Exploring America’s Most Northern Little Town: My Investigation – Video

Exploring America’s Most Northern Little Town: My Investigation – Video

Join Nick Johnson on his journey as he explores the most northern little town in America – Marquette, Michigan. Known for its rugged beauty and tough winters, the Upper Peninsula is a place unlike any other. From snowstorms to ice fishing derbies, Nick dives into the heart of this unique community, showcasing the simple, yet hardy way of life that the people of Marquette lead.

Through interviews with locals and visits to local hotspots such as the legendary Lumberjack Tavern, Nick paints a picture of a town where everyone knows each other, where crime is nearly non-existent, and where the great outdoors is a way of life. Despite the challenges of harsh weather and isolation, the residents of Marquette find solace in their close-knit community and their shared love for hockey, hunting, and enjoying a good beer at the local bar.

As Nick delves into the history and culture of this hidden gem, he uncovers the struggles of population decline and the threat of gentrification, all while celebrating the unique charm and resilience of the people who call Marquette home. So grab a drink, bundle up, and join Nick Johnson on his adventure through the most northern little town in America.

Watch the video by Nick Johnson

Video Transcript

On the shores of Lake Superior and it is coming down woo oh [Applause] boy Whoa this is the store like Jim cantori out [Applause] here and I tell what it’s coming down finally this is why I came up here and look at that I’ve got finally got some snow in my

Stash feel like a real local when you get snow in your stash hardcore means are from here I’m on the banks of Lake Superior we’ve been on this Great Lakes road trip for almost 2 weeks to that point and I haden’t seen anything close to it’s like up here in the

Winter till that morning that was just crazy it’s usually like this every day up here in the winter but this was rare this year so rare that people were gathered in their cars to watch this Squall come in that day they were looking at me like I was

Crazy but I was like I don’t get to see this very often so there you go YouTube holy we are in Marquette Michigan the end of the world this is up north the UPA if you’ve never been to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula well you’re not alone a

Lot of people have never even heard of the place it’s the Wild Land the great unknown well we’re going to get to know it right now I spent six days up here in the middle of 2024’s winter and three of those days were right here in

Marquette I’ve been up here a lot before but that was way before I was a big YouTube Star back when I was just a little pup I’ve always wanted to come back up here and show you guys what the place is all about this was the one week on the

Entire trip where I actually saw winter and it was Wonderful yeah I’m in the back of the truck and we’re in Marquette and we’re on our way to another bar oh yeah hanging out bar crawling we are rolling dirty it is cold and I don’t care cuz that’s what we do up in here okay I was kind of buzzed up that

Night and looking back that was kind of dumb but I was fired up they were like let’s go to the next bar we’d already been at three like we don’t have any room Nick hop in the back I was like all right I’ll ride in the back of the truck

On a 13 Dee night woo but that’s how it is up here going out to the bars is kind of what everyone here does and I did a lot of that for research purposes sacrificing my health for YouTube [Applause] views Marquette Michigan the end of the world Yer

Land so where in the Michigan are we we’re here way up here on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula we’re just across Lake Superior from Canada it’s the biggest city on this peninsula but there’s only 20,000 people in town came up here because it’s a wonderful small town and it’s the

Perfect way to show you how people up here live call these people yers that’s an endearing term taken from the initials up Upper Peninsula see now I’m going to get to just what this whole Yer Lifestyles like in the next video when I explore the rest of the peninsula marquette’s a much more

Subdued version of life up here the whole area up here has this small town conservative sensible vibe to it marquette’s a more subdued version of life up here kind of the only place where alternative viewpoints are accepted and where people are a little bit more laidback driving around Marquette it can feel very

Insular everyone seems to know everyone else up here newcomers might feel a little ostracized at first and this is probably the most welcoming place on this entire Peninsula check this out it’s the only place liberals roam the entire land up here as far as you can see in all

Directions from here it is red red red red maret’s a college town sort of the University of Northern Michigan’s here but that’s not what really defines the place Marquette got at start because of Timber and or mining European sellers came in here in the 1800s to tap into the abundance of

Natural Resources up here and there’s still a lot that up here today there’s a big iron ore Dock on marquette’s Coast that keeps a lot of people employed from here they move millions of tons of ore across Lake Superior down to other industrial centers like Cleveland and Pittsburgh and

Buffalo 95% of the ore mined in the US comes from this part of the country there’s a lot of good paying Mining and engineering jobs up here but besides that not a lot unless you work in tourism or at the damn bar or you know how to make chainsaw

Sculptures downtown Marette is a gem Little slice of America I’ve been up here in the sum couple times they got this big patriotic Fourth of July parade and then they have to light the fireworks off the docks at midnight cuz that’s when it gets dark up here in the

Summer in the winter though things are much more subdued are making tracks now boy have things changed this afternoon now if you’ve been following along you’re aware that this is the third stop on my Great Lakes Road Trip the whole reason I plan the trip was to

Show you guys how people in this region get through these brutal winners you hear about but up until now the winter had been mild every place I went to before and after the up they were seeing record warm temps and record low snow it was crazy everyone was like this

Is great I was like this sucks where’s the bad weather where’s the snow I come to see this but we got a little bit of that here you go when I was here the place was just wild every day I was here there was snow I was like

Finally a lot of times snowstorm would just move in out of nowhere every day they were saying no snow partly cloudy but it dumped every day that’s just how it is up here holy crap I got to take a nap and come outside we got about an inch or two

On the ground in about an hour they said it wasn’t even going to snow today but it did and it is God that might be three Ines man there’s so much snow coming down I can’t fly the Drone I tried to get the Drone up and the damn thing wouldn’t come down

Because of the snow updraft or something I don’t know it was coming down real slow so no drone marquette’s right on the edge of the lake so the place gets dumped on with lake effect snow we’re talking 3 feet at a time I heard stories of friends that said in college they used

To jump off their roofs into the snow it gets that high some say Marquette the snowiest place in the country they get 13 ft a year on average to get so much snow they got to get on top of their homes and shovel it off or their house will collapse no

They’re called yer scoopers then there’s the cold they have to put additives in their fuel to prevent their fuel lines from freezing a lot of people here have engine warmers hooked up to their cars raining ice with 50 m hour winds roads that are slick you fall down

Trying to get in your car so yeah it’s brutal only a certain type of people can live through all this I thought it was wonderful because I don’t have to live here all year go cats go cheer so we’re going to do it on three you ready one two three

Go cats go thanks Walt have a good night everybody so the whole reason that we even came up to Marquette was they have this big sled dog race up here every February I was like well we should go to that and then I’m like well we should

Show the rest of the area up there too if we’re going to go up there we should show winter and the Great Lakes area in general so this up200 it’s an annual sled dog race they start downtown Marquette and they travel out throughout the region for 200 miles and then they

Come back here at the end it’s a really big deal they’ve been doing it forever but a couple weeks before I got here they announced the race is cancelled everyone we don’t have enough snow it was only the second time in race history that they cancelled it the other time was last year

Well I was pretty bummed and a lot of people up here were worried cuz they were like well what’s our future Winter life going to be like we keep canceling the race what’s that mean for our tourist season and for our local businesses and you know we kind of like

The cold that’s why we’re here these Winters are getting kind of oddly warm lately huh everyone is that our future well there’s no race but everybody’s out here here anyway we’re all having a good time well global warming Believers are not it’s clear that things are changing up

Here nobody knows for how long but it’s a thing I’m doing this all on my own anyways they were supposed to have the sled dog race and they’re like well we’re still going to have a big festival downtown anyway we’re the race is cancelled but everybody come down and

Comically the night that the race was supposed to be held it snowed a lot I was like you guys could have had the race and they’re like no we needed to plan it all out but it was pretty funny that the race got canceled because no

Snow and they got about half of foot the night of the event so everybody was in a good mood they all turned out to drink and listen to music race or no race we’re going to celebrate total small town fun H how hard is it to do this for 200

Miles um the biggest thing that kind of gets to you at that point is the sleep deprivation because you’re going into checkpoint and you only have maybe like 4 hours and in that time it’s like you got to take care of the dogs you got to

Take care of yourself and you want to get rest before you’re on the trail again and just doing that back to back to back the dogs can do it fine they’ll go to sleep they’ll wake up they’ll be ready to go but it takes a lot of toll

On the musher for sure so the up2 200 is kind of nice cuz you can still have a crew it’s not you know I did a rod where you’re just all on your own but if you’re doing it as an ID qualifier you do have to do one checkpoint why do you

Do this why do you think this is so fun for me the biggest thing is the bond with the animals um it’s gotten me really into dog training in general and other Dog Sports but it’s just it’s really that trust especially with you know every every musher’s got their good

Hard leaders that they trust and it’s like somebody else might run them they might listen Okay but when you have that strong bomb with them it’s like you can get them to break Trail for you so basically they they’ll be no Trail there and you call them and then they’ll go

Anyway and it’s like that trust you have where it’s like they know you’re telling them the right place to go and then you’re trusting them to take you to the right place and I feel like for me that that’s the big part where we think about

It like any other sport you you don’t it’s not quite the same hey Wolfie you want to say hi hi Wolfie oh yes you want to say hi for dinner that night we began at the Portside in right downtown everyone was feeling festive and dressed up for the

Occasion kind of reminded me of what I’d see in those small towns in the midwest when they have those winter holiday festivals or the groundhog comes out and looks at his shadow I had all the bats and some local white fish it was M then afterwards my manager decided to

Try the sled Hill that was supposed to be for [Applause] kids oh what what happened Here well I got what I wanted it’s about 19° out here at the celebration for the sled dog race and it’s cold real cold and everyone’s just kind of hanging out and we’re all just enjoying winter up here and I tell you what I don’t miss the cold but it’s nice

To come up and occasionally my hands are freezing time to wrap it up for the night folks we only got about 3 in but it felt like a foot that’s how how it is up here you never know what you’re going to get the Great Lakes tour continues from Marquette

Michigan the next morning was even colder it’s 8° this morning that’s right 8 8:00 a.m. and 8° and that person’s running God I guess you got to do it at some point good for her not [Applause] fun most of marquets a simple life here’s what an average neighborhood looks like in

Here a lot of this stuff’s in the 250k range pretty good for 250 right looks great very affordable for simple living it’s a close-knit community up here here everybody knows each other they all get along for the most part crime’s really low beyond your normal crackhead that happens in

Town but you have that anywhere these days there’s been three murders here in the last 20 years you can bet that whenever somebody acts up everybody in town knows who it is and then down the road this is what would be considered the cheapest part of Marquette again not too

Bad you get a house on this street for 170k looks pretty good for the cheap side of town huh and they say there’s nothing affordable left fooy I’m pretty sure that every single person who lives in marquette’s going to be pissed when they see this video they see

That I’m showing you how nice it is and how cheap it is stay out we’re full I’m sure they’re thinking well you ain’t you just have to have thick bones and a hearty liver to make a go of it up here liver part’s probably more important I’ll tell you

That this is my type of place if I lived here I’d shoot a bear and a moose every day maybe even a trespasser well I don’t think you can shoot a moose Mappy I think they’re protected but I get you you and I both like this rugged part of

America these people make sense look how clean it is why can’t the rest of the country be nice and safe and quiet anymore now it’s all squatters and illegals well I think you might have a future in local politics Mappy you’re talking local sensibilities kind of makes you wonder

Why so many of us want to live in big cities and put up with all the drama and Bs everybody’s got to be so busy busy busy it’s all about work and fancy like he everybody up here splits their time between the bars and the outdoors hiking fishing hunting skiing hockey’s

Huge that right there is called the superior Dome it’s the biggest wooden dome in the world this is where the NMU hockey and football teams play holy holy this is crazy biggest wooden dome in the world they have won all kinds of Awards in that Dome volleyball and of course

Hockey that’s what everybody loves to come watch is some NMU hockey Marquette even has its own little ski resort it’s called Marquette Mountain it’s pretty tiny but that’s okay nobody around here wants this place to get all corporate anyways it’s fine for them if you don’t like it if it

Ain’t big enough for you go somewhere else so I explored a little bit around Marquette when I was here a little bit I’m going to show you a lot more of the area in another video coming up but up the road from Marquette there a little town called Big Bay that’s where that

Ice fishing derby was held that I showed you earlier look at this place teeny little streets where people share their backyards share their beer share their lives Hardy honest folks who have who knows what for their careers but it’s cheap if you want a place to retire and

You can tolerate all this snow there’s little off the radar places like this all over the region this is just one of them I like there’s a hundred big Bays on this peninsula Now this little Town’s booming well relatively 5 years ago there were only a couple hundred folks in town now there’s almost 600 people here but that’s not normal up here I think one of the biggest issues up here in the up isn’t too many people coming it’s people

Leaving the state of Michigan’s losing people folks it ranks 49th in population growth ahead of only West Virginia and up here in eerland it’s pretty bad in the 1920s there were 332,000 people well losing 32,000 people in a 100 years it’s not noticeable but it’s accelerating people are dying off and

There’s less people coming up here to fill their place especially young people America’s soft youth they can’t handle this they don’t want this it’s too cold the cell service is slow I don’t want to mine or be a lumberjack or get my hands dirty hell no

Just want to sit at home and work three days a week the only thing that stopped the population loss up here for a little bit was Co a lot of people wanted to stay away from each other and to hell with wearing masks so a lot of people flocked up here

And some of them kind of stuck around but driving around up here you see businesses are closing down and a lot of Mom and Pops they have a hard time finding somebody to run the place these days you got to drive further and further to get groceries or chainsaw parts or

Bullets but not beer there’s plenty of bars open my favorite part of Big Bay was The Lumberjack Tavern my kind of place you know me a local only dive bar meets Diner where they have dead animals on the walls chainsaws hanging down and look the place is famous ever heard of

That show Anatomy of a Murder well it was based on an event that happened here in 1952 a man shot and killed the owner of this place after his wife accused the guy of rape there’s where his body laid on the restaurant floor right there I treated three of my managers to some

Beers and cheese curds sitting around listening to the local gossip checking out the local style and snowmobiling is a big deal up here and they got all the stickers to prove it snowmobile Central then there’s no Chew in the Ural I’m surprised by that here at The Lumberjack Tavern Saturday

Afternoon and people ride their sleds up to the bar that’s a big thing up here I wish I had a sled to ride to the bar some people up here call Big Bay a rough and tumble Sawmill town but it probably was back in the day that’s the Thunder Bay Inn totally famous

Hotel Henry Ford actually had a place in there he and his wife lived here for a while he was investing in Timber production and they made stuff like bowling pins and wood for the sides of cars Henry Ford sweet Oh Henry they even shot a movie here it was called Anatomy of a

Murder here’s the ice fishing derby that I showed you it took place here in Big Bay the tournament was supposed to be last weekend and but the lake wasn’t frozen over enough to get people out there but I was lucky though and so were they they had a little cold snap that

Moved in and they got enough ice to safely allow people out there who almost got their fish everyone’s got their beer too you got a haul there oh yeah having a fishing CRA yeah yeah can I see inside or is it yeah you got it all covered up I got everything all covered

Up my fishing junk you got our fish in there I got some back here yeah all right I’m doing like a YouTube video can I ask you a quick question yeah sure so what’s going on out here what are we doing uh the Big Bay ice fishing derby

In Lake independent all right yeah so what kind of fish are those perch so you think you got a chance to win ah I I don’t know no not those I’m more just here for the eating yeah yep just eaters right we are out on the ice I was

Told we didn’t have enough ice for this but oh boy we do sure was cold that day could barely feel my hands and my toes well I’m a rookie felt to me like I was recording inside my freezer you come up here in the summer it’s completely different people are out on their

Boats they only get two months of true summer up here so they take advantage of it got a few guys in here they’re you got more than one in there oh yeah there’s more than one okay you got your hole here how thick is the ice right now uh 7

8 in probably all rightz cuz I was told the ice wasn’t thick enough for fishing H last weekend it was it was not not that’s why it’s this week cuz it froze over again yep all right so how do you determine where your spot is just sort

Of yours you know this is the spot yeah okay all right kind of got their own hole in their own spot so okay just fishing out here for a while and you kind of figure out where what spots work and what doesn’t so yeah and then you

Cross your fingers a lot that’s about it yeah have you guys caught anything today or nothing legal couple small Northern pip no okay so it’s basically just fishing and drinking beer and hanging out is that what we’re doing you got it cerie yeah yeah you bet all right

Tradition what kind of Val us you people have up here you can leave your cars unlocked and your doors unlocked your house you have to worry about prime is what prime is what it really is um great place to be able to get outside and get

Away from people if you want to get away from people yeah that’s what we like to worry about it so much not to what people are he’s right now did you guys move up here or you guys were you born I moved up I’m originally from K area um I came

Up to go to Northern and then graduated and uh I got married right after we graduated and moved back to kou for 2 years and I thought no you got to drive an hour to go to the beach you got to you know drive an hour to go skiing or

Mountain biking dur anything like that and no we’re coming right back my wife’s from so yeah and we’ve been back here since 2004 so W our kids are here and they don’t want to go anywhere else everybody else doesn’t have every everywhere else is dry they don’t have leges like we do

Fresh water fun things to do so yeah resources resources yeah hanging out rolling around old school you life when I was in Marquette I really got after it you kind of have to up here everyone else does I’m cold but I’m doing this for YouTube what else am I going to do sit

In the hotel room trudge around the snow you got to get to know what’s going on you got to spend time with the locals people and it’s very easy to drink your face off when you’re in this part of Michigan it’s in their DNA up here it’s

Their social glue you got to get out out of the house in the winter downtown Marquette Michigan ain’t nobody around seems very dead right it’s empty where’s everybody at they’re at the Third Base Bar which is packed holy everybody’s in town yeah the social life here ranges from

Familyfriendly places like Vos to the super busy dive bars like the third base where you’re yelling like this the whole night that’s what you do I drank a lot of laats when I was up here you know since we’re practically in Canada [Applause] He The Wooden Nickel might be the best Dive Bar in all of Eerland of course everybody watches hockey up here it is a big deal up here hockey players are tough and gritty and Rough Around the Edges I think that’s why the people up here identify with hockey so much cuz they’re like that too every place you go to up here has

Hockey on the winner this is the or do Brewing Company in downtown a lot of people told me I needed to come by here and try their craft beer and boy do they love their craft beer in Michigan love it Michigan’s top five in the country for craft

Beer and then after that we went to the 9006 Sports Bar and Grill and more hockey and more the bats for me I don’t like that craft beer and then more laats after that man this place can really wear you out if you let it and look

This time they had something that wasn’t hockey On in 3 days of below 20° temperature starts to grow on you stepping outside you get a breath of fresh clean cold air kind of feels good just kind of get used to it it’s America the Old Wagon here is Pretty Dirty yep might be the dirtiest rental car I’ve ever [Applause]

Had and you just deal with the dirt and the grime you don’t worry about cleaning your car are nope dirtier the better Saturday morning usually there’s not a lot of people out Saturday mornings especially when it’s less than 10° I don’t blame them these people are tough I tell you they’re

Hardy it was damn cold that day God I met this dude in the hotel parking lot I was real jelly of that hat you know me then he let me try it on wish he didn’t wanted that hat so bad he told me he got it for cheap in Afghanistan one

Time my managers and I spent three days at the superior Stay Hotel on Third Street when we were in town right in the middle of it all blocks from the NMU campus and you can walk to a lot of the bars and restaurants when you’re here too thanks everyone at Superior Day

Hotel we had a blast in your cool lounge and then there’s the lake remember this from earlier somebody told me hey when you’re up there by the lake when it’s a bad storm coming in you might see people surfing out there so I went up there

Looking for that I was like if there’s people surfing in the storm That’ll be amazing well I didn’t see that I hear that a lot of people die out there on that Lake when you’re up here life feels less rushed than in busier parts of the world I talked to a bunch of people in Marquette when I was here and I was like this place is wonderful are you guys worried that it’s going to get ruined one day they’re like don’t say

That people told me it’s less hippie up here than it used to be it’s getting a little bit more built up and a little bit more corporate the cost to live here is gone up but it’s like that everywhere now I suppose the place could get ruined by

Greed and wealth just like Travers City which is where I stopped before or places like Montana Colorado Idaho whenever a place gets discovered by investors or Rich second homeowners look out but I don’t think they have to worry about too much up here the cold tends to

Keep the Riff Raff away and the homeless haven’t found the place yet and I don’t think they have enough going on up here to draw in small town ruiners they don’t have any wineries or yacht clubs golf courses or Mega ski resorts it’s good to see places like this left old

America the way things used to be as far as raising a family and not worrying where your kids are or what’s going on there’s no such thing as human traffic up here that we really know of we don’t it’s just a good place to raise your family wholesome good family values up

Here yeah everyone helps each other I mean it is yeah it’s it’s a well-kept secret all we’re going to the next bar and it’s just one bar after another I I think we’re I don’t know where we’re going I don’t know what’s happening I’m just along for the ride right now

YouTube are you looking a move and need advice I do Consulting that’s right I’ll sit down and talk about where the next perfect place for you and your family should be I do it all the time together let’s find you a new home that safe and

Checks all your boxes and I can also help you find your new house too email me and I’ll work with you I’m not just helping you figure out where to move but I can help you find your perfect home too that’s right I know awesome reliable

Agents all over the country and I’d love to connect you to somebody who can help you search for that perfect home and by the way if you want to learn about where you should live you should go to my website homes snacks.com slind yourplace on my website you get tips on

Where you should move and what the costs are and a whole lot more it’s like an AI Nick Johnson consultation for free and if you want to buy some Mappy gear click the store link on my homepage from there you can check out the latest merch there’s hoodies coffee cups stickers

Shirts show off how much you love Mappy and support the channel and I’m on Cameo too if you want me to send you or somebody you know a personalized video message go to Cameo and search Nick Johnson YouTube it’s fun hey guys if you learn something new about America or

What it’s like to to live in America great you should think about subscribing and turning on your notifications you can also click one of these videos or playlists for more hey YouTube world I’m Sage Nicks manager you’ve enjoyed a Corner House Entertainment production so watch another one

Video “I Investigated The Most Northern Little Town in America” was uploaded on 03/27/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Nick Johnson on Gretopia