Upper Peninsula literature has traditionally been suppressed or minimized in Michigan anthologies and Michigan literature as a whole. Even the Upper Peninsula itself has been omitted from maps, creating a people and a place that have become in many ways “ungeographic.” These people and this place are strongly made up of traditionally marginalized groups such as the working class, the rural poor, and Native Americans, which adds even more insult to the exclusion and forced oppressive silence. And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917–2017, gives voice to Upper Peninsula writers, ensuring that they are included in Michigan’s rich literary history. Ambitiously, And Here includes great U.P. writing from every decade spanning from the 1910s to the 2010s, starting with Lew R. Sarett’s (a.k.a. Lone Caribou) “The Blue Duck: A Chippewa Medicine Dance” and ending with Margaret Noodin’s “Babejianjisemigad” and Sally Brunk’s “KBIC.” Taken as a whole, the anthology forcefully insists on the geographic and literary inclusion of the U.P.—on both the map and the page.
The first and most prolific professional architect to reside permanently in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, D. Fred Charlton used the local Lake Superior sandstone to craft the distinctive style found in buildings throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Born in England and trained there as a civil engineer, Charlton came to Detroit in the late 1870s, seeking work as a draftsman. Much like his peers of the time, he had no formal training as an architect and learned his trade by working at several prominent firms. The last, Scott & Company, sent him to Marquette in 1887 to open a branch office. Three years later, Charlton opened his own firm, and over the next twenty-eight years, he designed more than four hundred buildings, including residences, commercial structures, schools, courthouses, and churches throughout the region, which offer an invaluable insight into the tastes of Americans before the World War I and provide a unique vantage point for studying the evolution of the architectural profession. Deftly adapting national trends, he provided the communities of the Upper Peninsula with modern structures worthy of any place in the nation. Many of his buildings remain to this day, monuments to the skill of this English-born architect who made a place for himself upon the shores of Lake Superior. Anyone interested in architecture and in the history of the upper Midwest will find this read both fascinating and informative.
Remote and rugged, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (fondly known as “the U.P.”) has been home to a rich variety of indigenous peoples and Old World immigrants—a heritage deeply embedded in today’s “Yooper” culture. Ojibwes, French Canadians, Finns, Cornish, Poles, Italians, Slovenians, and others have all lived here, attracted to the area by its timber, mineral ore, and fishing grounds. Mixing local happenings with supernatural tales and creatively adapting traditional stories to suit changing audiences, the diverse inhabitants of the U.P. have created a wealth of lore populated with tricksters, outlaws, cunning trappers and poachers, eccentric bosses of the mines and lumber camps, “bloodstoppers” gifted with the lifesaving power to stop the flow of blood, “bearwalkers” able to assume the shape of bears, and more.
For folklorist Richard M. Dorson, who ventured into the region in the late 1940s, the U.P. was a living laboratory, a storyteller’s paradise. Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers, based on his extensive fieldwork in the area, is his richest and most enduring work. This new edition, with a critical introduction and an appendix of additional tales selected by James P. Leary, restores and expands Dorson’s classic contribution to American folklore. Engaging and well informed, the book presents and ponders the folk narratives of the region’s loggers, miners, lake sailors, trappers, and townsfolk. Unfolding the variously peculiar and raucous tales of the U.P., Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers reveals a vital component of Upper Midwest culture and a fascinating cross-section of American society.
How does place impact prose? Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula explores that very question, drawing on the work of Upper Peninsula authors past and present to create a vibrant kaleidoscope of voices and experiences. Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-aquay, Janet Loxley Lewis, Lorine Niedecker, Catie Rosemurgy, and thirty-one other authors important to the region appear in this exceptional and diverse volume. In poetry (“Spring” by Beverly Matherne, “For Those Who Dream of Cranes” by Elinor Benedict, and “Skin on Skin” by Sally Brunk), short fiction (“North Country” by Roxane Gay, “For the Healing of All Women” by April Lindala, and “Winter Mines” by Sharon Dilworth), and novel excerpts (from Once on This Island by Gloria Whelan, South of Superior by Ellen Airgood, and Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Watson Rankin), the unique character of the U.P. materializes on the page. The book also shines a spotlight on powerful emerging voices such as Lisa Fay Coutley, Charmi Keranen, and Saara Myrene Raappana. The first of its kind, this is an anthology for all seasons, an homage to the rich literary heritage of the region.
Isle Royale and the counties that line the northwest coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are called Copper Country because of the rich deposits of native copper there. In the nineteenth century, explorers and miners discovered evidence of prehistoric copper mining in this region. They used those “ancient diggings” as a guide to establishing their own, much larger mines, and in the process, destroyed the archaeological record left by the prehistoric miners. Using mining reports, newspaper accounts, personal letters, and other sources, this book reconstructs what these nineteenth-century discoverers found, how they interpreted the material remains of prehistoric activity, and what they did with the stone, wood, and copper tools they found at the prehistoric sites.
“This volume represents an exhaustive compilation of the early written and published accounts of mines and mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It will prove a valuable resource to current and future scholars. Through these early historic accounts of prospectors and miners, Halsey provides a vivid picture of what once could be seen.”
—John M. O’Shea, curator of Great Lakes Archaeology, University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan—known as “the U P”—is historically, geographically, and culturally distinct. Struggles over land, labor, and language during the last 150 years have shaped the variety of English spoken by resident Yoopers, as well as how they are viewed by outsiders—and themselves. Drawing on sixteen years of fieldwork, including interviews with seventy-five lifelong residents of the UP, Kathryn Remlinger examines how the idea of a unique Yooper dialect emerged. Considering UP English in relation to other regional dialects and their speakers, she looks at local identity, literacy practices, media representations, language attitudes, notions of authenticity, economic factors, tourism, and contact with non-English immigrant and Native American languages. The book also explores how a dialect becomes a recognizable and valuable commodity: Yooper talk (or “Yoopanese”) is emblazoned on t-shirts, flags, postcards, coffee mugs, and bumper stickers.