Towns and Villages of Baraga County

Baraga County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan, named after Bishop Frederic Baraga. As of the 2000 census, the population was 8,746. The county seat is L'Anse. The L'Anse Indian Reservation of the Ojibwa is located within the county.
  • L'Anse
  • Baraga
  • Covington
  • Bovine
  • Pelkie
  • Assinins
  • Keweenaw Bay
  • Dogpatch

Baraga County Information

History of the Village of Baraga

The Village of Baraga is located in the northwestern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula on L'Anse Bay, the lower part of Keweenaw Bay on the Lake Superior shorelines. Baraga was founded on a site once occupied by an Indian community, and the Village is today a part of the L'Anse Indian Reservation.

In the Seventeenth century the first white men came to the area, as French missionaries, voyageurs and traders following the south shore of Lake Superior westward from Sault Ste. Marie. The early 1800's brought a great deal of fur trade, and in 1843 Father Frederic Baraga established a Roman Catholic Mission at Assinins where he remained for ten years devoting himself to the education of the Indians. Both the Village and the County took Father Baraga's name. The Village was under the Township form of Government until it was incorporated in 1891.

The Baraga area exhibits a rich intermingling of foreign cultures, for a large number of Irish, Scandinavian, and Yugoslav imigrants joined the French Canadians who pushed into the County to engage in lumbering and mining and later in agriculture. The population of the area reached its highest point to date in the early part of the century as these industries flourished. In recent years, the economy of the area has shifted toward manufacturing, tourism and casino gaming.

The 1991 census of the Village of Baraga was 1,231, but with the opening of the Baraga Maximum Security Correctional Facility in 1993, and the need for 350 Corrections Officers and support staff, the population has continued to increase.

Combining its strong base of commuity values, its heritage of hardworking people, and the natural beauty of the surrounding area, Baraga will continue to provide a bit of paradise for residents and visitors alike.

Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest--L'Anse--The 35' 5 ton hand wrought brass statue holds snowshoes 26'long and a 7 foot cross stands six stories above the Red Rock Bluffs.

Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest-- In 1969, a group of citizens gathered and together with sculptor, Jack E. Anderson, the concept of the Shire was born. the land and some of the materials and services were donated. Voluntary contributions were solicited to proceed with the project.

The statue was transferred to the Red Rock location on May 31, 1972.

Historic Sites

Additional Places to see in Baraga County