What’s the Deal with the Tiny Michigan Carved in the Earth Up North?
A small Michigan carved into the ground in Northern Michigan is connected to a government program you may not have heard of.
And no, it's nothing to do with aliens! (Though when talking about the tiny Michigan to a co-worker she wondered if it was placed there to let extraterrestrials they were in the Mitten State. It wasn't... to our knowledge, anyway.)
Where is the Small Michigan Carved into the Ground?
First of all, where is this work of art? Well, in a rural section of Montmorency County, there is an outline of Michigan carved into the earth.
Just east of Lewiston along county road 612, where it intersects at Fish Lab Road, you'll find the mini-Michigan. The "Great Lakes" part of the carving were once little ponds of water.
How Did the Little Michigan Come to Be?
During the Great Depression President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps to put unemployed men back to work. Michigan, like the rest of the nation, was facing record-high unemployment rates.
To help with the crisis, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented the Emergency Conservation Work program just a few weeks after taking office in March 1933.
On 2 May 1933, two hundred young men from Detroit and Hamtramck arrived at an isolated spot in the Hiawatha National Forest, west of Sault Ste. Marie. They set up tents and dubbed the area Camp Raco. Within months there were 41 similar camps across Northern Michigan, housing nearly 8,000 young men. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had arrived in Michigan.
The men in the program tackled tasks like fighting fires, planting trees, and restoring streams.
One of the CCC camps was on county road 612 near Lewiston. It was called Camp Lunden, and according to Lost In Michigan, the engineers and workers living in the camp had lots of free time, so they built a little Michigan between projects.
The camp actually closed in 1936 and the tiny Michigan and historical marker are all that' left in the spot where the CCC camp once stood.
Here's video from @frommichiganwithloveblog on TikTok.
@frommichiganwithloveblog These random #roadsideattraction finds while #roadtripping around #michigan are such a delight! Had way too much fun with this one! #dronevideo#michigandersonly#northernmichigan#michigancheck#roadsideamerica♬ original sound - Jackie | Michigan Travel