Talk with the Doc: Upper Peninsula fun facts for 2020

Dr. Jim Surrell, Journal columnist

Today, I would like to share some “fun facts” about our great Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For example, here are three facts about the U.P. and they all contain the number three. The Upper Peninsula has about 30 percent of the total land mass of the State of Michigan, and the population of the U.P. is about 300,000 people, and this represents about 3 per cent of the total population of Michigan.

Here is an absolutely amazing fact about the waterfalls in our great State of Michigan. There are actually a total of exactly 200 officially named waterfalls in the entire State of Michigan, and believe it or not, a total of 199 of them are located in the U.P. Therefore, only one of all the 200 waterfalls in Michigan is located in the Lower Peninsula. This one Lower Peninsula waterfall is Ocqueoc Falls, located in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Of course, the Upper Peninsula is home to Tahquamenon Falls, and it is a great experience to visit both the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula can also boast about being home to the three oldest cities in the entire State of Michigan.

The oldest city in our great state is Sault Sainte Marie, founded in 1668, and St. Ignace is the second oldest, founded three years later in 1671. The third oldest city in the State of Michigan is Marquette, founded in 1675. All three of these three cities were founded and named by Father Jacques Marquette.

Let’s never forget the very special monumental fresh water resource we have in the Upper Peninsula. Lake Superior contains approximately 10 percent of all the fresh water on the entire planet earth. Lake Superior is also very appropriately named as it contains 3 million billion (quadrillion) gallons of fresh water. The volume of Lake Superior is so huge that you could put the other four Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie into Lake Superior and you would still have to add three more Lake Erie’s to fill it up. Also be aware that there are about 12,000 miles of rivers and streams in our wonderful Upper Peninsula.

Of interest, there are two wildlife capitals named by the State of Michigan and both are located in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Newberry is officially designated as the Moose Capital of Michigan, and the village of Strongs is designated as the Black Bear Capital of Michigan.

Following is my moose joke to celebrate Newberry as Michigan’s Moose Capital, and my bear joke to celebrate Strongs as Michigan’s Bear Capital. Moose Joke – I saw a moose in downtown Newberry and walked up to him and asked him to tell me his name. Mr. Moose replied, “Doc, I never tell people my moose name, because I prefer to remain anony-moose.” Bear Joke – I saw a bear in downtown Strongs and when I walked up to him, I noticed that he had no teeth, and I asked him why he had no teeth. Mr. Bear replied, “Doc, of course I have no teeth… I’m a Gummy Bear.”

As we all enjoy this great summertime in the Upper Peninsula, it is fitting to occasionally reflect upon and appreciate how we have been so blessed with such a truly special and unique environment here in our very special Upper Peninsula.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books.Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.


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