Marquette, Michigan

Marquette, Michigan

Front Street in downtown Marquette, 1909

Location of Marquette within Marquette County, Michigan
Marquette, Michigan

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 46°32′47″N 87°24′24″W / 46.54639°N 87.40667°W / 46.54639; -87.40667Coordinates: 46°32′47″N 87°24′24″W / 46.54639°N 87.40667°W / 46.54639; -87.40667
Country United States
State Michigan
County Marquette
  Type Commission-Manager
  Mayor Dave Campana[1]
  City Manager L. Michael Angeli[2]
  City 19.45 sq mi (50.38 km2)
  Land 11.39 sq mi (29.50 km2)
  Water 8.06 sq mi (20.88 km2)
Elevation 633[4] ft (203 m)
Population (2010)[5]
  City 21,355
  Estimate (2012[6]) 21,532
  Density 1,874.9/sq mi (723.9/km2)
  Metro 67,077
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 49855
Area code(s) 906
FIPS code 26-51900[5]
GNIS feature ID 0631600[7]

Marquette is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Marquette County.[8] The population was 21,355 at the 2010 census, making it the most populated city of the Upper Peninsula. Marquette is a major port on Lake Superior, known primarily for shipping iron ore, and is the home of Northern Michigan University. In 2012, Marquette was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch.[9]


Statue of Jacques Marquette in Marquette

The land around Marquette was known to French missionaries of the early 17th century and the trappers of the early 19th century. A mission was established at what became Marquette in 1675. Development of the area did not begin, however, until 1844, when William Burt and Jacob Houghton (the brother of geologist Douglass Houghton) discovered iron deposits near Teal Lake west of Marquette. In 1845, Jackson Mining Company, the first organized mining company in the region, was formed.[10]

The village of Marquette began on September 14, 1849, with the formation of a second iron concern, the Marquette Iron Company. Three men participated in organizing the firm: Robert J. Graveraet, who had prospected the region for ore; Edward Clark, agent for Waterman A. Fisher of Worcester, Massachusetts, who financed the company, and Amos Rogers Harlow. The village was at first called New Worcester, with Harlow as the first postmaster. On August 21, 1850, the name was changed to honor Jacques Marquette, the French Jesuit missionary who had explored the region. A second post office, named Carp River, was opened on October 13, 1851 by Peter White, who had gone there with Graveraet at age 18.[11] Harlow closed his post office in August 1852. The Marquette Iron Company failed, while its successor, the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, flourished and had the village platted in 1854. The plat was recorded by Peter White. White's office was renamed as Marquette in April 1856, and the village was incorporated in 1859. It was incorporated as a city in 1871.[12]

During the 1850s, Marquette was linked by rail to numerous mines and became the leading shipping center of the Upper Peninsula. The first ore pocket dock, designed by an early town leader, John Burt, was built by the Cleveland Iron Mining Company in 1859.[13] By 1862, the city had a population of over 1,600 and a soaring economy.[10]

In the late 19th century, during the height of iron mining, Marquette became nationally known as a summer haven. Visitors brought in by Great Lakes passenger steamships filled the city's hotels and resorts.[13]

South of the city, K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base was an important Air Force installation during the Cold War, host to B-52H bombers and KC-135 tankers of the Strategic Air Command, as well as a fighter interceptor squadron. The base closed in September 1995, and is now the county's Sawyer International Airport.

Marquette continues to be a shipping port for hematite ores and, today, enriched iron ore pellets, from nearby mines and pelletizing plants. About 7.9 million gross tons of pelletized iron ore passed through Marquette's Presque Isle Harbor in 2005.[13]

The Roman Catholic Bishop Frederic Baraga is buried at St. Peter's Cathedral, which is the center for the Diocese of Marquette.

Postal and philatelic history

In addition to the Marquette #1 Post Office there is the "Northern Michigan University Bookstore Contract Station #384".[14]

The first day of issue of a postal card showing Bishop Frederic Baraga took place in Marquette on June 29, 1984, and that of the Wonders of America Lake Superior stamp[15] on May 27, 2006.[16]

Geography and climate


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.45 square miles (50.38 km2), of which 11.39 square miles (29.50 km2) is land and 8.06 square miles (20.88 km2) is water.[3]

The city includes several small islands (principally Middle Island, Gull Island, Lover's Island, Presque Isle Pt. Rocks, White Rocks, Ripley Rock, and Picnic Rocks) in Lake Superior. The Marquette Underwater Preserve lies immediately offshore.

Marquette Mountain, used for skiing, is located in the city, as is most of the land of Marquette Branch Prison of the Michigan Department of Corrections.[17] Trowbridge Park (an unincorporated part of Marquette Township) is located to the west, and Marquette Township to the northwest of the city.



Marquette has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with four distinct seasons that is strongly moderated by Lake Superior and is located in Plant Hardiness zone 5b.[18] Winters are long and cold with a January average of 18.8 °F (−7.3 °C). Winter temperatures are slightly warmer than inland locations at a similar latitude due to the release of the heat stored by the lake, which moderates the climate.[19] On average, there are 11.6 days where the temperature reaches below 0 °F (−18 °C) and most days during winter remain below freezing.[20] Being located in the snowbelt region, Marquette receives a significant amount of snowfall during the winter months, mostly from lake-effect snow. Because Lake Superior rarely freezes over completely, this enables lake effect snow to persist throughout winter, making Marquette the third snowiest location in the contiguous United States as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with an average annual snowfall of 149.1 inches (379 cm).[21] The snow depth in winter usually exceeds 10 inches (25 cm).[20]

The warmest months, July and August, each average 66.6 °F (19.2 °C), showing somewhat of a seasonal lag. The surrounding lake cools summertime temperatures[19] and as a result, temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C) are rare, with only 3.4 days per year.[20] Spring and fall are transitional seasons that are generally mild though highly variable due to the alternation of air masses moving quickly. Spring is usually cooler than fall because the surrounding lake is slow to warm than the land while in fall, the lake releases heat, warming the area.[19]

Marquette receives 29 in (737 mm) of precipitation per year, which is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, though September and October are the wettest months with January and February being the driest. The average window for nighttime freezes is October 15 thru May 7.[20] The highest temperature ever recorded in Marquette was 108 °F (42 °C) on July 15, 1901 and the lowest was −33 °F (−36 °C) on February 8, 1861.[20] Marquette receives an average of 2,294 hours of sunshine per year or 51% of possible sunshine, ranging from a low of 29% in December to a high of 68% in July.[22]

Climate data for Marquette, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 57
Average high °F (°C) 25.0
Daily mean °F (°C) 13.6
Average low °F (°C) 12.5
Record low °F (°C) −26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.80
Average snowfall inches (cm) 32.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 17.3 11.4 11.9 10.5 10.3 11.4 10.8 10.8 13.1 13.8 13.6 15.0 150.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 18.6 12.3 10.1 4.4 0.2 0 0 0 0.1 0.8 7.7 14.7 68.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 105.5 128.8 181.3 225.3 278.8 289.7 322.8 270.6 191.5 140.6 80.7 78.2 2,293.8
Source: NOAA (normals 1981–2010, sun 1961–1990, extremes 1860–present)[20][21][22]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201521,297[23]−0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 estimate

2010 census

As of the census[24] of 2010, there were 21,355 people, 8,321 households, and 3,788 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,874.9 inhabitants per square mile (723.9/km2). There were 8,756 housing units at an average density of 768.7 per square mile (296.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.1% White, 4.4% African American, 1.5% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

There were 8,321 households of which 18.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 54.5% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.71.

The median age in the city was 29.1 years. 12.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 30.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.3% were from 25 to 44; 21.9% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.8% male and 48.2% female.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[5] there were 19,661 people, 8,071 households and 4,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,723.9 per square mile (665.3/km²). There were 8,429 housing units at an average density of 739.1 per square mile (285.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95% White, 0.8% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population. 15.5% were of German, 12.6% Finnish, 8.9% French, 8.5% English, 8.2% Irish, 6.8% Italian and 6.7% Swedish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 8,071 households of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.6% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.81.

Age distribution was 16.8% under the age of 18, 25.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median household income was $29,918, and the median family income was $48,120. Males had a median income of $34,107 versus $24,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,787. About 7.2% of families and 17.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.3% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.


Along with Northern Michigan University, the largest employers in Marquette are the Marquette School System, Marquette General Hospital (a regional medical center which is the only Level 2 Trauma center in the Upper Peninsula), Marquette Branch Prison, Pioneer Surgical Technology now part of RTI Surgical, and Charter Communications.

Marquette's port was the 140th largest in the United States in 2015, ranked by tonnage.[25]

Recreation and tourism

Recreational facilities

Lake Superior shoreline at Presque Isle Park in July

The city of Marquette has a number of parks and recreational facilities which are used by city and county residents. Presque Isle Park is Marquette's most popular park located on the north side of the city. It includes 323 acres (131 ha) of mostly forested land and juts out into Lake Superior. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, noted for designing Central Park in New York City. Amenities include a wooden band shell for concerts, a park pavilion, a gazebo, a marina, a concession stand, picnic tables, barbecue pits, walking/skiing trails, playground facilities, and Moosewood Nature Center. The city has two popular beaches, South Beach Park and McCarty's Cove. McCarty's Cove, flanked by the red U.S. Coast Guard Station lighthouse on its south shore, serves as a reprieve from hot summer days, where city and county residents alike take advantage of the cool, but tolerable, water temperatures and the cooling effects of the lake-generated sea breeze. Both beaches have picnic areas, grills, children's playgrounds and lifeguard stands. Other parks include Tourist Park, Founder's Landing, LaBonte Park, Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Park Cemetery, Shiras Park, Williams Park, Harlow Park, Pocket Park, Spring Street Park and Father Marquette Park.

There are also numerous other recreational facilities located within the city. Lakeview Arena is best known for its use as an ice hockey facility, but it also hosts a number of public events. A skateboard park is located just outside the arena and open during the summer. Lakeview Arena was home to the Marquette Electricians and Marquette Senior High School's Redmen hockey team. In 1974, the arena replaced the historic Palestra, which had been located a few blocks away. Gerard Haley Memorial Baseball field home of the Marquette Blues and Reds is located in the north side along with numerous little league and softball fields. Marquette has the largest wooden dome in the world, the Superior Dome—unofficially but affectionately known as the YooperDome. During the football season, the Dome is used primarily for football on its newly renovated astro turf field. The turf was installed in July 2009. Northern Michigan University holds its home football games in the Dome, as does the Michigan High School Athletic Association with the upper peninsula's High School football playoffs. The dome also hosts numerous private and public events which draw in thousands from around the region. The Marquette Golf Club has brought international recognition to the area for its unique and dramatic Greywalls course, opened in 2005. The course features several panoramic views of Lake Superior and winds its way through rocky outcroppings, heaving fairways and a rolling valley, yet is located less than two miles (3 km) from the downtown area.

The city is also known for fishing for deep water lake trout, whitefish, salmon and brown trout.

Marquette has an extensive network of biking and walking paths. The city has been gradually expanding the paths and has been promoting itself as a walkable and livable community. Cross Country ski trails are also located at Presque Isle Park and the Fit Strip.[26]

Camping facilities are located at Tourist Park.

The combination of hilly terrain (a 600-foot (180 m) vertical difference from top to bottom) and large area snow falls makes snowboarding and downhill skiing a reality on the edge of town.[27]

Panorama of Lower Harbor and downtown Marquette, from Lower Harbor Park. The Lower Harbor Ore Dock is no longer in operation.

Museums, galleries, and lighthouses

Festivals and events

Live theatrical productions are also provided through Northern Michigan University's Forest Roberts Theatre and Black Box Theatre, Marquette's Graverate School Kaufman Auditorium and Lake Superior Theatre, a semi-professional summer stock theatre.


The Presque Isle Harbor Ore Dock, an ore pocket dock, was built in 1912. Trains drop ore into the dock. Then chutes on the side of the dock lower to spill the ore into ships.

Marquette is served by American Eagle and Delta Air Lines out of Sawyer International Airport with daily flights to Chicago and Detroit.

Marquette is served by a transportation bus system called the "MarqTran" that runs through the city and to nearby places such as Sawyer International Airport and Ishpeming. Indian Trails bus lines operates daily intercity bus service between Hancock and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a stop in Marquette.[44]

Marquette has limited freight rail service by the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. The Canadian National Railway also goes through nearby Negaunee.

Marquette's Presque Isle, or Upper, Harbor Ore Dock loads iron ore pellets onto ships.[45]



Public schools

The City of Marquette is served by the Marquette Area Public Schools. The district is the largest school district in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin, with about 3,100 students and 420 Faculty and Staff.

Private schools


Public libraries


Multiple media outlets provide local coverage of the Marquette area.

Accolades and awards

Notable people

The Marquette County Courthouse was used for the courtroom scenes in the film Anatomy of a Murder.

Sister cities

Marquette has two sister cities.[51]

See also


  1. "Meet Your Commissioners". City of Marquette. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  2. Jarvi, Ryan (September 15, 2015). "Angeli given manager's position". The Mining Journal. Marquette, MI. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  3. 1 2 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  4. "NOAA National Weather Service".
  5. 1 2 3 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  7. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Marquette, Michigan
  8. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  9. Smith, Nancy F. (March 8, 2012). "The 10 Best Places to Retire". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  10. 1 2 Eckert, Kathryn Bishop (2000). The Sandstone Architecture of the Lake Superior Region. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 89–91. ISBN 0-8143-2807-5.
  11. "[not listed]". Inland Seas. 1968 via Google Books.
  12. Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X.
  13. 1 2 3 Bogue, Margaret Beattie (2007). Around the Shores of Lake Superior: A Guide to Historic Sites. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 237–39. ISBN 0-299-22174-1.
  14. "Post Office Photo Collection". Post Mark Collectors Club.
  15. "39c Lake Superior single". Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  16. "Dedication of Wonders of America Lake Superior Stamp". Marquette Maritime Museum. Archived from the original on May 20, 2012.
  17. "Marquette Branch Prison". Michigan Department of Corrections.
  18. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (Map). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  19. 1 2 3 "Natural Processes in the Great Lakes". The Great Lakes An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "NOWData: NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  21. 1 2 "Comparative Climate Data For the United States Through 2012" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. p. 56. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  22. 1 2 "Marquette/FAA ARPT MI Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  23. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  24. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  25. "Principal Ports of the United States". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. October 12, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  26. "Presque Isle State Park: Winter Activities". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008.
  27. "Marquette Mountain Ski Resort".
  28. "Marquette Maritime Museum and Lighthouse". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  29. "Upper Peninsula Children's Museum". Upper Peninsula Children's Museum.
  30. "About Us". Marquette County History Museum.
  31. "DeVos Art Museum". Northern Michigan University.
  32. "About Us". Oasis Gallery for Contemporary Art. Archived from the original on June 2, 2002.
  33. "Marquette area 4th of July committee".
  34. "Blueberry Festival".
  35. "Superior Bike Fest".
  36. "The UP-200".
  37. "Noquemanon Ski Marathon".
  38. "Marquette Area Blues Fest". Marquette Area Blues Fest Society.
  39. Cheatham, Sierra, ed. (June 2007). "City Notes". Marquette Monthly. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  40. "U.P. Fall Beer Festival". Michigan' Brewers Guild.
  41. "Ore 2 Shore". Ore 2 Shore.
  42. "Marquette Marathon and Half Marathon". Marquette Marathon.
  43. "Home Page". Out Back Art Fair.
  44. "Hancock–Marquette–Green Bay–Milwaukee" (PDF). Indian Trails. January 12, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  45. "Marquette ore docks a reminder of the city's maritime and mining heritage". Michigan Radio. September 1, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  46. "Marquette Alternative High School at Vandenboom". Marquette Area Public Schools.
  47. "Fifth-Graders to Move to Bothwell". The Mining Journal. Marquette, MI. February 24, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  48. "Graveraet Elementary". Marquette Area Public Schools.
  49. 1 2 "Father Marquette Catholic School". Father Marquette Elementary School.
  50. "National Trust for Historic Preservation Announces that Marquette, Mich. Is 'Fan Favorite' Among 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destination" (Press release). National Trust of Historic Preservation. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010.
  51. Hunt, Mary; Hunt, Don (2007). "Peter White Library". Hunts' Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Albion, MI: Midwestern Guides. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marquette, Michigan.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.