The Upper Great Lakes region often is interpreted as a cultural mosaic of ethnic groups identified with marginal farming, forestry and mining settlements. Despite its early history of a large, foreign-born population, many of the region‘s pioneer settlers can be identified with an international source region, neither truly American nor truly Canadian, the upper St. Lawrence Valley. Forest-fringe agriculture, seasonal work for cash wages and employment in large-scale resource extraction were part of the way of life brought from the St. Lawrence district to the northern portions of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The southern limit of the so-called “Cutover” region coincides with a transition toward a preponderance of settlers from western New York, who brought traditions of wheat and dairy farming, compact settlements and democratic institutions to the upper Middle West.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Geography, Planning and Development