked 13th out of the 50 states.
The state is divided into 1,240 townships, 280 cities, and 253 villages in addition to 83 counties. In addition, there are 553 school districts in the state, 57 intermediate school districts, 14 planning and development areas, and more than 300 special districts and authorities.
4. It is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes
Eight states are bordered by the Great Lakes, but Michigan is the only one having borders on Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie. Two Canadian provinces border the Great Lakes as well, although only Lake Michigan is untouchable by Canada.
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5. The largest limestone quarry in the world is located in Michigan
The largest limestone quarry in the world, known variously as the “Calcite Quarry,” “Calcite Plant and Mill,” and “Carmeuse Lime and Stone,” was run by the Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company and is situated close to Rogers City in Presque Isle County, Michigan. Although it was created and organized in 1910, manufacturing did not start until 1912. The quarry has seen a number of ownership changes, but it is still one of the biggest producers of limestone in the country. Railroad and lake shipping were intricately tied to the quarry.
6. It has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams and rivers
Around 11,000 lakes and ponds as well as more than 36,000 kilometers of streams may be found throughout Michigan. These priceless water resources and the advantages they offer are safeguarded by a number of state regulations from degradation brought on by pollution, physical changes, and invasive aquatic species. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and affiliated agencies keep an eye on the state’s water resources to assess their quality, quantity, and quality as well as their impact on aquatic communities and state regulations.
7. Michigan is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States
8. The State has also been known as the “Wolverine State,”
One more of Michigan’s most intriguing facts is its other moniker. It is now referred to as the “Wolverine State” when not being named the “Mitten State.”
Due to two factors, the state has acquired such a moniker. Wolverines in the wild once numbered in the thousands in Michigan, but their numbers have since declined. The name’s authenticity was also increased by the fact that the state served as the hub of the northern American fur trade.
9. The state’s largest city, Detroit, which is also known as the “Hockeytown”
In the American state of Michigan, Detroit is the biggest city. Along with serving as Wayne County’s administrative center, it is also the biggest American city near the Canadian border. In the United States, the City of Detroit is the 27th most populated city with a population of 639,111 as of the 2020 Census. With 4.3 million residents, Metro Detroit ranks as the 14th-largest metropolitan region in the country and is the second-largest in the Midwest after Chicago. The area is regarded as a significant cultural hub. Detroit is well-known for its contributions to music, art, architecture, and design in addition to its historical involvement in the automobile industry. As one of the fifty best places to visit in the world in 2022, Time selected Detroit.
10. Michigan has more than 3,000 miles of coastline
The Great Lakes shape Michigan’s topography, its business, society, and environment. With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline. Our rocky shorelines and sand beaches are shaped by the waves. Fish and fauna can find habitat in the shallow bays and coastal marshes. Towering over the shoreline are sand dunes. Property owners and tourists love going to the shorelines for recreation, and the shoreline villages benefit from the local Great Lake’s support of their local economy.
11. It was One of the first states to abolish the death penalty
The death penalty was first abolished in Michigan in 1847. This choice was taken in part as a result of the numerous erroneous convictions that were occurring at the time.
The decision to abolish the death penalty in Michigan was debatable, and there were those who opposed it. Yet ultimately, Michigan was the first state in the US to outlaw this practice.
At least 20 states throughout the US have now abolished the death penalty as a result of this ruling, which paved the path for other states to do the same.
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12. Apple blossom is Michigan’s official state flower
The Michigan state flower is a necessary addition to any list of interesting facts about Michigan. Such honor has belonged to the apple bloom since 1897. The bloom is native to Michigan, and people enjoy its sweet scent. Representatives from Arkansas voted in favor of it, and 4 short years later, in 1901, they did the same.
13. Michigan’s state bird is the American robin
Finding more about the official bird of Michigan can pique your curiosity if you’re attracted by state emblems. This distinction belongs to the state’s native American robin. The robin was designated as the state bird in 1931. But other states have adopted this bird as their emblem as well, not just Michigan. Moreover, the American robin lives in Wisconsin and Connecticut.
14. It was a major iron ore producer
The state of Michigan has a wealth of natural resources, which is one of the most intriguing and entertaining facts about it. Yet iron ore, which is present throughout the state, might be among its most significant natural resources.
Since the 1800s, steel has been a necessary element in the building, and iron ore is a key ingredient in its production. Michigan became one of the largest producers of iron ore after resources there were discovered.
15. Its a home to more than 115 Lighthouses
The world’s lighthouse capital, Michigan, is well-known for its lighthouses. In this state, there are more than 115 lighthouses, many of which are found along the Great Lakes. The nautical history of Michigan has long valued these lights’ significance.
The public can now visit many of these lighthouses. The Great Lakes can be seen in magnificence from these well-liked tourist locations.
16. The First Outdoor Pedestrian Shopping Mall in Michigan
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the country’s first outdoor mall for pedestrian shopping was constructed. Victor Gruen, a local planner, had the concept for the mall. He thought that traditional malls would fail and that pedestrian-friendly locations would succeed.
Many stores and eateries were available at the 1974 opening of the Grand Rapids Pedestrian Mall. Both locals and visitors frequented the area. The mall was eventually dismantled as it started to deteriorate in the late 1990s.
Despite being extinct, the Grand Rapids Pedestrian Mall had a significant role in the development of the city. And today’s construction of numerous pedestrian-friendly areas throughout cities across the nation still bears witness to its legacy.
17. More than 450 distinct bird species can be found in Michigan
The birds of Michigan are among the most exquisite and fascinating outdoor observers. More than 450 bird species can be found throughout Michigan’s various birding trails, state parks, and recreation areas, state wildlife and game areas, national wildlife refuges, Great Lakes coastline, and more, making it a popular pastime for both locals and tourists.
18. “Snurfing” is a sport that originated in Michigan
The original snowboard was created in 1965 by Muskegon, Michigan-based engineer Sherman Poppen, who is known as the “father of the snowboard.” This invention paved the path for the current board. Poppen’s wife cleverly combined the two phrases that aptly represented the device’s function: surfing on snow, giving the device the catchy name “Snurfer.” Poppen’s first prototype consisted of two snow skis that were fastened together; later, he added a steering rope to the front.
19. The shortest freeway is under two miles long in Michigan
When traveling through Detroit, be on the lookout for signage pointing to I-375. The second-shortest freeway in the nation, it is also the shortest in the state.
Interstate 375 is 1.1 miles long and has been accessible to automobiles since 1964. The major goal of the street is to link Jefferson Avenue in the city with the main section of the motorway.
20. It was the center of the car industry
Motor City is a nickname for Detroit that you may have heard. That’s because it formerly served as the hub of the American auto industry.
Due to Michigan’s abundance of copper and iron ore, automakers had simple access to the supplies they required to produce dependable vehicles. They were able to save transportation expenses and contribute to the economic growth of Detroit by building them locally.
21. The state is the only one in the union to be made up of two peninsulas
The United States’ Upper Midwest is home to the two-peninsula state of Michigan. The northern region of Michigan is known as “the U.P.” by residents. The Upper Peninsula, which is flanked by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron, is the only state that shares a boundary with it.
22. Michigan is the birth place of the Kellogg’s cereal company
The leading American manufacturer of ready-to-eat cereals and other food goods is known by its full name, Kellogg Company. One of the first and still one of the most well-liked breakfast cereals in the US is Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The corporate office is in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The Sanitas Food Company was established in 1900 by the brothers W.K. Kellogg and Dr. John H. Kellogg after they had jointly discovered a technology for making crispy, flavorful flakes of processed grain that were a hit with the patients at Dr. Kellogg’s Battle Creek Sanitarium. In the end, W.K. Kellogg acquired his brother’s share, and in 1906 he founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.
23.The World’s largest freshwater sand dunes has been located in Michigan
Since Sleeping Bear Dunes is the world’s largest freshwater dune system, it was designated as a national lakeshore. But the formation of these landforms took time. Michigan was formerly covered in enormous glacial sheets millions of years ago. These ice chunks tore through the ground, piling up pebbles and other materials around the sides. The dunes were created when the glaciers melted and left behind this material. These formations have accumulated sand throughout time, heightening them as a result.
24. Its a home to more than 100 States parks and recreational areas
The record-breaking freshwater coastline of the Wolverine State of Michigan is just as well-known as the Motor City’s colorful past. For the benefit of explorers, state parks have been established on much of its natural beauty. Even though Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks, the state’s National Lakeshores, see a lot of visitors, Michigan as a whole has more than 100 state parks.
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25. The World’s largest cherry pie was made in Michigan in 1987
The Michigan city of Traverse City often refers to itself as “The Cherry Capital of the World.” On July 25, 1987, Chef Pierre Bakeries marked the occasion with a cherry pie that measured 17 feet, 6 inches in diameter and weighed 28,350 pounds. The pie was long since gone, but the pie tin still remains by Cass Road in Traverse City.
The pie dish used to make the record-breaking pie measured 18 feet broad and 26 inches deep. It was constructed by the Traverse City-based Jacklin Steel Supply Company. The pie’s assembly, cooking, and serving were assisted by hundreds of volunteers from the bakery.
As the big pie-making day arrived, volunteers lined up to help 510 buckets of cherry pie filling be delivered to the ready tin. Finally, a top crust was added to the pie. After it was finished, a tube sucked the filling from the pan’s bottom and squirted it into little cups. The pie fed an estimated 35,000 spectators, and the top of each serving was topped with pastry crumbs.
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26. It is the 3rd largest producer of apples in the United States
Michigan has been the third-largest apple producer in the country. In Michigan, there are 775 family-run farms with more than 14.9 million apple trees across 34,500 acres. Farmers take great satisfaction in their long history of developing a wide variety of high-quality apple varieties.
27. Michigan is home to several famous musicians
You might not even be aware that some of the greatest singers in music history are from Michigan. Although you may be surprised to find that some other well-known musicians were born in this state, you probably already know that Madonna, Eminem, Bob Seger, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, and many more Motown greats are from here. From musicians that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to industry veterans and up-and-comers.
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28. The Michigan State Capitol building has unique architecture with a cast-iron dome with a 267 feet tall
The legislative arm of the Michigan state government is housed in the Michigan State Capitol. Due to the necessity to develop the state’s western region and for better security against British forces stationed in Windsor, Ontario, the first state capitol, which was originally in Detroit, was moved to Lansing in 1847.
The height of the Michigan State Capitol is 267 feet (81 meters) from the ground to the top of the dome’s finial/spire. Its structure is 273 ft 11 in wide and 420 ft 2 in long (128.07 m) (including approaches). The capital is located on 1.16 acres (4,700 m2) and has a 1,520-foot circumference (460 m). And the four-story building has public entrances on the ground floor. The top floor is accessed by two grand staircases located in the north and south corridors. Its rotunda is 160 feet (49 m) tall and 44.5 feet (13.6 m) in circumference when measured from the floor to the oculus.
29. Twelve Native American tribes exist in Michigan
There are a total of 12 officially recognized native American tribes in Michigan, and these tribes are given special treatment under federal law and treaties. Federally recognized tribes are more than just associations of non-Native Americans. Instead, they are sovereign governments with direct power over their residents, their territory, and in some cases, other citizens as well. Tribal governments offer a wide range of governmental services to their citizens, including lawmaking, tribal police and court systems, health and education services, and many more.
30. Michigan houses the Biggest Weathervane in the World
The “World’s Biggest Functioning Weathervane,” was partially built by the nearby business Whitehall Metal Studios. It was transported from its original location on a man-made peninsula that protruded into the lake at the Northeast end of White Lake to the intersection of Dowling and Water Streets in Montague. A 26-foot-long arrow is on the weathervane’s 48-foot-tall body. On top of it sits the Ella Ellenwood, a lumbering Schooner that frequently plied White Lake carrying logs from Montague to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
31. The famous chewing gum wall has been located in Michigan
It is situated in Ann Arbor. The wall sits in an alleyway off of East Liberty Street and is coated in tens of thousands of pieces of vibrant chewing gum. Gum on the wall custom started around 1990. visitors from all over the world have continued to add their bits of gum to the wall ever since.
Both tourists and locals like visiting the wall. It has appeared in numerous media channels and travel publications.
32. Michigan was the home state of the first woman to obtain a pilot’s license in the country
One of the most well-known female aviators has been still Harriet Quimby. In addition to being the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel, Quimby was the first American woman to receive a pilot’s license.
Quimby was born in Michigan, although she and her family later relocated to California. She began working as a writer for Leslie’s Weekly in New York City in 1903 after working as a writer for the Dramatic Review in San Francisco in 1902. When she saw John Moisant perform an aerial act at the 1910 Belmont Park Aviation Meet, she was so moved that she asked him to teach her how to fly.
33. For both tourists and locals, Michigan has been a haven for ice skating
There are several winter activities that encourage us to be active during the chilly months, but ice skating is one of them that you can engage in all year long in some rinks in Southwest Michigan. There are several locations in Southwest Michigan where you can find a fresh sheet of ice, whether you need to take a few slow, deliberate steps or would rather accelerate quickly. indoors and outdoors
34. Michigan has been home to the first three tunnels in the world that connect two different countries
The St. Clair Tunnel was the first underground passageway to ever link two nations. Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway used this tunnel when it was first built in 1891. Also, it was the first underwater tunnel in North America. In 1994, the second tunnel at the St. Clair Tunnel opened after the first tunnel, often known as the original tunnel, was closed.
The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel opened in 1910 after a little over four years of construction, making it the second tunnel in the world to link two nations. This tunnel, which runs beneath the Detroit River, was constructed by the Canada Southern Railway.
The Detroit Windsor Tunnel served as the second of three tunnels constructed to link the two nations. The 1930 opening of this tunnel followed a two-year construction period. The U.S.-Canada border crossing here is the second busiest in terms of volume. Almost 45 feet below the Detroit River’s surface, the Detroit Windsor Tunnel is located.
35. The White Pine is Michigan’s official tree
As the official tree of Michigan, the stunning, towering eastern white pine is a suitable choice. In 1955, Public Act 7 designated the white pine as Michigan’s official tree in honor of the tree’s historical significance. At one point, Michigan was the biggest timber producer in the nation due to its vast forests of this natural tree.
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Well, the state of Michigan has a long history, a diversified population, and a number of distinctive features that make it an intriguing and enticing travel destination for both tourists and locals. From its well-known towns like Detroit and Ann Arbor to its natural beauties like the Great Lakes and Mackinac Island.
For those who want to experience everything the state has to offer, Michigan offers a wide variety of experiences and adventures. Michigan truly has something to interest everyone with its wealth of fascinating features and facts. Whether you enjoy history, nature, food, or adventure. Michigan has a way of capturing your attention and leaving you with lifelong memories.