Although the largest Michigan county with land and water combined, Keweenaw County is also the most sparsely populated at least during the vicious winters. The population blooms in the summertime when seasonal residents come in droves to enjoy their little slice of heaven. The county was formed in 1861 as an offshoot of Houghton County and now encompasses the top half of the Keweenaw Peninsula, where Michigan s Upper Peninsula juts north into Lake Superior. Throughout the 1800s, the area was at the center of the copper mining boom, spurring construction of Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor. The military outpost served to keep order among miners and the area s native inhabitants, the Ojibwa. Moving through time, Keweenaw County would also serve as a hub for the maritime, fishing, and lumbering industries before becoming the resort community it is today."