County History/Development

Download a Map of Dickinson County
Dickinson County is located on the Michigan-Wisconsin border in the central portion of the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan.  Dickinson County is the youngest of the 83 Michigan Counties; it was organized from parts of Marquette, Menominee and Iron Counties by Act 89 of the Laws of 1891 of the State of Michigan.  The Act was approved by the State Legislature on May 21, 1891 and took effect on October 2, 1891.  Iron County borders us on the west, Marquette County on the north, and Menominee County on the east.  Dickinson County is separated from the State of Wisconsin by the Menominee River to the south.

There are three cities in Dickinson County:   
Iron Mountain, which is the county seat, was incorporated in 1875; 

Kingsford became a village in 1923 and a city in 1947;

Norway became a city in 1868. 

The rest of the County is governed by townships. There are seven townships: 
West Branch,


The County was named for Donald M. Dickinson, Postmaster General under President Grover Cleveland.  He gained a reputation as one of the leading lawyers in the Midwest and was frequently called upon to argue important cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The topography of the land is chiefly rolling to steep.  Sixty-five percent of the County’s acreage is best suited for forest, recreational and public hunting ground uses.


("Big John" mining icon for Vulcan Iron Mine)
The principal industry for many years was the mining of iron ore and was chiefly centered around Quinnesec, Norway and Iron Mountain. 

(Unamed Logger with his load of Logs in the UP)
In addition, the county contained rich timber lands from which logs were cut and floated down the Menominee River to the sawmills of Menominee.


The summers are beautiful as there are many lakes for fishing, boating, waterskiing and swimming. 
Many streams in the area are ideal for fishing with camping sites located on most of them. 
The winters are cold and crisp.  We have two ski hills in the County as well as numerous snowmobile trails that lead out of the cities and towns.  Cross country skiing is also a favorite winter sport. 

Hunting is fair to good in our County with many visitors arriving in November for firearm deer season.

home page contact calendar