Facts and Figures
Origin of Name Based on
the Chippewa word "meicigama," meaning
"great water," referring to the Great Lakes. Area
(rank) 96,810 sq mi (11th). Population (rank) 9,895,622
(9th). Capital Lansing. Admitted to Union
(rank) January 26, 1837 (26th).
de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac
founded Fort Pontchartrain on the site of what is now
Detroit in 1701. His monopoly on trade in the area,
combined with abuses in his transactions with the
Indians, led to his being recalled to France in 1710.
has been a natural stopping place for
travelers for centuries because of the St. Mary's Rapids,
which form a natural barrier to navigation between Lake
Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes. Today, it is
best known for the Soo Locks, which allow ships and boats
to bypass those rapids.