The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States, part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. It ran 363 miles from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie, it was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, the United States; the canal was first proposed in the 1780s re-proposed in 1807. A survey was authorized and executed in 1808. Proponents of the project wore down opponents; the canal has 34 numbered locks starting with Black Rock Lock and ending downstream with the Troy Federal Lock. Both are owned by the federal government, it has an elevation difference of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825. In a time when bulk goods were limited to pack animals, there were no railways, water was the most cost-effective way to ship bulk goods.
The canal was denigrated by its political opponents as "Clinton's Folly" or "Clinton's Big Ditch". It was the first transportation system between the Eastern Seaboard and the western interior of the United States that did not require portage, it was faster than carts pulled by draft animals and cut transport costs by about 95%. The canal gave New York City's port an incomparable advantage over all other U. S. ushered in the state's 19th century political and cultural ascendancy. The canal fostered a population surge in western New York and opened regions farther west to settlement, it was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. The canal's peak year was 1855. In 1918, the western part of the canal was enlarged to become part of the New York State Barge Canal, which extended to the Hudson River running parallel to the eastern half of the Erie Canal. In 2000, the United States Congress designated the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to recognize the national significance of the canal system as the most successful and influential human-built waterway and one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America.
The canal has been used by recreational watercraft since the retirement of the last large commercial ship, Day Peckinpaugh, in 1994. The canal saw a recovery in commercial traffic in 2008. From the first days of the expansion of the British colonies from the coast of North America into the heartland of the continent, a recurring problem was that of transportation between the coastal ports and the interior; this was not unique to the Americas, the problem still exists in those parts of the world where muscle power provides a primary means of transportation within a region. An ancient solution was implemented in many cultures — floating vessels move more than land vehicles since friction becomes less. Close to the seacoast, rivers provided adequate waterways, but the Appalachian Mountains, 400 miles inland, running over 1,500 miles long as a barrier range with just five places where mule trains or wagon roads could be routed, presented a great challenge. Passengers and freight had to travel overland, a journey made more difficult by the rough condition of the roads.
In 1800, it took 2-1/2 weeks to travel overland from New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The principal exportable product of the Ohio Valley was grain, a high-volume, low-priced commodity, bolstered by supplies from the coast, it was not worth the cost of transporting it to far-away population centers. This was a factor leading to farmers in the west turning their grains into whiskey for easier transport and higher sales, the Whiskey Rebellion. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it became clear to coastal residents that the city or state that succeeded in developing a cheap, reliable route to the West would enjoy economic success, the port at the seaward end of such a route would see business increase greatly. In time, projects were devised in Virginia, Maryland and deep into the coastal states; the successes of the Canal du Midi in France, Bridgewater Canal in Britain, Eider Canal in Denmark spurred on what was called in Britain "canal mania". The idea of a canal to tie the East Coast to the new western settlements was discussed as early as 1724: New York provincial official Cadwallader Colden made a passing reference to improving the natural waterways of western New York.
Gouverneur Morris and Elkanah Watson were early proponents of a canal along the Mohawk River. Their efforts led to the creation of the "Western and Northern Inland Lock Navigation Companies" in 1792, which took the first steps to improve navigation on the Mohawk and construct a canal between the Mohawk and Lake Ontario, but it was soon discovered that private financing was insufficient. Christopher Colles surveyed the Mohawk Valley, made a presentation to the New York state legislature in 1784, proposing a shorter canal from Lake Ontario; the proposal was never implemented. Jesse Hawley had envisioned encouraging the growing of large quantities of grain on the western New York plains for sale on the Eastern seaboard. However, he went bankrupt trying to ship grain to the coast. While in Canandaigua debtors' prison, Hawley began pressing for the construction of a canal along the 90-mile (140 km
Escanaba is a port city in Delta County in the U. S. state of Michigan, located on Little Bay de Noc in the state's Upper Peninsula. The population was 12,616 at the 2010 census, making it the third-largest city in the Upper Peninsula after Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie, it is the seat of government of Delta County. There is Escanaba Township, north of the city and is not adjacent to it, although a portion of the urban area around the city extends into the township. Both are named for the Escanaba River, which flows into the Little Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan just north of the city at 45°46′37″N 87°03′30″W; the names are derived from the Ojibwa language. Escanaba was the name of an Ojibwa village in this area in the early 19th century; the Ojibwa are one of the Anishinaabe, Algonquian-speaking tribes who settled and flourished around the Great Lakes. The word "Escanaba" translates from Ojibwe and other regional Algonquian languages to "land of the red buck", although some people maintain that it refers to "flat rock".
As a European-American settlement, Escanaba was founded in 1863 as a port town by surveyor Eli P. Royce. Early industry was the processing and harvesting of lumber, dominated in this area by Daniel Wells Jr. Jefferson Sinclair, Nelson Ludington. Ludington moved his headquarters to Chicago, where he entered banking. I. Stephenson established a successor lumber company in the area and became a capitalist. Before the war, iron ore was being mined from the Marquette Range, which shipped out on barges from Escanaba. By the time of the American Civil War, this port was important to the Union as a shipping point for these ores, in addition to lumber; the Menominee Range and Gogebic Range of Michigan became important for iron ore after the war, in the 1880s. Michigan still produces about 25% of the iron ore nationally. Lumber was still integral to shipbuilding, supported the construction of houses in cities throughout the developing Midwest. Iron ore supported industrialization, became part of steel and other industries in the Midwest.
As shipping increased, a lighthouse was needed to warn of a sand shoals in Little Bay de Noc, which extended from Sand Point, a sandspit located just south of and adjacent to the harbor area. The United States Lighthouse Service approved construction of the Sand Point Lighthouse at a cost of $11,000. Construction began in the fall of 1867 and was completed in early spring 1868; until 2017, Escanaba continued to serve as an important shipping point for iron ore to other Great Lakes ports south to Chicago and northern Indiana. The local paper mill, for many years owned by Mead Corporation's Publishing Paper Division, is operated by Verso Corporation. Located on the outskirts of the city alongside the Escanaba River, it is now Escanaba's largest employer. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.50 square miles, of which 12.88 square miles is land and 3.62 square miles is water. This climatic region is classified as humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb", according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification.
It is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to cold winters. Escanaba is described as being in the banana belt of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. While most of the peninsula is affected by significant lake-effect snow, Escanaba's winter climate is much milder due to its location on the leeward Lake Michigan shoreline; as of the census of 2010, there were 12,616 people, 5,622 households, 3,090 families residing in the city. The population density was 979.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 6,178 housing units at an average density of 479.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 0.4% African American, 2.6% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% from other races, 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population. There were 5,622 households of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, 45.0% were non-families.
38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.82. The median age in the city was 41.4 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 52.9 % female. As of the census of 2000, there were 13,140 people, 5,800 households, 3,294 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,038.3 inhabitants per square mile. There were 6,258 housing units at an average density of 494.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 95.66% White, 0.11% African American, 2.61% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.66% of the population. 17.0% were of German, 16.5% French, 11.4% French Canadian, 8.8% Swedish, 6.4% Irish and 5.2% English ancestry, according to Census 2000. There were 5,800 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 43.2% were non-families.
37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average f
Flat Rock Assembly Plant
Flat Rock Assembly Plant known as Ford's Michigan Casting Center, Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and AutoAlliance International, is a Ford Motor Company assembly plant located at 1 International Drive in Flat Rock, Michigan in Metro Detroit. The plant comprises 2,900,000 square feet of production space and employs 3,510 hourly workers and 140 salaried workers — and manufactures the Ford Mustang coupe and the tenth generation Lincoln Continental. Following three years of work and the largest single investment by Ford, the Michigan Casting Center opened in January 1972, at the time one of the most technologically advanced casting facilities in the world. Despite the sizable capital investment, frequent union labor problems and work injuries and declining demand for the V8 engine blocks produced there led to the facility's closure in 1981. A worker, Robert Williams, was killed by an industrial robot arm on January 25, 1979, he is the first known human to be killed by a robot. Mazda Motor Corporation started construction of a new building on the site of the Michigan Casting Center in 1985 and cars started production at Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA in September 1987 with the Mazda MX-6 and Ford Probe coupes.
In 1991 the plant had 3,600 employees, including 250 Japanese employees. Ford repurchased a 50% share in the plant on April 15, 1992, it became a joint-venture and was renamed AutoAlliance International on July 1, 1992; the plant began production of all models of the Mazda 626 sold in America starting in 1993. During this era, Deepak Ahuja was Chief Financial Officer of the joint venture; the Ford Contour-derived Mercury Cougar was produced at the plant from 1998 to 2002. Production of North American Mazda 6 began in the 2003 model year, followed by the Ford Mustang starting in 2005; the last Mazda 6 rolled off the line on Friday, August 24, 2012, with Mazda discontinuing production on American soil ending the 20 year joint-venture between Mazda and Ford. Mazda moved production of the Mazda 6 back to the Hofu factory in Japan and opened a new factory in Salamanca, Mexico to build the Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 subcompact and compact cars. On September 10, 2012, Ford Motor Company re-took full management control of the plant, renaming it the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, confirming $555 million in investments designed to retool the plant for the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan.
On July 15, 2015, Ford confirmed that the new 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan would be produced at the Flat Rock plant starting in 2016. On January 3, 2017, Ford announced that it will begin manufacturing an electric small SUV by 2020, a high passenger volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing by 2021, both to be built at Flat Rock. Ford Mustang Lincoln Continental Mazda MX-6 Ford Probe Mazda 626 Mercury Cougar Mazda 6 Ford Fusion Fucini, Joseph J. Working for the Japanese. Simon & Schuster, June 30, 2008. ISBN 1439106487, 9781439106488; the section starting at p. 101 discusses Japanese employees from Mazda working in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant along with Americans in the 1980s
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
Mazda Motor Corporation referred to as Mazda, is a Japanese multinational automaker based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. In 2015, Mazda produced 1.5 million vehicles for global sales, the majority of which were produced in the company's Japanese plants, with the remainder coming from a variety of other plants worldwide. In 2015, Mazda was the fifteenth biggest automaker by production worldwide; the name Mazda came into existence with the production of the company's first three-wheeled trucks. Other candidates for a model name included Tenshi-Go and more; the company states that The name was associated with Ahura Mazda, with the hope that it would brighten the image of these compact vehicles. The company website further notes that the name derives from the name of the company's founder, Jujiro Matsuda; the other proposed names mean "god" and "angel". The Mazda lettering was used in combination with the corporate emblem of Mitsubishi, responsible for sales, to produce the Toyo Kogyo three-wheeled truck registered trademark.
Mazda began as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. Ltd, founded in Hiroshima, Japan, 30 January 1920. Toyo Cork Kogyo renamed itself to Toyo Kogyo Co. Ltd. in 1927. In the late 1920s the company had to be saved from bankruptcy by Hiroshima Saving Bank and other business leaders in Hiroshima. In 1931 Toyo Kogyo moved from manufacturing machine tools to vehicles with the introduction of the Mazda-Go autorickshaw. Toyo Kogyo produced weapons for the Japanese military throughout the Second World War, most notably the series 30 through 35 Type 99 rifle; the company formally adopted the Mazda name in 1984, though every automobile sold from the beginning bore that name. The Mazda R360 was introduced in 1960, followed by the Mazda Carol in 1962. Beginning in the 1960s, Mazda was inspired by the NSU Ro 80 and decided to put a major engineering effort into development of the Wankel rotary engine as a way of differentiating itself from other Japanese auto companies; the company formed a business relationship with German company NSU and began with the limited-production Cosmo Sport of 1967, continuing to the present day with the Pro Mazda Championship, Mazda has become the sole manufacturer of Wankel-type engines for the automotive market by way of attrition This effort to bring attention to itself helped, as Mazda began to export its vehicles.
Both piston-powered and rotary-powered models made their way around the world. The rotary models became popular for their combination of good power and light weight when compared to piston-engined competitors that required heavier V6 or V8 engines to produce the same power; the R100 and the RX series led the company's export efforts. During 1968, Mazda started formal operations in Canada although Mazdas were seen in Canada as early as 1959. In 1970, Mazda formally entered the American market and was successful there, going so far as to create the Mazda Rotary Pickup for North American buyers. To this day, Mazda remains the only automaker to have produced a Wankel-powered pickup truck. Additionally, it is the only marque to have offered a rotary-powered bus or station wagon. After nine years of development, Mazda launched its new model in the U. S. in 1970. Mazda's rotary success continued until the onset of the 1973 oil crisis; as American buyers turned to vehicles with better fuel efficiency, the thirsty rotary-powered models began to fall out of favor.
Combined with being the least-efficient automaker in Japan, inability to adjust to excess inventory and over-reliance on the U. S. market, the company suffered a huge loss in 1975. An heavily indebted Toyo Kogyo was on the verge of bankruptcy and was only saved through the intervention of Sumitomo keiretsu group, namely Sumitomo Bank, the companies subcontractors and distributors. However, the company had not turned its back on piston engines, as it continued to produce a variety of four-cylinder models throughout the 1970s; the smaller Familia line in particular became important to Mazda's worldwide sales after 1973, as did the somewhat larger Capella series. Mazda refocused its efforts and made the rotary engine a choice for the sporting motorist rather than a mainstream powerplant. Starting with the lightweight RX-7 in 1978 and continuing with the modern RX-8, Mazda has continued its dedication to this unique powerplant; this switch in focus resulted in the development of another lightweight sports car, the piston-powered Mazda MX-5 Miata, inspired by the concept'jinba ittai'.
Introduced in 1989 to worldwide acclaim, the Roadster has been credited with reviving the concept of the small sports car after its decline in the late 1970s. From 1974 to 2015, Mazda had a partnership with the Ford Motor Company, which acquired a 24.5% stake in 1979, upped to a 33.4% ownership of Mazda in May 1995. Under the administration of Alan Mulally, Ford divested its stake in Mazda from 2008 to 2015, with Ford holding 2.1% of Mazda stock as of 2014 and severing most production as well as development ties. This partnership with Ford began owing to Mazda's financial diff
The Wyandot people or Wendat called the Huron Nation and Huron people, are an Iroquoian-speaking peoples of North America who emerged as a tribe around the north shore of Lake Ontario. They traditionally spoke the Wyandot language, a Northern Iroquoian language, were believed to number over 30,000 at the time of European encounter in the second decade of the 17th century. By the 15th century, the pre-contact Wyandot had settled in the large area from the north shores of most of present-day Lake Ontario, northwards up to Georgian Bay. From this homeland, they encountered the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1615; the historical Wyandot emerged in the late 17th century from the remnants of two earlier groups: the Wyandot Confederacy and the Tionontati. They were located in the southern part of what is now the Canadian province of Ontario around Georgian Bay. Drastically reduced in number by epidemic diseases after 1634, they were dispersed by war in 1649 from the Iroquois based in New York.
Today the Wyandot have a First Nations reserve in Canada. They have three major settlements in the United States, two of which are organized as independently governed, federally recognized tribes. Due to differing development of the groups, they speak distinct forms of Wendat and Wyandot languages; the Huron Range spanned the region from downriver of the source of the St. Lawrence River, along three-quarters of the northern shore of Lake Ontario, to the territory of the related Neutral people, extending north from both ends to wrap around Georgian Bay—which became their territorial center after their 1649 defeat and dispossession. Early theories placed Huron origin in the St. Lawrence Valley, with some arguing for a presence near present-day Montreal and former sites of the historic St. Lawrence Iroquoian peoples. Wendat is an Iroquoian language. Early 21st-century research in linguistics and archaeology confirm an historical connection between the Huron and the St. Lawrence Iroquois, but all of the Iroquoian-speaking peoples shared some aspects of their culture, including the Erie people, any or all of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, or the defunct Susquehannock tribe.
In 1975 and 1978, archeologists excavated a large 15th-century Huron village, now called the Draper Site, in Pickering, Ontario near Lake Ontario. In 2003 a larger village was discovered five kilometres away in Whitchurch-Stouffville; the sites each had been surrounded by a palisade. The Mantle Site had more than 70 multi-family longhouses. Canadian archeologist James F. Pendergast states: Indeed, there is now every indication that the late precontact Huron and their immediate antecedents developed in a distinct Huron homeland in southern Ontario along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Subsequently they moved from there to their historic territory on Georgian Bay, where they were encountered by Champlain in 1615. In the early 17th century, this Iroquoian people called themselves the Wendat, an autonym which means "Dwellers of the Peninsula" or "Islanders"; the Wendat historic territory was bordered on three sides by the waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Early French explorers referred to these natives as the Huron, either from the French huron, or from hure.
According to tradition, French sailors thought that the bristly hairstyle of Wendat warriors resembled that of a boar. French fur traders and explorers called them the "bon Iroquois". An alternate etymology from Russell Errett in 1885 is that the name is from the Iroquoian name Irri-ronon, a name applied to the Erie nation, they pronounced the name as Hirri-ronon in French, known as Hirr-on, spelled in its present form, Huron. William Martin Beauchamp concurred in 1907 that Huron was at least related to the Iroqouian root ronon. Other etymological possibilities come from the Algonquin words tu-ron; the Wendat were not a tribe, but a confederacy of four or more tribes who had mutually intelligible languages. According to tradition, this Wendat Confederacy was initiated by the Attignawantans and the Attigneenongnahacs, who made their alliance in the 15th century, they were joined by the Arendarhonons about 1590, the Tahontaenrats around 1610. A fifth group, the Ataronchronons, may not have attained full membership in the confederacy, may have been a division of the Attignawantan.
The largest Wendat settlement, capital of the confederacy, was located at Ossossane. Modern-day Elmvale, Ontario developed near that site, they called their traditional territory Wendake. Related to the people of the Huron Confederacy were the Tionontate, a group whom the French called the Petun, for their cultivation of that crop, they were divided into two groups: the Deer and the Wolves. Considering that they formed the nucleus of the tribe known as the Wyandot, they too may have called themselves Wendat. Tuberculosis was endemic among the Huron, aggravated by the close and smoky living conditions in the longhouses. Despite this, the Huron on the whole were healthy; the earliest written accounts of the Huron were made by the French, who began exploring North America in the 16th century. News of the Europeans reached the Huron when Samuel de Champlain explored the Saint Lawrence River in the early 17th century; some Hur
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U. S. and Canada. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart. Lake Michigan is shared, from west to east, by the U. S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Ports along its shores include Chicago; the word "Michigan" referred to the lake itself, is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water". Some of the earliest human inhabitants of the Lake Michigan region were the Hopewell Indians, their culture declined after 800 AD, for the next few hundred years, the region was the home of peoples known as the Late Woodland Indians. In the early 17th century, when western European explorers made their first forays into the region, they encountered descendants of the Late Woodland Indians: the Chippewa.
The French explorer Jean Nicolet is believed to have been the first European to reach Lake Michigan in 1634 or 1638. In the earliest European maps of the region, the name of Lake Illinois has been found in addition to that of "Michigan", named for the Illinois Confederation of tribes. Lake Michigan is joined via the narrow, open-water Straits of Mackinac with Lake Huron, the combined body of water is sometimes called Michigan–Huron; the Straits of Mackinac were an important Native American and fur trade route. Located on the southern side of the Straits is the town of Mackinaw City, the site of Fort Michilimackinac, a reconstructed French fort founded in 1715, on the northern side is St. Ignace, site of a French Catholic mission to the Indians, founded in 1671. In 1673, Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet and their crew of five Métis voyageurs followed Lake Michigan to Green Bay and up the Fox River, nearly to its headwaters, in their search for the Mississippi River, cf. Fox–Wisconsin Waterway.
The eastern end of the Straits was controlled by Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, a British colonial and early American military base and fur trade center, founded in 1781. With the advent of European exploration into the area in the late 17th century, Lake Michigan became part of a line of waterways leading from the Saint Lawrence River to the Mississippi River and thence to the Gulf of Mexico. French coureurs des bois and voyageurs established small ports and trading communities, such as Green Bay, on the lake during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Lake Michigan played a major role in the development of Chicago and the Midwestern United States west of the lake. For example, 90% of the grain shipped from Chicago travelled east over Lake Michigan during the antebellum years, only falling below 50% after the Civil War and the major expansion of railroad shipping; the first person to reach the deep bottom of Lake Michigan was J. Val Klump, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Klump reached the bottom via submersible as part of a 1985 research expedition. In 2007, a row of stones paralleling an ancient shoreline was discovered by Mark Holley, professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan College; this formation lies 40 feet below the surface of the lake. One of the stones is said to have a carving resembling a mastodon. So far the formation has not been authenticated; the warming of Lake Michigan was the subject of a report by Purdue University in 2018. In each decade since 1980, steady increases in average surface temperature have occurred; this is to lead to decreasing native habitat and to adversely affect native species survival. Lake Michigan is the sole Great Lake wholly within the borders of the United States, it lies in the region known as the American Midwest. Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,404 sq.mi. It is the larger half of Lake Michigan–Huron, the largest body of fresh water in the world by surface area, it is 307 miles long by 118 miles wide with a shoreline 1,640 miles long.
The lake's average depth is 46 fathoms 3 feet. It contains a volume of 1,180 cubic miles of water. Green Bay in the northwest is its largest bay. Grand Traverse Bay in its northeast is another large bay. Lake Michigan's deepest region, which lies in its northern-half, is called Chippewa Basin and is separated from South Chippewa Basin, by a shallower area called the Mid Lake Plateau. Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan's shores in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas; the economy of many communities in northern Michigan and Door County, Wisconsin is supported by tourism, with large seasonal populations attracted by Lake Michigan. Seasonal residents have summer homes along the waterfront and return home for the winter; the southern