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May 24, 1959 - Image 6

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Sou th t oncer moli/
in2 qay tiacA an] hl GCe..,

Scenery, recreational facilities, and the
isolation attract tourists
The Upper Peninsula
Faces Many Obstacles
(Continued from Preceding Page) Many of these 1,411,502 vehicles
makes up the Porcupine Moun- contained tourists, but a large
tains' State Park. M number came only to see the
Although not planning to mine Bridge,
immediately, the company wanted But the rapidly-growing busi-
to see if the ore deposits could be ness of caring for temporary visi-
economically mined in the future. tors to the area has become more
This would not have destroyed any important as logging and mining
of the park's attractions. have decreased somewhat in their
Ontonogan County, where the economic importance.
park is located, has a high per-
centage of unemployment and the THE UP's reputation for isola-
exploration would have provided tion - whether or not it is
jobs for many. Likewise, discovery justified with modern transporta-
of new copper deposits could sup- tion-has helped the tourist trade.
plant the possible future drop in The small population size has
the native copper supply of the left the place one of the few spots
country, in the Midwest where man has
Some argued that the explora- not taken over nature. It is also
tions should be prohibited so as a land's end spot like Cape Cod.
to save some of the country's last Facilities of all kinds for tourists
virgin timber; others wanted to have been expanding. New skiing,
encourage any possibilities of fur- fishing and swimming areas have
ther development of the area's been opened.
natural resources. The state's final Residents of the Peninsula en-
decision was to forbid the explora- joy the recreational facilities as
tion well as the tourists, but the natives
do not like having the whole place
THIS WAS a bitter blow to the completely filled by tourists, no
area's economy and to the matter how much money they
businessmen's group trying to en- spend.
courage development of the U.P. One of the foremost advocates
These groups are constantly work- of keeping the U.P. as beautiful
ing to convince outsiders to locate and as natural as it is now is
industry in the north, and to pro- Justice Voelker, a native of Ish-
vide a large, skilled labor force for peming. Voelker paints an scour-
future plants. If they can promise ate picture of the U.P. in "Anat-
jobs in the U.P., they can en- omy.''
courage many former residents to
return. IN HIS BOOK the main character
Travel to and from the penin- tells of a committee he is form-
sula has been improved to reduce ,nfothpuosofbwigp
the area's isolation and its re- the Straits Bridge so the UP. will
lated problems. not become filled with people.
From the time Michigan ac- While Voelker is not quite ready
quired the Upper Peninsula as the to do this, he now has mixed feel-
result of a border dispute with ings about the resultant publicity
Ohio, until autumn of 1957, the the ares has gotten from the suc-
area was separated from the restcesohibok
of the state by Lake Michigan, five
miles wide at its narrowest point. "What's bringing people here is
The ferries which plied the the uniqueness of this place,"
strait took a minimum of 45 min- Voelker said, adding that if the
utes for the crossing. During highways become full of neon-
hunting season and other holiday lighted hot dog stands, the area
periods the crossing time stretched will no longer be unique.
to 12 hours or more because of the Voelker protests at the way the
waiting cars. Ten-mile-long car region is little more than an in-
lines were not uncommon, and in cubator for factories in Detroit
the 1954 hunting season, the line and elsewhere. The sad part about
extended back 28 miles into the the exodus is that the people are
streets of Cheboygan. homesick and a few have formed
Upper Peninsula clubs in metro-
THE STRAITS Bridge has not politan areas, he said.
solved all the problems of the Voelker expressed aptly what
area's geographic isolation. It is most U.P. people desire . . .to have
true that travel time between the the area hidden from the evils of
U.P. and down-state has been cut, heavy industrialization . . to have
but transportation costs are still enough work so that people would
very high. be employed . . . and to have their
It was also expected that the children remain in the north coun-
Straits Bridge would increase the try.
flow of tourists and hunters to the He mentioned just one other
area. During 1958, the number of hope. The built-in protections, like
vehicles going across the Straits huge mosquitos and an abundance
was a 50 per cent increase over the of mud and rocks, may be able to
year before, when the Bridge was counteract its ever - expanding
open for only two eaonths. tourist attractions.
THF MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

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