August 8, 2021

Yooper Secret's goal is to be an entertaining resource for people wanting to visit the Upper Peninsula and for people who live here now or have lived here in the past. 

Grand Portal Point at SunsetGrand Portal Point, Lake Superior Sunset

It is a lot of fun to share memories of the way it used to be, and this site can handle visitor comments.  We look forward to sharing your knowledge, memories, and secret places.

A large part of the Upper Peninsula's charm is its people. As recently as a century ago, 75% of the people in the U.P. were foreign born. 

This has resulted in a unique melting pot of Americans with strong traditions and memories of the old country passed down through the generations.

In 1920 the population of the Upper Peninsula was 322,566.

In 2020 the population of the Upper Peninsula was 311,611.

This astounding demographic fact alone makes the Upper Peninsula a unique place.  Most places in the world are getting crowded.  There is still "elbow room" in the U.P. and Yoopers want it to stay that way.


Michigan became a state in 1837.  Before then it was known as part of the Northwest Territory and then the Michigan Territory. 

It's the only state with two peninsulas and the Upper Peninsula bounced around among several territories, including Wisconsin and Ohio, until it was finally granted to the new state of Michigan.  

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote about the Upper Peninsula in his 1855 epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha."  The poem relates the fictional adventures of Native Americans along Lake Superior.  It begins:

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward,
O'er the water pointing westward,
To the purple clouds of sunset.

The Upper Peninsula shares about 200 miles of its border with Wisconsin. 

Many Yoopers identify more with the Badger state than they do with the Michigan mitten they are connected to only by the Mackinac Bridge.


Natives of the Upper Peninsula have a strong regional identity.  This is one reason the name "Yooper" caught on so quickly.  This strong feeling of belonging to a place has resulted in several proposals over the years to make it a separate state.

The idea was to create a 51st State of Superior.  It never caught on because the U.P. has very little political clout in the bigger lower peninsula of Michigan where the laws are made.

Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine MountainsLake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains

Do You Know Something About The Upper Peninsula?

Do you have a great story about any place, town, or person relevant to Michigan's Upper Peninsula? Share it with us. We'd love to share your memories and pass them on to our other website visitors.

What Other Visitors Have Said About the U.P.

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Away To Grand Marais by Pat Miller Not rated yet
A short but memorable trip to the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula began with a memory lane ride through my birthplace and formative years of Menominee, Michigan …

Kingsford Charcoal Briquets Invented in the Upper Peninsula Not rated yet
The sawmill at the Ford factory in Kingsford created a mountain of sawdust. From a Wikipedia article: "A University of Oregon chemist, Orin Stafford, …

Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Was From Ishpeming Not rated yet
Glenn T. Seaborg was born in Ishpeming in 1912. His mother and father spoke only Swedish in the home. He moved to California for his scientific education …

Upper Peninsula Athletic Hall of Fame Not rated yet
A neat place to visit is this hall in Iron Mountain at Pine Mountain Timber Stone Ski and Golf Resort. A sports hall of fame to honor men and women from …

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