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About Michigan

Historical drawing of the Michigan State Capitol dome.
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About Michigan

How Michigan Became a State

In 1837, Michigan was officially admitted as the 26th state in the Union. However, Michigan’s path to statehood wasn’t without its own share of drama. A skirmish with Ohio known as the Toledo War delayed Michigan’s statehood and led to a trade: Toledo remained in Ohio, while the Upper Peninsula became part of Michigan. Today, Michigan is the only state in the nation comprised of two peninsulas.
How Michigan Became a State Video
The state of Michigan is blessed with the riches of unspoiled nature: the nation's longest freshwater coastline, lakes that feel like oceans, golden beaches, an abundance of fresh produce straight from the farm, glorious sunrises and sunsets and endless opportunities for living, working and playing. Learn more about Michigan below.

Facts and Symbols of Michigan

Whether you call yourself a Michigander or a Michiganian, both words mean you are one of nearly 10 million people who call the Great Lakes state home. The state’s official symbols,  song, and emblems represent Michigan’s abundant natural resources, beauty, and historical significance.
Find Michigan Facts and Symbols

Visit the Michigan History Museum

Walk through time at the Michigan History Museum in Lansing. Beginning with Michigan’s first people, the Anishinaabe, and ending in the mid-20th century, the museum’s five floors give you a glimpse into Michigan’s past. Yearly special exhibits provide a deeper look at special topics in Michigan’s history.
Visit the Museum
Photo of people looking at Carl the tree at the Michigan History Museum.
Several young children sitting at old school desks learning about Michigan history. The teacher is wearing period correct clothing from the early days of Michigan.

Explore Michigan's History

Learners young and old can explore Michigan’s rich and diverse history at, part of the Michigan History Center. Michiganology’s mission is to foster curiosity, enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. 
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Archives of Michigan

The online collection at Michiganology includes Archives of Michigan research guides and indexes, as well as access to more than three million state and local government records and private manuscripts, maps, and photographs.
Online Archive Collections
Two people unrolling a large historical map on a table.
Several old black and white photos staggered on a table.

Michigan Stories

Explore our story archive for a leisurely look at Michigan's stories and traditions from yesterday to yesteryear. Written by our staff, each post shares a unique story we've uncovered while researching in our collections, provides educational activities for teachers and parents or shares tips for taking care of your personal historical collections. 

View Stories

Historical Marker Program

The Michigan Historical Marker Program was established by the Legislature and Gov. G. Mennen Williams in 1955. Since then, more than 1,700 markers have been placed across the state, as well as in several other states and Europe, making Michigan’s historical marker program one of the premier programs of its kind in the nation. As a signpost of historical significance, each marker reflects the stories behind the places, events, and people that make up Michigan’s rich heritage.
Find a Historical Marker
Photo of a red bard with a historical marker posted in the lawn near it.