Upper Peninsula celebrates 186 years

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 4:40 PM EST
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - On this day, 186 years ago, the Michigan Territory and the state of Ohio reached an agreement to settle a dispute over the Toledo Strip.

A stone’s throw north beyond the world’s fifth longest suspension bridge lies Michigan’s second most prominent landmass. Dubbed the ‘Yoop’ or just simply the ‘U.P.’ by Michiganders, the Upper Peninsula provides a haven for those seeking to slow down, enjoy nature and reap the benefits of small, rural communities.

Sacred to the locals and alluring to remote working newcomers, the U.P. offers a little something for everyone. Well, to those who know about it.

Snubbed in prime-time television ads and geographically misplaced in the minds of many, the U.P. seems to be nonexistent to much of the U.S. population. Most longtime residents hope to keep it that way.

So how did the Upper Peninsula become part of Michigan? Wisconsin is the only land it’s connected to after all.

During the 1800s, a dispute arose between the Michigan Territory and the state of Ohio. The territory held ownership over the eastern section of the Upper Peninsula as well as the entire state of Wisconsin and other parts of the Midwest. Despite their expansive land portfolio, the Michigan Territory claimed they additionally controlled a 468 square mile region known as the Toledo Strip. Ohio disagreed.

Plagued with economic difficulties, the Michigan Territory eventually agreed to a compromise suggested by President Andrew Jackson. Delegates voted to accept the compromise at the Frostbitten Convention on Dec. 14, 1836. One month later, the Michigan Territory was accepted into the Union as an official state. A state consisting of the land that we now know as the Upper Peninsula.

Thanks Ohio, we owe you one.