Michigan | Fun Facts You Didn’t Know Before
January 26, 1837. The United States induct the territory of Michigan into the Union as a state. From that point onward, Michigan has contributed much to the country, and has created a rich and unique story. How well do you know the state? Here are a few cool little factoids that you may not know about the Mitten State.
- Detroit is considered the car capital of the world. With almost 2 million cars produced in Michigan factories annually, it’s no wonder why.
- Michigan is often called the “Wolverine State”. The most strange part about this, is the fact that there are no more wolverines living in the state.
- As stagecoaches traveled back and forth across the state, it was not uncommon for cities to become known for their stop. Novi is a perfect example, because they were founded as the 6th stop for stagecoach No. VI (NOVI).
- Michigan got its name from the Chippewa word for “great water”, “mici gama”.
- Michigan has more shoreline than any of the other states aside from Alaska. It is also the only state to touch 4 of the Great Lakes simultaneously.
- There are over 11,000 lakes in Michigan. You are never further than 82 miles from a body of water in Michigan.
- Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan. It also boasts the fastest growth rate in the state.
- Founded in 1850, Grand Rapids started out being known for its furniture industry. At one point, Grand Rapids became known as Furniture City, with only New York and Chicago producing more furniture.
- Today, Grand Rapids is known as Beer City USA, for the abundance of craft beer to be found here. There are over 40 breweries in the city.
- Grand Rapids is third in the country in apple production.
- Only California has a more diverse agricultural profile than Michigan.
- In 1945 Grand Rapids became the first city to put fluoride in its water.
- Lansing was named after Lansing, New York, where some of the first settlers there came from.
- When it was settled in 1847, Lansing immediately was named the state capital.
- Biggby Coffee originated in East Lansing and is now a very successful coffee chain nationwide.
- The capitol building in Lansing took six years to construct. It has thousands of hand painted details that span over nine acres of space.
- Stevie Wonder went to school for the blind in Lansing.
- NBA Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson is from Lansing.
- East Lansing is home to Michigan State University. It was founded in 1855 as an agricultural school.
- Holland was settled by Dutch Calvinist Separatists in 1845. Dr Albertus Van Raalte is the founding father of the city. They originally left the Netherlands in order to seek religious freedom.
- Holland hosts the Tulip Time festival every year, bringing in over a million tourists each time. The festival lasts about a week, and people travel from all over the world to attend.
- Located on Lake Macatawa, the city is also near Lake Michigan. Some notable beachfront parks are Tunnel Park and the Holland State Park.
- Hope College, which was founded in 1851, and earned its state charter in 1866, making it an officially recognized college.
- Holland boasts a 250 year-old Dutch windmill named De Zwaan. It is an original windmill, and it stands 125 feet tall, with 40 foot sails.
- NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins is from Holland, and visits occasionally. He also runs youth football camps at Hope College’s Ray and Sue Smith Stadium.
- The area that plays host to Kalamazoo was first inhabited by the Hopewell community of Native Americans, then the Pottawatomie. White settlers built their first cabin in 1829 in the area.
- Kalamazoo was not formally recognized as a city until 1883. If was officially a village before that, starting in 1831.
- Kalamazoo was originally called Bronson, after the man who platted the city. He was run out of town, as he was considered to be argumentative. The city was renamed Kalamazoo after he left.
- The first outdoor pedestrian mall was opened in Kalamazoo in 1959.
- Do you like guitars? Gibson Guitar Company was originally located in Kalamazoo!
- Kingston, Jamaica is one of Kalamazoo’s sister cities.
- Ann Arbor was founded in 1822. It is the 7th largest city in Michigan.
- President Gerald R Ford called Ann Arbor home.
- The city was founded by two men who decided to name it after their wives: both named Ann.
- The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor. There are over 35,000 students attending. “The Big House”, where the University of Michigan hosts their football games, is the largest in the country, with almost 110,000 seats.
- It is estimated that there are over 1.5 million trees in Ann Arbor. Sometimes people refer to the city as “Treetown”.
- There are only a few Academy Award qualifying festivals in the country, and Ann Arbor boasts one of them.
- Ann Arbor is one of only 11 cities that house a Presidential Library.