Escanaba (/ˌɛskəˈnɑːbə/ ES-kə-NAH-bə) 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 also Escanaba Township, which is 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 . The names are derived from the Ojibwa language.
Escanaba City Hall and Library
Location within Delta County
Location within the state of Michigan
Location within the United States
|• Mayor||Marc Tall|
|• Total||16.37 sq mi (42.39 km2)|
|• Land||12.74 sq mi (33.01 km2)|
|• Water||3.62 sq mi (9.38 km2)|
|Elevation||607 ft (183 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||959.04/sq mi (370.29/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1619865|
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" roughly 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, and Nelson Ludington. Ludington later moved his headquarters to Chicago, where he also entered banking. I. Stephenson established a successor lumber company in the area and also 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. Initially lumber was still integral to shipbuilding, and supported the construction of houses in cities throughout the developing Midwest. Iron ore supported industrialization, and 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, especially south to Chicago and northern Indiana. The local paper mill, for many years owned by Mead Corporation's Publishing Paper Division, is currently 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 (42.73 km2), of which 12.88 square miles (33.36 km2) is land and 3.62 square miles (9.38 km2) 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 hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely 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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,616 people, 5,622 households, and 3,090 families residing in the city. The population density was 979.5 inhabitants per square mile (378.2/km2). There were 6,178 housing units at an average density of 479.7 per square mile (185.2/km2). 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, and 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, and 45.0% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 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; 9.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 26.4% were from 45 to 64; and 19.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,140 people, 5,800 households, and 3,294 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,038.3 inhabitants per square mile (400.7/km²). There were 6,258 housing units at an average density of 494.5 per square mile (190.9/km²). 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, and 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, and 43.2% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,125, and the median income for a family was $36,995. Males had a median income of $32,310 versus $21,204 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,589. About 10.8% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.7% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
In his poem The Song of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described how Hiawatha "crossed the rushing Esconaba", referring to the river. Although the upper peninsula is part of the state of Michigan, Escanaba and the western Upper Peninsula sometimes have closer cultural ties to the state of Wisconsin.
Pasties are a significant tourist attraction, and have a particularly unusual history. Many ethnic groups adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country copper mines; the Finnish immigrants within the region mistook it for the traditional piiraat and kuuko pastries. The pasty has become strongly associated with all cultures in this area.
Escanaba is home to the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, The Waterfront Art Festival, The Players de Noc, The Bay de Noc Choral Society, the Escanaba City Band, and many smaller arts organizations, art galleries, and musical performing groups.
Escanaba is home to one the safest natural harbors in the upper Great Lakes, which makes it a natural destination for boaters. Tourism has become significant for the local economy. Tourist draws include Lake Michigan beaches and local fishing and hunting opportunities. Most visitors come from Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Delta Plaza Mall, is a small enclosed shopping mall in Escanaba, which features ShopKo as its anchor store. Other big box retail stores in Escanaba include, Wal-Mart, Menards, Meijer, Walgreens, and Tractor Supply Company. The downtown district features many small, locally owned retail stores. Viau's Market and Kobosic's Market are small grocery stores that feature on-site butchers. Eateries include: Stone Cup Coffee House & Deli, Ferdinand's, Crispigna's, Hong Kong Buffet, Hereford and Hops, Swedish Pantry, Rosy's Diner, The Stone House, and The Ludington Grill. Other notable restaurants that are outside the downtown district include The Buck Inn, Family Inn, Drifter's Restaurant, Hudson's Grill, and Thai Express.
The Delta County Sheriff's Office along with Escanaba Public Safety, and the Michigan State Police, collaborate with other police agencies in neighboring counties to make up the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET). UPSET utilizes investigators, informants, K-9 units, and other resources to perform clandestine operations to arrest those involved with drug use, distribution and sale across the Upper Peninsula. UPSET is the only federally trained and certified clandestine lab team in the entire Upper Peninsula. The Delta County Jail is an 85-bed facility that employs 13 full-time correction officers, under the supervision of Lt. Jason Thibeault. In September 2017, Delta County secured a $17.9 million loan for the construction of a new jail. The new two story jail will be capable of housing 160 beds.
In 2003, the school board opted to completely renovate the historic 1930's junior high school, rather than move it outside of town. Escanaba Area Public Schools operate the public schools in Escanaba, which includes various elementary schools, the middle school, and high school. There is also a private school, Holy Name Catholic School, which teaches pre-school children all the way up to eighth grade. Bay College, a public 2-year college, was founded in the city in 1962. It offers various two year degrees and certificate programs ranging from welding, public safety, business, nursing, among others.
Local radio stations include KMB Broadcasting's WDBC 680 AM (adult standards) and WYKX 104.7 FM (country music), Lakes Radio's WCHT 600 AM (news/talk), WGLQ 97.1 FM (adult top 40), WCMM 102.5 FM (country), and WGKL 105.5 FM (oldies), and standalone WUPF 107.3 FM (classic hits). Escanaba is also served by low-power translator stations of WNMU translator W296AX from Marquette, MI (at 96.5 FM), WRPP translator W254AG from Sturgeon Bay, WI (at 98.7 FM), and WHWL translator W261AI from Marquette, MI (at 100.1 FM). WJMN-TV, the local television station on channel 3, is mostly a satellite of WFRV in Green Bay and carries CBS programming. WLUC-TV in Marquette also operates a translator station in Escanaba on channel 14.
Escanaba's Harbor Tower, an 18-story apartment building, is the tallest building in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Surveyor Eli P. Royce founded the city of Escanaba
Albin Walter Norblad, Jr. (September 12, 1908 – September 20, 1964), was an American attorney and Republican politician in Oregon. He represented the U.S. state of Oregon's First District from January 18, 1946, until his death from a heart attack in Bethesda, Maryland, on September 20, 1964, in the United States House of Representatives. His father was A. W. Norblad, Sr., a one-time Governor of Oregon.Bay de Noc Community College
Bay de Noc Community College (commonly called Bay College) is a public two-year college located in Escanaba, Michigan, United States. Founded in 1962, the college has a main campus in Escanaba and another 25-acre (0.10 km2) campus, Bay College West, in Iron Mountain, Michigan, serving Dickinson County.Becky Iverson
Becky Iverson (born October 12, 1967) is an American professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour. She currently works as the director of golf at The Bridges Golf Club in Madison, WisconsinCarnegie Public Library (Escanaba, Michigan)
The Escanaba Public Library was a Carnegie library located at 201 South Seventh Street in Escanaba, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1976.Daily Press (Michigan)
The Daily Press is a newspaper published in Escanaba, Michigan, United States. Serving Delta, Schoolcraft, and northern Menominee counties, the Daily Press publishes Monday through Saturday. Its offices are located at 600 Ludington St. in downtown Escanaba.
From 1922 to 1978, the Daily Press was known as The Escanaba Daily Press.Dan Seavey
Dan Seavey, also known as "Roaring" Dan Seavey, (March 23, 1865 – February 14, 1949) was a sailor, fisherman, farmer, saloon keeper, prospector, U.S. marshal, thief, poacher, smuggler, hijacker, human trafficker, and timber pirate in Wisconsin and Michigan and on the Great Lakes in the late-19th to early-20th century.Delta County, Michigan
Delta County is a county in the Upper peninsula in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 37,069. The county seat is Escanaba. The county was surveyed in 1843 and organized in 1861. Its name originates from the Greek letter "delta", which refers to the triangular shape of the original county which included segments of Menominee, Dickinson, Iron, and Marquette counties.Delta County comprises the Escanaba, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area.Delta County Airport
Delta County Airport (IATA: ESC, ICAO: KESC, FAA LID: ESC) is a county owned public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) southwest of the central business district of Escanaba, a city in Delta County, Michigan, United States. It offers limited commercial service, which is subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.
It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility.Eli Parsons Royce
Eli Parsons Royce (November 29, 1820 – May 26, 1912) was a surveyor, businessman, postmaster, and an attorney. He was the founder of the city of Escanaba, Michigan.Fahey Flynn
Fahey Flynn (August 6, 1916 – August 8, 1983) was a radio and television newscaster who spent the majority of his career in Chicago. Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times described him as "an avuncular Irishman with a jaunty bow tie [and] a twinkle in his eye".A six-time Emmy winner, Flynn started his career in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1934. Flynn worked in Chicago from 1941 until his death at a hospital there from internal hemorrhaging in 1983 at age 67. From 1953 to 1968, he was an anchor for WBBM-TV. He then joined Joel Daly as co-anchor at WLS-TV, and by 1971 the pair had become Chicago's highest-rated broadcasting team, retaining the lead in Chicago news ratings through 1979.
Flynn, a history and English major, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1939 and received the distinguished alumni award in 1978.John F. Luecke
John Frederick Luecke (July 4, 1889 – March 21, 1952) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.
Luecke was born in Escanaba, Michigan to German immigrants and attended the public elementary schools. He was employed as a commercial and railroad telegrapher and station agent and served as a private in Company A, Signal Corps, United States Army, with the Punitive Expeditionary Force in Mexico in 1916 and 1917.During the First World War, he served as a sergeant first class, in Company B, Second Field Signal Battalion, American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1919. He was commissioned a second lieutenant, Reserve Corps, while in Germany. He engaged as a mill worker in a paper mill in Escanaba from 1923 to 1936. Luecke was a member of the Escanaba City Council from 1934 to 1936 and a county supervisor of Delta County from 1934 to 1936. He served in the Michigan Senate in 1935 and 1936.
Luecke was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 11th congressional district to the 75th United States Congress, serving from January 3, 1937 to January 3, 1939. He was an unsuccessful candidate in 1938, losing to Republican Fred Bradley in the general elections.
In 1939, just after leaving Congress, Luecke was appointed commissioner of conciliation for the United States Department of Labor for upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin.
Luecke died at the age of sixty-two at his home in Escanaba and is interred there at Lakeview Cemetery.John Perrin
John Stephenson "Jack" Perrin (February 4, 1898 – June 24, 1969) was an American baseball and football player. He played college baseball and football for the University of Michigan. He later played Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox in 1921 and professional football for the Hartford Blues of the National Football League in 1926.Johnny Seymour
Johnny Seymour (8 October 1896 Escanaba, Michigan – 27 February 1958 South Bend, Indiana) was an American racecar driver. Before the First World War, he raced motorcycles, and he toured Australia as a motorcycle racer in the winter of 1924–25. Seymour started racing cars in 1927. He suffered serious burns in a 1939 crash in Indianapolis.Koester Christensen
Koester L. "Keddy" Christensen (April 28, 1905 – May 16, 1946) was an American football player. He played college football for Michigan State College (later known as Michigan State University). He also played professional football in the National Football League for the Portsmouth Spartans during the 1926 season. After his football career ended, Christensen returned to his home town of Escanaba, Michigan, where he worked as a commercial fisherman. During World War II, he served aboard a submarine chaser and other ships in the United States Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant. He died of a heart attack at his home in Escanaba in 1946 at age 41.Roger H. Zion
Roger Herschel Zion (born September 17, 1921) is an American politician.
Zion was born in Escanaba, Michigan in 1921. He attended public schools in Evansville, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1943. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946, serving in the Asia-Pacific area during World War II, and was discharged a lieutenant.
Zion attended Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration from 1944 to 1945. He became associated with Mead Johnson & Company, working for the company from 1946 through 1965; eventually becoming director of training and professional relations.
He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Indiana in the 1966 election to the 90th Congress and was re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1967 to January 3, 1975. Zion was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1974 to the 94th Congress, losing to Philip H. Hayes.
In 1967, Zion called anti-Vietnam War protesters "traitors" and suggested that "any of them involved in illegal acts be treated comparably with Frenchmen whose heads were shaved if they were caught collaborating with the Germans in World War II." After leaving Congress, Zion became the president of Resources Development Inc. in Washington, D.C.. As of 2011 he resides in Washington, D.C.Thomas J. Riley
Thomas James Riley (January 30, 1885 – March 15, 1928) was an American football player and coach and attorney. He played football for the University of Michigan and coached football for the University of Maine (1910–1913) and Amherst College (1914–1916).Tom Bissell
Tom Bissell (born January 9, 1974) is an American journalist, critic, and fiction writer, originally from Escanaba, Michigan, United States and currently based in Los Angeles, California.Tommy Hughitt
Tommy Hughitt (born Ernest Fredrick Hughitt; December 27, 1892 – December 27, 1961) was a National Football League utility player, coach and politician. He was also an All-American quarterback for the University of Michigan in 1913.
Hughitt was born in Genoa, British Columbia, but grew up in Escanaba, Michigan; his father, Orrin Hughitt, owned the hardware store in Escanaba. His high school football career in Escanaba was undistinguished, and Hughitt saw little playing time on his high school squad. Upon graduation he went to the University of Michigan, where he played halfback and then quarterback for the Wolverines.
From 1915 to 1916, Hughitt was the head football coach at the University of Maine. He compiled a 6–7–3 overall record, including the Maine Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship in 1915. An article in The Michigan Technic commented on Hughitt's success at Maine:
Due to the excellent coaching of 'Tommy' Hughitt, former varsity quarterback, the University of Maine football tam won the state championship this season. Hughitt showed the effectiveness of the Yost system of coaching by developing a bunch of green material, a tam which staged a real 'comeback' after a bad start last year. Maine is highly pleased with the work of Hughitt and has engaged him for this season.
After experiencing a winless season in 1916, Hughitt left his coaching position in Maine and signed with the Youngstown Patricians of the Ohio League, turning professional as a player-coach. When the Patricians ceased operations due to the war and flu problems of 1918, Hughitt moved on to Buffalo Niagaras and Prospects of the Buffalo Semi-Pro Football League, returning to Youngstown in a brief and abortive attempt to relaunch the Patricians in 1919.
When the Prospects joined the ranks of the APFA (later known as the National Football League) in 1920, Hughitt was retained as the centerpiece of the now-renamed Buffalo All-Americans. During his APFA/NFL career, Hughitt was a triple threat man and player-coach at the same time, playing quarterback, wide receiver, running back, punter, placekicker, and playing on defense all the while coaching the team. He finished his career with an impressive 34–15–7 record, two state championships (1918 and 1919), two top-three finishes in the NFL (1920 and 1921), and statistically finishing at or near the top of the league in several scoring and receiving categories in 1920 and 1921 (the one-two punch of Hughitt and Ockie Anderson was one of the most potent in the nascent league); he never had a losing season in his entire time as a professional coach. He retired from football in 1924, shortly after acquiring a stake in his team. After Hughitt's departure, he handed over the reins of the franchise to Walter Koppisch, and Hughitt spent time as a league official.
After his time in the NFL, Hughitt remained in the City of Buffalo and legally changed his name to "Tommy" for the purpose of making his name recognizable as he entered politics. In 1937, he served for a term of four years on the Buffalo Common Council, and at one point he unsuccessfully ran for the sheriff of Erie County. In the private sector, Hughitt ran a Ford dealership in the Buffalo area for many years. He died while on vacation in Bartow, Florida and was buried in Buffalo. He was elected to Michigan's Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. However, despite his record, Hughitt has never been considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hughitt wore the number 1.WCHT
WCHT (600 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a news/talk format. Licensed to Escanaba, Michigan, it first began broadcasting under the WLST call sign in 1958, and then became WBDN around 1971. WBDN programmed adult contemporary music throughout the 1970s and then went country around 1979, keeping that format until late 1986, when the station switched formats to oldies under the WCHT calls (with the call letters standing for Classic Hits). It is also simulcast on the FM band through 106.3 WMXG, licensed to Stephenson, Michigan.
|Climate data for Escanaba, Michigan (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1948–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||55
|Average high °F (°C)||26.4
|Daily mean °F (°C)||16.2
|Average low °F (°C)||6.0
|Record low °F (°C)||−28
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.06
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||13.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.3||6.5||7.9||9.5||10.5||11.7||9.9||10.5||10.9||11.7||9.4||10.0||117.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||7.0||4.2||3.5||1.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||2.5||5.4||23.7|
Municipalities and communities of Delta County, Michigan, United States
County seat: Escanaba
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties