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It soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Père Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Missionaries in 1671–75 founded outlying stations at Saint Ignace and Marquette.
The Ojibwe were established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern and central Michigan, and also inhabited Ontario and southern Manitoba, Canada; and northern Wisconsin, and northern and north-central Minnesota.
The Ottawa lived primarily south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern, western and southern Michigan, but also in southern Ontario, northern Ohio and eastern Wisconsin.
The Lower Peninsula is often noted as being shaped like a mitten. P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair.
The area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years.