Houghton County, Michigan

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Houghton County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 36,016. The county seat is Houghton[1].

Houghton County is part of the Houghton micropolitan area, which also includes Keweenaw County. Part of the county is sometimes locally called Copper Island.

The County was set off in 1843, organized in 1846 and reorganized in 1848. It is named for geologist Douglass Houghton.[2]

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,502 square miles (3,890.2 km2), of which 1,012 square miles (2,621.1 km2) is land and 490 square miles (1,269.1 km2) (32.62%) is water.

The Portage Lift Bridge crosses Portage Lake, connecting Hancock and Houghton, Michigan, by crossing over Portage Lake, which is part of the river and canal system that crosses the entire peninsula. The Portage Lift Bridge is the world's heaviest and widest double-decked vertical lift bridge. Its center span "lifts" to provide 100 feet (30 m) of clearance for ships. Since rail traffic was discontinued in the Keweenaw, the lower deck is used to accommodate snowmobile traffic in the winter. This is the only land based link between the north and south section of the Keweenaw peninsula, and is crucial.[3]

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