|Keweenaw County, Michigan|
Location in the state of Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 11, 1861 |
5,965.96 sq mi (15,452 km²)
540.97 sq mi (1,401 km²)
5,424.98 sq mi (14,051 km²), 90.995%
4/sq mi (1.549/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Keweenaw County is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Houghton, Michigan, Micropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,156. 2,173 Population in July 1, 2011 Estimate it is the least populous county in Michigan. The county seat is Eagle River. Isle Royale is a part of the county. The Keweenaw Liberty Library  is an online library containing links to legal documents and public records it deems to be "on issues important to" Keweenaw County, Michigan, and its constituent townships as well as the Keweenaw County Road Commission, which serves as the road commission for the county.
The county was set off and organized in 1861. It is said that Keweenaw is "A Native American word meaning 'portage or place where portage is made,'" See List of Michigan county name etymologies.
Keweenaw County is the northernmost county in Michigan. According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 5,965.96 square miles (15,451.8 km2), of which 540.97 square miles (1,401.1 km2) (or 9.07%) is land and 5,424.98 square miles (14,050.6 km2) (or 90.93%) is water. Of all counties (or county-equivalents) in the United States, Keweenaw County has the highest proportion of water area to total area. In essence, 90.932 percent of the county consists of a significant part of Lake Superior, while only 9.068 percent is actually land. Isle Royale is its northernmost section.
The largest lake in the county is Gratiot Lake at 1,438 acres (5.82 km2). The lake is at the base of the county's two highest peaks, Mt. Horace Greeley at 1,550 feet (470 m) and Mt. Gratiot at 1,490 feet (450 m).
||Cook County, Minnesota||Lake Superior & Canada|
|Ontonagon County||Houghton County||Marquette County|
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,301 people, 998 households, and 604 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 2,327 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.96% White, 3.52% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 0.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.0% were of Finnish, 10.1% German, 8.7% English, 6.5% Italian and 5.6% French ancestry. 96.5% spoke English, 1.8% Finnish and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.
There were 998 households out of which 20.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 5.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.40% were non-families. 35.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.40% 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 2.76.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 21.30% from 25 to 44, 29.40% from 45 to 64, and 20.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 116.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,140, and the median income for a family was $36,758. Males had a median income of $27,165 versus $21,667 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,769. About 7.40% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.
The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.
The Keweenaw County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Residence and Jail in Eagle River faces Lake Superior. The courthouse was built in 1866, followed by the sheriff’s residence and jail in 1886, and then remodeled in 1925. In her book Buildings of Michigan, Eckert writes:
The courthouse still preserves its original appearance.
Sparsely-populated Keeweenaw County was a mining center in the later 19th century but in the 20th century turned into a resort community. Because of this trend, Keweenaw County is also the only Michigan county to have a lower population in the year 2000 than in 1900.
(information as of September 2005)
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