How a Massive Forest Fire Created Paradise, Michigan
Like most Upper Peninsula towns, you would think that the town of Paradise has a rich history of logging or mining, going back into the mid-1800s…but such is not the case.
Paradise was founded as late as 1925 by Edmund LeDuc, who bought up a good chunk of land after a great fire wiped out most of the trees. From then on, the village flourished. The land that suffered from the fire became perfect for harvesting blueberries & cranberries. Paradise also increased its capital with successful fishing, logging, and shipping.
After its founding, a school was established in 1927; Paradise didn’t get its own post office until 20 years later, in 1947.
Today, Paradise is the only town left in Whitefish Township…and that’s okay with them. Only an hour’s drive north from the Mackinac Bridge, travelers from downstate and across the U.P. flock to Paradise every year to enjoy the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve, fishing, hiking, boating and more. It’s also the nearest mark to where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975.
So…..how did Paradise get its name? The usual answer the locals will give you is “just look around and figure it out”.
And they’re probably 100% correct.