Michigan's Upper Peninsula is rough, rugged, and absolutely beautiful, but why does it share a bridge with the rest of the state and about 200 miles worth of border with Wisconsin?

It doesn't make sense.

It has always been an exception to a rule, kind of like the I before E except after C. States are all contiguous, except Michigan.

The Mitten and that other part a little bit north.

So why isn't the Upper Peninsula part of Wisconsin? It all comes down to some 19th century politics.

First we have to go back to 1787 when the Northwest Ordinance was put into place. The Northwest Ordinance was created to identify where the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Michigan would be bounded when they eventually were admitted into the Union.


Unfortunately, boundary lines weren't precisely drawn and when put into practice, the boundry between Ohio and Michigan was eventually disputed. The area of discontent was called the Toledo Strip, a 500-square-mile strip of land that both states claimed were part of their state.

Then the election of 1832 happened. Andrew Jackson was the sitting President and needed the votes of Ohio to secure the reelection, AKA, Jackson needed Ohio to be happy. So Jackson proposed that the state of Ohio would receive the "Toledo strip" and Michigan would in turn be awarded, what is now the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan did not have much barganing power because they were still just a territory and not a state so they didn't have too much say in what was going to happen.

Ohio was awarded the Toledo strip, Michigan got the Upper Peninsula, and Andrew Jackson won the 1832 election.

Wisconsin wasn't even a territory yet, so when they did eventually achieve statehood, the Upper Peninsula was already claimed by Michigan.

If Michigan had just been a state and not a territory in 1832, the map of the Great Lakes might look quite different from today, but that's something we'll ever know.

I'd be remiss if I didn't include my favorite cultural addition from the Upper Peninsula, The Yoopers, at some point in this blog.

Here's their most famous song "The Second Year Of Deer Camp" which will always hold a special spot in my heart.

Also, don't forget the song "Rusty Chervolet" which I'm pretty sure was the inspiration for Adam Sandler's "Piece Of **** Car." A great song.

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