1. World Map/
  2. North America/
  3. USA /
  4. Michigan


Michigan Description

Michigan History

During the last Ice Age, North America was sculpted by massive glaciers resulting in craters formed by retreating (melting) ice. During that process the Great Lakes were born and the state of Michigan took shape.

Europeans began exploring the area in the 1600's. The first white explorer to the area was Frenchman Etienne Brule in 1620 under orders of Samuel de Champlain.

marquette In 1668, French missionary Jacques Marquette established the first permanent settlement in Sault Ste. Marie.

The French continued to build trading posts; forts and villages throughout Michigan, including Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit, now present day Detroit.

Territorial disputes between the British and French contributed to the start of the French and Indian War. With the Treaty of 1763, France ceded all of (future) Michigan to the British. The British included Michigan as part of Quebec in 1774.

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War in 1783, included the British ceding Michigan to the United States. Michigan first became part of the Northwest Territory , then the Michigan Territory until its admission to the Union as the 26th state on January 26, 1837.

The growth of Michigan after its statehood was rapid, as immigrants from Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands arrived to assist with the construction of railroads, roads and canals plus the expansion of the lumbering industry.

Following the invention of the automobile, the automotive industry in Michigan exploded with the establishment of the Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler mass-production plants.

Race riots in 1967 shook the city of Detroit. As a result, 43 people were killed, hundreds injured and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed causing over $200 million in damages.

Michigan Economy

mackinac bridge Bordered by four of the five fresh water Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into two peninsulas, Upper and Lower, which are joined together by the Mackinac (Big Mac) suspension bridge, spanning the Straits of Mackinac. Michigan's dependence on the auto industry has caused the state to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

In the recession of the 1980's, factories were closed when car sales slumped. In the 1990's, recession and foreign competition resulted in the layoffs of thousands of Michigan workers.

Although the recession of the 21st century has caused additional job losses, Michigan has diversified its economic base and is home to other major industries including cereal products, pizza, information technology, aerospace and mining.

Michigan is currently the third largest grower of Christmas trees in the U.S. It ranks fourth in the nation in high tech employment.

Michigan Tourism

univ. of michigan Michigan ranks high in tourism with vacationers, hunters and fishermen drawn to its forests, lakes, thousands of miles of beaches, golf courses and snow activities. Detroit, the largest city, offers museums, arts, sports and gambling.

The Upper Peninsula is a beautiful, rugged, sparsely populated place, where severe winters are commonplace. Small towns, large cities and fertile farmland in all directions dot the Lower Peninsula, home to most of the people.

The shorelines of Michigan are covered by over 115 lighthouses - their mission is to warn mariners of possible danger. They are also reminders of the state's vital relationship with the Great Lakes.

Michigan Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Harrisville Alcona 989
Munising Alger 906
Allegan Allegan 269
Alpena Alpena 989
Mancelona Antrim 231
Standish Arenac 989
Lanse Baraga 906
Hastings Barry 269
Bay City Bay 989
Beulah Benzie 231
Niles Berrien 269
Coldwater Branch 517
Battle Creek Calhoun 269
Dowagiac Cass 269
Charlevoix Charlevoix 231
Cheboygan Cheboygan 231
Sault Sainte Marie Chippewa 906
Harrison Clare 989
Saint Johns Clinton 989
Grayling Crawford 989
Escanaba Delta 906
Iron Mountain Dickinson 906
Lansing Eaton 517
Petoskey Emmet 231
Flint Genesee 810
Gladwin Gladwin 989
Ironwood Gogebic 906
Traverse City Grand Traverse 231
Alma Gratiot 989
Hillsdale Hillsdale 517
Houghton Houghton 906
Bad Axe Huron 989
Lansing Ingham 517
Ionia Ionia 616
Oscoda Iosco 989
Iron River Iron 906
Mount Pleasant Isabella 989
Jackson Jackson 517
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo 269
Kalkaska Kalkaska 231
Grand Rapids Kent 616
Mohawk Keweenaw 906
Baldwin Lake 231
Lapeer Lapeer 810
Suttons Bay Leelanau 231
Adrian Lenawee 517
Howell Livingston 517
Newberry Luce 906
Saint Ignace Mackinac 906
Sterling Heights Macomb 586
Warren Macomb 586
Manistee Manistee 231
Marquette Marquette 906
Ludington Mason 231
Big Rapids Mecosta 231
Menominee Menominee 906
Midland Midland 989
Lake City Missaukee 231
Monroe Monroe 734
Greenville Montcalm 231
Lewiston Montmorency 989
Muskegon Muskegon 231
Newaygo Newaygo 231
Rochester Oakland 248
Hart Oceana 231
West Branch Ogemaw 989
Ontonagon Ontonagon 906
Reed City Osceola 231
Mio Oscoda 989
Gaylord Otsego 989
Holland Ottawa 616
Rogers City Presque Isle 989
Roscommon Roscommon 989
Saginaw Saginaw 989
Port Huron Saint Clair 810
Sturgis Saint Joseph 269
Croswell Sanilac 810
Manistique Schoolcraft 906
Owosso Shiawassee 989
Caro Tuscola 989
South Haven Van Buren 269
Ypsilanti Washtenaw 734
Ann Arbor Washtenaw 734
Detroit Wayne 313
Cadillac Wexford 231

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

Trending on WorldAtlas

USA States

This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.