For the people of the Northland and visitors, Lake Superior is more than just a body of water. There is a level of pride that comes with living next to the largest freshwater lake on earth. A quick Google search will reveal a medley of facts about the lake: It’s the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, the third-largest by volume, and the largest, deepest, and coldest of North America’s Great Lakes. While these are details are something to marvel at, they miss a crucial aspect of living around this lake.

Lake Superior holds a rich heritage that spans centuries. The Anishinaabe people have inhabited the Lake Superior region for more than 500 years. French settlers used the lake for fur trading. For decades, Lake Superior was a vital means of transportation for thousands of tons of iron ore from the shores of Ashland to the banks of Canada.

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