|• Total||2.53 sq mi (6.55 km2)|
|• Land||2.53 sq mi (6.55 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||620 ft (189 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,963|
|• Density||794.9/sq mi (306.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (CST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||CST (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||629897|
In French, "L'Anse" roughly translates as "the cove" as a reference to its location on Keweenaw Bay, at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula. French explorers sighted the location of L'Anse in the 17th century.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
The village of L'Anse was founded in early 1871, when Jacob Houghton, chief engineer for the Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad, arrived to plat a preliminary route from the eastern end of Lake Michigamme to the head of the Keweenaw Bay. The village was to become a port and house numerous stamping mills for the nearby copper mines.
The Michigan Railroad Board of Control approved the transfer of the Marquette and Ontonagon Railroad's land grant on March 30, 1869, and the Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad incorporated on January 17, 1870. On April 19, the board conferred the grant upon the new corporation, providing that the new railroad construct and place 10 miles (16 km) continuous in good running order before December 31, 1871, and 30 miles (48 km) continuous before December 31, 1872.
Houghton started surveying for right of way on April 1, 1871. During the course of that year, the railroad hired a surveyor to plat a new town, constructed a merchandise dock, and dredged the mouth of the Falls River.
Area residents proposed several names for the new town site, including Fall River and Iron City, but a majority decided on L'Anse. Lots went on sale in August 1871, and businessmen flocked from the Copper Country and Marquette to open general merchandise stores, a general hardware and iron warehouse, three bakeries, a shaving and hair dressing salon, paint shop, tobacco and cigar store, several hotels, a dance hall, a railroad office, and a bank, among others. The railroad constructed a warehouse on its merchandise dock, which received cargo from the numerous vessels that made the trip to the head of the bay; numerous shipments of rails, two locomotives, and several flat cars were also included.
By January 1872, more than half of the work had been completed on the 35-mile (56 km) roadbed, but the railroad had to apply for an extension from the Board of Control because it had not completed track laying on the first 10 miles (16 km). Crews worked throughout the winter to make up for lost time; and almost 1,000 men labored in the deep snow and subzero temperatures. About 10 miles of rail had been laid by May 1872, but ballasting was nearly impossible because of the severe freezing.
When spring arrived, construction began on the ore dock at a cost of $50,000. Completed, the dock contained 60,000 board feet (142 m3) of timber and 425,000 board feet (1,003 m3) of pine lumber, and had forty vessel and three steamboat pockets, with the capability to load two vessels and one steamboat at the same time.
The Marquette and Ontonagon Railroad merged with the Houghton and Ontonagon after a squabble over land grant rights, and it incorporated on September 2, 1872, as the Marquette, Houghton, and Ontonagon Railroad. The new company had terminals at Marquette and Ontonagon, and it completed construction on the branch to Smith Mountain (Republic Mine) in September 1872. The unfinished section of the Houghton and Ontonagon, about 9 miles (14 km), was officially completed on December 31. However, the last spike was driven on December 15, and the engine "Keweenaw" made the trip from Champion to L'Anse on December 17.
Iron ore from newly opened mines to the south supplied the dock, and plans were made to open at least one blast furnace. However, the Panic of 1873 caused furnace plans to be abandoned. Ore shipments continued in a limited capacity for a few years until the dock was idled, and later it was destroyed by fire.
On May 9, 1896, fire broke out in the large sawmill of the L'Anse Lumber Company. The fire swept to the ore dock and millions of feet of lumber piles before jumping to the business district and consuming homes and businesses, with losses estimated at over $600,000. The village gradually rebuilt itself and became a hub for lumber activity.
The Marshall Butters Sawmill was constructed in 1911 and was two stories high, 65 feet (20 m) wide, and had a 30x100 foot annex for the shingle and lath mill; a planing mill was on the lower floor. The mill was sold to Steams and Culver in 1915 and then to Ford Motor Company on January 1, 1923. Ford used it until October 27, 1954, when it was dismantled and sold to a company in Longlac, Ontario.
- US 41 runs through the southernmost portion of the village.
- M-38 begins in the Village of Baraga, across the bay from L'Anse.
- Indian Trails bus lines operates daily intercity bus service between Hancock and Milwaukee, WI with a stop in L'Anse.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,011 people, 874 households, and 502 families residing in the village. The population density was 794.9 inhabitants per square mile (306.9 /km2). There were 988 housing units at an average density of 390.5 per square mile (150.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the village was 88.7% White, 1.4% African American, 5.0% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 874 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.6% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the village was 41.7 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 24.1% were from 45 to 64; and 21.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,107 people, 894 households, and 540 families residing in the village. The population density was 821.9 per square mile (317.8/km²). There were 981 housing units at an average density of 382.7 per square mile (148.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 91.22% White, 0.09% African American, 5.55% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 2.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population. 27.9% were of Finnish, 11.6% German, 9.4% French, 7.5% Norwegian, 5.9% French Canadian and 5.1% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 894 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the village the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $31,406, and the median income for a family was $38,984. Males had a median income of $31,583 versus $20,929 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,857. About 6.6% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: L'Anse, Michigan
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "HANCOCK-MARQUETTE-GREEN BAY-MILWAUKEE". Indian Trails. January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- Baragaland Bicentennial 1776-1976. Baraga, Michigan: The Lumberjacks. 1976.
- 100 Years of History: L'Anse/Skanee Centennial. Ishpeming, Michigan: Baraga County Historical Society Pageant Division. 1971.
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