NPR ran a special series a few weeks back exploring the culture, traditions and economy of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that we felt was worth bubbling back up. In addition to the articles there are also audio pieces worth checking out in – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: A Trip U.P. North.
If there’s a Michigan map in your mind, it probably looks like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula â€” separated from the rest of the state by the Great Lakes â€” often gets left off the map entirely. While that can be irksome, the remote nature of Michigan’s northern section can also insulate it from the rest of the state’s economic distress.
This week’s puzzle is in honor of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Because U.P. is short for Upper Peninsula, each answer has “U” and “P” in it. The first clue is: “U” and “P” are the initials of a common two-word phrase naming something holding a street lamp. What is it?
The meat turnovers were brought to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by immigrant miners from Cornwall, England. “Yoopers” â€” the local population â€” are very opinionated about them. A pasty isn’t just a meal â€” it’s a heritage. Here’s the recipe, too.
Folks from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula â€” or “Yoopers,” as they call themselves â€” want you to know how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful place, how hard it is to do that, how their jokes about themselves are funnier than anything you’ve heard â€” and why you shouldn’t move there.
Audio and transcripts from the series
What’s A Yooper? [5 min 20 sec]
The people of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are nicknamed Yoopers. Weekend Edition Host Liane Hansen explores what defines the Yooper identity.
U.P. TV Anchor Moonlights At Target [4 min 39 sec]
Host Liane Hansen profiles TV Anchor Vicki Crystal of Marquette, Michigan. Crystal not only works as a full time anchor and reporter, but she also works part-time at Target.
Iron Mine At Core Of U.P. History, Culture [7 min 52 sec]
Host Liane Hansen visits the Cliffs Natural Resources iron ore mining operation near Ishpeming Michigan. Mining has long been a part of the U.P. economy, and Cliffs has been operating there since 1847.
U.P. County Tops State Unemployment Rate [3 min 56 sec]
Michigan’s Baraga County has the state’s highest unemployment rate, and at around 25 percent it’s the third highest in the nation. Host Liane Hansen speaks with Baraga Village Manager Roy Kemppainin.
The Civil War That You Never Heard About [2 min 15 sec]
Stories about war are common. Unusual is the true story of an American war with no casualties. One of the spoils of the Toledo War was the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And the early 19th century combatants were the Michigan and Ohio militias. Host Liane Hansen talks to State Representative Mike Lahti about the often-forgotten war.
In Contrast, This U.P. Town Is Thriving [6 min 30 sec]
In a country that’s seen its share of downtown decay, central Marquette seems to be thriving. There’s a bustling farmer’s market, and along Washington Street there are coffee shops and quirky businesses including hockey and bingo supply stores. Host Liane Hansen pays a visit to Getz’s Clothiers, a business dating from the 1880′s that now draws 80 percent of its sales from online business.