Many of the earliest maps of the Great Lakes, drawn by French explorers and trappers, feature the oft-repeated word anse, French for inlet or bay. Such markers promised welcoming shelter for fledgling coastal settlements, many of which still bear the name. L’Anse, Michigan, a lumber community in Baraga County, is located on L’Anse Bay, an embayment of the larger Keweenaw Bay, part of Lake Superior. French-influenced maritime regions also bear the name, like the old sealing town of L’Anse-au-Loup—“wolf cove”—on the Labrador Coast of Newfoundland. On the island of Newfoundland, L’Anse aux Meadows marks the site of the first European settlement in the Americas, founded about A.D. 1000.

Mike Tidwell