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      U.P. county names explained

      At a sprawling 16,500 square miles, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to 15 unique counties, each with its own history.

      "The counties of the Upper Peninsula are named after geographical features, shape of the county, after Native American sites, and after famous people of the time," explained Russell Magnaghi, a history professor at Northern Michigan University.

      In the 1820s, Michigan was just a territory, and at the time, the U.P. was made up of just two counties, both named after Native Americans.

      "The Michilimackinac County, which we know as Mackinac County today, that was one of the first counties--and that refers to Mackinac Island, the great turtle," Magnaghi said. "Then you have Chippewa County, which is another name for the Ojibwe Indians."

      As time progressed and the mining industry began booming, those two counties split into four with the addition of Marquette and Houghton counties.

      TV6's own Karl Bohnak, who collaborated on Michigan's Upper Peninsula Almanac, has studied the U.P. and its notable figures.

      "Marquette, of course, is named after Father Marquette, the Jesuit who came up during the 17th century," said Bohnak. "Then there was Douglass Houghton who was the first state geologist."

      Facebook fan Kristie Swanson shed some light on one county, writing on our Facebook page, "Schoolcraft County is named in honor of Henry Schoolcraft, a geologist who explored the area with the expedition of Lewis Cass."

      As far as geographical influence, believe it or not, Delta County once lived up to its name.

      "If you look at Delta County today, it's not a triangle, but you have to remember when they named it, there wasn't a Menominee County, so it looked like a triangle at the time," Magnaghi said.