Beaver Island and Michigan - Subject Cards E-I

Economy & Labor

Unions -
The Detroit Mechanics Society was established in 1818. The printers of Detroit issued their own journal, the Rat Gazette, when they struck in 1839. A more formal union was established by the printers in 1849, which served as a model for other unions. 1864 marked the origin of 3 aggressive bodies: the Cigar Makers' Union, the Carpenters' Union, & the Operative Plasterers' Union.
- Quaife & Glazer, Michigan, p. 307

Education and Schools

1850 census -
(Mich. pop. 397,654) It may be said that nearly 4,000,000 of our youth were receiving instruction in our schools at the rate of 1 to every 5 free persons (of all ages) on the 1st of June, 1850. Teachers - more than 115,000, colleges & schools, 100,000. -
Constitution of 1850 - within 5 years of the adoption of the constitution, the legislature shall provide & establish a system of primary schools, whereby a school shall be kept without charge for tuition for at least 3 mos. in each school year in every school district in the state, & all instruction in said school shall be conducted in the English language. "The principle of free schooling was not entirely acceptable, however, & the legislature failed to make complete provisions until 1869.
- Quaife & Glazer, Michigan, p 193
The early school laws granted local inspectors almost exclusive powers over education, including standards for teachers, which powers were later assumed by the state. In 1867 a law was passed providing for County Superintendents of Schools, & the supervision of schools & the certification of teachers were placed under their direction. The law was subsequently repealed, & though many counties retained the office, it was not until 1891 that the office (called County Commissioner) was revived on a mandatory basis.
- Quaife & Glazer, Michigan, p. 333
Chronology (Michigan) -
1809 - (when population under 5,000) act adopted for laying off into school districts of all
settled portions of the territory; any schools established under this act must have been few
& primitive.
1817 - Gov. Cass secured the adoption of an act "to establish the Univ. of Michigania." Still
a plan; more pressing - primary education.
1826 - Cass urged legislature to establish schools to be supported by taxation. Until then the
only fund had been 16th section [of each township] set aside [in the Land Ordinance of
1785] to be sold to support schools.
1829 - School laws completely revised & a Dept. of Ed. established with a Supt. of Common
Schools appointed by the governor. Laws subsequently revised so that schools were
required to be kept in every district 3 mos. in the year, with teachers "of approved
competency," "in which the children of the [poor?] were to be instructed free of charge;"
those who could would pay.
1835 - [Mich.] Constitutional Convention made Supt. of Ed. permanent & 3 mos. school
required. The 1st Supt. [was] John D. Pierce.
1850 - New Constit. Required free instruction in every school district for at least 3 mos.; the
rate bill abolished so all went free.

Beaver Island schools -
Sunnyside - when Mary Early (daughter of Don Father Gallagher) went there it was a log school house taught by Maggie Gordon & Lizzie Dunlevy. [Mary] came here at [age] 4 in 1884.
A School at the Point - this is the one that is now the house where Bill Cashman lives. Paddy Mary Ellen went there. It was afterwards moved to its present location. [Was] in the building that I knew as the Wards', now owned by the Roundtrees. Mamie Maloney taught this school.
Sloptown Rd. - across from Turner's, opposite the end of the Darkytown Rd. where it runs into the Sloptown Rd.. This was taught by Johnny Maloney & also by his sister Mamie.
Greentown School - this is the Little Red Schoolhouse. Lawrence: "I taught the Greentown school Sept. 7, 1911 - April 1, 1912."
Sand Bay - below Vesty's. It ran 5 mos. in the summer.
Schools in 1915:
Town school
Sunnyside School - the one near the church
The Little Red Schoolhouse (see Greentown, above)
Lizzie Green (Mrs. Andy Mary Ellen) had a great deal to say about the schools. In the summer they went to the school at Big Sand Bay for 3 months. The building was by the stream
near Vesty's. They walked across the fields, usually barefoot. They loved running on the sandy beach & wading in the water after school or perhaps at recess. Mamie Maloney was the teacher & she was a fine teacher. Lizzie Dunlevy also taught the school, but she wasn't so good a teacher. "With Mamie you learned, or else. What she taught you, you remembered." In the winter there was a three-month school taught by the same people (Sloptown Rd., above). They walked through the fields several miles in the snow, sometimes hip deep. When they got to school they were soaked through & through & only dried out about time to go home, when they had to go out & get soaked again. They looked forward to getting home & warm & taking off the wet, heavy wool socks their mother knit for them. Going to school, how happy they were when they got to what is now the Fox Lake Rd., because the teams had broken it.
P. 42, 48, 51, 130, 140, 142, 144, 147 [probably references to schools, but source unspecified]
Mel Big Own told me, "I couldn't stand all the people who couldn't read & write telling me how to teach & run a school."
When the Gentiles returned after the Exodus they used the good Mormon schoolhouse, which had a good library left by Strang. There were books in Greek, Latin, histories, law books. It was taught in 1854 by Isaac Wright of Illinois. ( -Mrs. Williams)
In 1861 Bishop Baraga brought Dennis Harrington from Detroit to teach the Indians on Garden [Island] but they refused to have him. The Bishop left him on B.I. to teach.


P. 45, 47, 118
The Big Stone before you get to Boyle's Beach was a "fairy stone" (see Ellen Malloy's card).
There is a little hill back of Salty Gallagher's that the old folks called "Fairy Hill." The old ladies swore they saw fairies dancing there (-Nonie).

Farming and Fishing


Vesty - p. 93
Threshing machines - p. 122
Getty hay over the ice - p. 128
Sheep - p. 129


The first occupation followed along these shores was fishing. The first Frenchmen in this country introduced the French modes of fishing, by which fish were pursued to the deep waters, & thus a supply was obtained all the year.
About the year 1843 fishing stations began to be established at other points, & in time the whole shore country was peopled to a greater or lesser extent with fishermen, & with them, as a natural accompaniment, came traders.
The early fishermen, as a class, were a reckless & lawless set of men. They were far removed from the influence of civilization and the restraints of law. At a later date they were succeeded by a more industrious class, composed of men of better habits, who came there for permanent residence. It is only until quite recently that the business of fishing was constituted a real industry, & has been more a benefit than damage to the region in which it was carried on.
(- this is obviously taken from Strang in An. & Mod. Mack., p. 23-25)

(Summer 1848) "Before leaving Detroit I must not neglect to mention that it was here I first became acquainted with that delicious fish known as the whitefish. ...among epicures it is so greatly esteemed, ranking higher than the lake salmon which is quite equal in flavor to that of the severn.

The whitefish is peculiar to the waters of this high latitude. Its flesh is of the purest white, & it is of remarkable richness & delicacy of flavor. It is also a very prolific fish, & gives the chief value to the fisheries of the northern lakes, which are among the most important in the country... It is the opinion of scientific men, as well as of the lake fishermen, & this is a subject of real congratulation, that no system of fishing now in place, or likely to be adopted, will ever have the effect of exhausting, or of materially diminishing, the whitefish in these waters."

- John Lewis Payton, Over the Alleghenies & Across the Prairies (1870), p. 165-66


"Lake fish form a staple article of provision in all the lake ports. The principle kinds are whitefish & Mackinac trout. The latter, a delicious fish, resembles the salmon-trout, & are probably the same. They vary in size from 5 lbs. or under to 50 or 60 lbs. weight. Besides these there are pike, pickerel, & different kinds of bass... In Lakes Huron and Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac, trout, whitefish, and other kinds are caught in abundance. The Thunder Bay Islands in Lake Huron, the Beaver, Fox, & Manitou Islands, near the foot of Lake Michigan, & Twin Rivers on the western shore are the principle fisheries of those two lakes. They are also caught in the vicinity of Mackinaw, in abundance; and about the small island in the Straits, & at Point St. Ignace."

- Cleveland Herald article, in J. S. Buckingham, The E. & W. States of
America, Vol. III, p. 439-40


(Trip, 1837-38) "The chief produce is from the lakes; trout & whitefish are caught in large quantities, salted down, & sent to the west & south. At Mackinaw alone they cure about 2,000 barrels, which sell for $10 the barrel; at the Sault about the same quantity; & on Lake Superior at the station of the American Fur Company they have commenced fishing, to lessen the expense of the establishment, & they now salt down about 4,000 barrels. But this traffic is still in its infancy, & will become more profitable as the west becomes more populous."

- Capt. Frederick Marryat, Diary in America, p. 126

In many cases an immigrant's location was determined by the occupational skill he brought with him.

- Maldwyn A. Jones, Am. Imm., p. 119
(Fishing - B.I.)

With the decline of the fur trade the fishing business became prominent, & the voyageurs, Indians, & their boats & outfits were utilized for that purpose. ...As early as 1824 whitefish & trout, in small quantities, salted & packed in barrels, were caught & sent to the Buffalo market. All the fishing grounds for 150 miles or more sent their catch to Mackinac Island, where the fish were assorted, resalted, & repacked in barrels ready for shipment. From 1854 to 1860 the trade in salted fish increased to over 250,000 packages, valued at over 1 million dollars. Whitefish were frequently taken in gill nets that weighed from 20-25 lbs., & lake trout were taken that weighed 85 lbs..

The pound or trap nets introduced about 1865, later the long gangs of gill nets, set about the shoals & reefs in the lakes, fished by men on steam tugs in which the fish are taken on the shores & shoals while spawning, have nearly ruined the business.

- John R. Bailey, MD, Mackinac (Mil. Library), p. 199-200[1]
Names of firms & families familiar before & since the [18]40s:
Jonathan N. Bailey (postmaster, 1825-29 - later 1st postmaster of Chicago)

Jonathan P. King Peter White
Rev. A. D. Piret Samuel K. Haring
Edward Guilbault Bela Chapman
L. Y. B. Birchard Edward A. Franks
P. C. Kevan Michael Early
Wm. M. Johnson Hubert & Kirtland
J. H. Cook Leopold & Austrian
McLeods Bromilow & Bates
Wm. Madison John G. Read
J. S. Saltsonstall Hoban Brothers
John Becker Henry Van Allen
Arian R. Root C. B. Fenton
Wendells Todds
Toll & Rice Chambers
Lasleys McNally & Donnelly families
Charles M. O'Malley Douds & MacIntyres
Jones & Drew families Gravereat
Biddle & Drew Desbro
Chapman & Gray Gaskill
William Scott Truscott
Edward Kanter Bennett & Davis families
Gallagher Couchois
Metevier Lyon
La Chance & Louisignaw families Tanner
Granger & Hamblins Bailey families
George T. Arnold F. B. Stockbridge
John W. Davis & Son Dominick Murray & family
John R. Bailey & Son H. W. Overall
W. P. Preston Wm. Sullivan
Shomin Lapeen Allor
McGulpin Martineau
Rainville Taylor
Burdette & Chemier Brogans & Foleys
James F. Cable Mulcrones & Holdens
Murray Brothers McCartys
- Ibid., p. 200-01

"I fished on the Catherine B. for Dennis & Hughie Boyle (sons of Dan?), the Alva & C&C for Cull & Connaghan, the Liberty for Harold McCann, the Shamrock for Shing, the A&M Link for Left, & the Panther for the Danes at Garden, that was Matt Jensen & Peter Neilson. I left school through the eighth grade & started to fish. I was very proud to be hired by Shing, for at that time he was outranked only by the Margaret McCann for tonnage. I thought I could learn the grounds & someday be a successful fisherman & be able to say like the Portugese that I followed the profession of St. Peter."
- Eddie O'Donnell to Clink, Oct. 6, 1973

This is from an interview with Big Dick Martin in the Milwaukee [Journal], Jan. 10, 1932:
"Nearly 100 men, or most of the male working population, are engaged in the fishing business. There are 8 tugs (boats) operated out of St. James during the season, which extends from April to December. When the fishing is real good the tugs bring in about 15 tons a day, but this last summer it averaged only about 400 to 500 pounds a day to a lift, or 3 tons a day for all of the crews. We put out gangs of 200 to 6,000 feet of net, sinking it so that it rests on the bottom, generally out along the steamboat channel, & we never know if we will pull up only a few pounds or if we will be back with the Silver Moon full. Dick tells us that his father Ralph, better known as Briney (!!!) has been in the fishing business for 50 years. Despite the density of a fog, Briney always travels unerringly to the spar that marks the end of a gang of nets, this son says. With the price of Irish linen, of which the nets are woven, at $5 a pound, and constantly rising, the future of the fishing trade on the Beavers is somewhat dubious, according to Dick."

This man obviously had a very poor ear for the Island speech - Briney for Barney. He also tried to remember, not taking notes - hence Barney being Ralph instead of Big Dick. [-HC]

Strang on fishermen -
As early as 1824 small quantities of whitefish & trout began to be sent to Buffalo for market. In the space of 30 years the trade has increased from 2,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels, of which it is supposed 1/2 were taken from the Mackinac fisheries, extending from Death's Door (at mouth of Green Bay) to Middle Channel. They were taken to Mackinac where they were repacked & sent to market. The merchants there furnished the fishermen & bought the fish.

The fishermen, until within a few years (1854) were all Indians & Frenchmen, continually in debt to the traders.
Gradually a few Americans & Irish went to the fisheries. Some of these took with them small stocks for trade. This taking intoxicating liquors among the Indians made their use more common & fatal. These men were bred to civilization, who had gone among savages to get beyond the restraints of the law. They were the worst class of men, stealing the catch of the Indians in the night & selling it as their own... They sold to Mackinac traders.

Since 1843 merchants & traders have established themselves at other stations than Mackinac, more convenient to the fisheries. These interlopers carried on a trade ruinous to the Mackinac traders. They made the fishermen no advances, purchased the fish put up in their barrels, & salted & caught by men provisioned & purchased by them. Such were the habits of dissipation on the fishing grounds the fishermen were worse off at the end of the season than at the beginning, & destitute of credit, they could not return to Mackinac. This threw them more into the hands of the felons & outlaws, several wealthy traders at Mackinac were ruined, & the fishing trade is passing to other places, situated more conveniently to the fisheries.

The new class of fishermen are persons of limited means, temperate habits, good morals, & persevering industry from the best sections of the northern states & Canada, who have come to the country to make a permanent home. They farm, or establish mechanic shops when not fishing, & conduct their business as in the best-regulated civilized societies.

Traders cannot make as much profit off this class of customers. By this means, more than 1/2 the trade of Mackinac had been transferred to Washington Harbor, St. James, St. John, St. Helena, Duncan, Detour, & other places. The trade of Mackinac in fish must soon cease.

- from (not word for word) Strang, An. & Mod. Mackinac (1854), p. 23-25
(He always referred to the settlement at Pine River as outlaws {see his
description of it}.)

Some who came to the country in those early days to fish, remained as permanent citizens; but generally the fisherman was a transient person, establishing himself anywhere on the shore where there was promise of success in his pursuit, & readily changing his location as immediate interest seemed to dictate.

Associated with the fishermen, wherever they were numerous, were always a number of coopers, who found employment in making barrels for the fish. Sometimes the cooper's shop was in the immediate vicinity of the fish shanties; sometimes, for the convenience of obtaining material, it was located at a distance. The material for barrels was derived from timber growing on the public lands, which were looked upon as lawful plunder.

Small trading establishments, like that of Capt. Kirtland under the management of Mr. Richard Cooper at Little Traverse, sprang up at various points, drawing their customers from both the fishermen & Indians. A few small vessels, or "hookers," found a lucrative business in trading from place to place, selling supplies & purchasing fish. Not infrequently, whiskey was a principal article of trade. It is remembered to the credit of Capt. Kirtland that he never sold whiskey to the Indians or took advantage of them in business transactions.

His. of the G. Traverse Region, p. 81

The first French introduced the French modes of fishing, by which fish were pursued to deep waters.
As early as 1824 small quantities of whitefish & trout began to be sent to Buffalo for market. The Mackinac fisheries extended from Death's Door to Middle Channel, and most of the fish at that early date were taken to Mackinac, where they were repacked & sent to market.

About 1843 fishing stations began to be established at other points, and in time the whole shore country was peopled to a greater or lesser extent with fishermen, and with them, as a natural accompaniment, came the traders.
Grand Traverse Region (1884)
Lawrence -

The fishing was good all around the south end of B.I., particularly the fall fishing. Both he & Roland speak of how they fished the waters out with pond nets. For a few years there would be no fish, then they would come back.
Bernard J. Lambert, in Shepherd of the Wilderness, says that the Astor Co. went into the fishing business as the fur trade lessened.
Fisheries -
Records start with 1880. Some years are skipped in Lakes Region. These are the years recorded in millions of pounds:
1880 - 65 1917 - 96
1885 - 100 1918 - 107
1889 - 117 1919 - 92
1890 - 114 1920 - 77
1893 - 97 1921 - 83
1899 - 114 1922 - 79
1903 - 86 1923 - 79
1908 - 107 1924 - 78
1913 - 68 1925 - 69
1914 - 99 1926 - 75
1915 - 109 1927 - 81
1916 - 88 1928 - 63
1929 - 85
1930 - 95

[After 1930] consistently below 100; highest 96 in 1934, lowest 70 in 1947.
Col. Fisk of Rochester, N.Y. had commenced a fishing establishment on a large scale, and, with his associates, had invested $10,000 in improvements & outfit at the harbor at B.I.. This was the Rochester Northwest Co., & was on "the back side of the harbor." He made the first organization of Peaine Township in 1847 & they monopolized all the offices.
[- no citation given for this entry]
1 John R. Bailey, Mackinac, Formerly Michilimackinac. Lansing, MI: D. D. Thorp, 1895.

Fur Trade

(Mackinac) How much the fur trade had meant to the Island socially & commercially was realized when its operations ceased. It had made Mackinac "a great mart of trade long before Chicago, Milwaukee, or St. Paul had entered on their first beginnings, & vied with its contemporaries Detroit & St. Louis. The capital & enterprise on the Island pertained principally to the business of the Company. They furnished employment to a great number of men, who with their families, contributed to the life of the village. In the summer
[- no citation given for this entry. Concluding sentence fragment in original]
"The Fur Co. announced the expansion of their fishing facilities."
This was at La Point. Evidently as the fur trade faded out they went into the fishing business.
- B. J. Lambert, Shepherd of the Wilderness
1834 - Astor dissolved the American Fur Co.. Ramsay Crooks bought out the Northern Dept., & the post at Mackinac Is. dwindled.
[- no citation given for this entry]
Gurdon Hubbard - who [went] west to learn the fur trade. He arrived at the mouth of the Chicago River (from Mackinac) in the fall of 1818. He worked for the Astor Company in its heyday. In 1824 the old trader Deschamps resigned the management of the Illinois River posts & Hubbard took charge of the outfit. In 1823 he became a special partner in the American Fur Company, & when John Kinzie the elder resigned his agency in Chicago he bought from the Co. its entire Illinois business. In 1833 Chicago was incorporated as a town & Hubbard was elected to the Board of Trustees. He head[ed] the 1st Board of Canal Commissioners, & on July 4th, 1836, he dug the first spade of earth for the canal. Meanwhile Hubbard had developed the Eagle Steamship Co., the first regular shipping service between Chicago & Buffalo.
[- no citation given for this entry]
Mackinac fur trade -
1811 - Astor & others bought out the old Mackinac Company (a British concern) &
merged it with his American Fur Company (chartered 1809) to form the Southwest
Fur Company.
1815 - Astor bought out the others & it became the American Fur Company.
1817 - Ramsay Crooks (after being employed at Astoria & elsewhere by Astor) became
a partner in the AFC, & for 4 or 5 years he was the company's Mackinac agent
(although he lived mostly in N.Y.).
1828 - Gurdon F. Hubbard purchased the entire interest in the trade of Illinois from the
AFC & settled in Chicago.
1834 - Astor sold out & transferred the charter to Crooks.
1842 - reverses brought the death of the AFC.
1845 - Crooks opened a fur commission house in N.Y. which was successful & which
he operated until his death in 1859.
- D. H. Kelton, Annals of Fort Mackinac (1882) (Mil. Lib.)
(Kelton was a 1st Lt., 10th Infantry in 1879, stationed at Mackinac.)

The store of the Northwest Trading Company was kept by a man by the name of Dickson. He stayed on with the Mormons and married a schoolteacher they brought. He went along with the Mormons.

According to Mrs. Vesty Vesty, the fur-trading post building stood back of where the Beachcomber is now, but Lawrence says, "The N.W. Trading Co. built their trading post before 1814,"* and he says it was the log building I remember below the place where the Medical Center is now. (Could this have been the store & the other the place for receiving & storing furs or vice versa?) This 1814 date is possible because the Company was organized in 1783 - however it was a Canadian company. They had exclusive rights until after the Treaty of 1896, when Britain gave Mackinac & Detroit to the new U.S.. After that Astor cut into their trade. The drawing of the international boundary gave Astor Grand Portage on Lake Superior & the Northwest Trading Co. had to move further north. In 1816 Astor had Congress pass a law refusing trading licenses to anyone but American citizens (however could an American get a license to operate for a foreign company).[1] The N.W. Co. merged with the Hudson's Bay Co. in 1821. This is the North West Co. of Rochester, Col. Fisk president.

*Could he have meant 1841? Much more reasonable.


The trade by the [American] Fur Co. continued until 1834, when Mr. Astor transferred his stock & charter to Ramsey Crooks & Associates. Mr. Crooks became president, & the business continued as usual until 1842 when, on account of competition with the old "Northwest Fur Co." (British) & other causes, it was obliged to assign, & the American Fur Co. career ended.

- p. 198 [no other citation given; possibly John R. Bailey, Mackinac]


1 Punctuation as in original.

Gaelic Language

See also "Ireland - Customs & Culture - Gaelic Language"]
Words to look up:
Strach/strac - strike, beat; "stracadh" - a troublesome fellow
Hela - eolach - knowing, skilled, expert
Lably - labhar - loud, noisy, loquacious
Gebbo - geob - a wry mouth; "geobach" - wry-mouthed
Mahal - madail - doggish, fierce, surly
Ropa - ropadh - a rope; a collection of seaweed; ropach - belonging to ropes, abounding
In seaweed; slovenly, squalid
Og - young
Mor - large
Don - defect, want, mischief
Doun - brown-haired; surly, bad-tempered
Beag - small

Green's Bay Settlement

P. 61
Johnny Green said there were 12 families. The list he gave me:
Dan Boyle - Maria says he was at French Bay
Bonner (French Bay) - this is not Black Bonner
John O'Donnell - homesteaded
Dominic Gallagher
O'Brien (DeBriae - Wilfred's father) - MacFadden's Point
The above is the list as he gave it. Maria (she is probably right) says Dan Boyle was at French Bay, & it must have been Wilfred's grandfather.
Lawrence says Greene's Bay was a wonderful harbor & that they set their pond-nets right there.
Other families must have been:
White Dan Green
Red Dan Green
Owen Green
Anthony O'Donnell - filed for land there & I am not sure whether it was Salty or the one
who married Sophia

Conn McCauley filed for land in July 1863 - can. 1877.


The Beaver (now the "King Strang"):
One year Rae Gilden's sister (Birdie's mother?) & Mike Cull's sister made moonshine at the hotel during Prohibition. After that the big Iowa clientele (Keokuk, Davenport, Moline) who used to come every year never came back (-Nonie).

Immigration to Beaver Island

Place of arrival in the U.S. for families shown in the 1870 & 1880 census [assume for Beaver
Island only]:
Can't tell - 46
N.Y. or Boston - 26
Canada - 53


To the archaeologist the B.I.s have been the most interesting part of the county. Mr. Henry Gillman, Smithsonian Report 1873, removed from the mounds upon the point on the north side of St. James Bay (Whiskey Point) some of the most interesting specimens found in the state. There were villages at both ends of the largest island, B.I. proper, & at intermediate points. Upon some of the other islands of the group [Garden & High] are still to be seen the remains of Indian construction. These islands were stopping-places for voyagers crossing the large lake, & served also as a kind of refuge from the mainland in times of disquiet.[1]

- Wilbert B. Hinsdale, Archaeological Atlas of Michigan (1931), p. 17[2]


Passing the river which flows from Lake Nipissing, Nicolet "upon the same shores of this fresh-water sea," that is, upon the shores of Lake Huron, came next to "the Nation of Beavers," whose hunting grounds were northward of the Manitoulin Islands. This nation was afterwards esteemed among the most noble of those of Canada. They were supposed to be descended from the Great Beaver, which was, next to the Great Hare, their principal deity. They inhabited originally the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan; afterwards the Manitoulin Islands; then they removed to the mainland, where they were found by Nicolet.

- C. W. Butterfield's History of the Discovery of the Northwest by Jean
Nicolet, as recorded in Walter Havighurst's The Great Lakes Reader, p. 6-7

Death records:
Angeline McAbow, "black," widow, age 90, died in Peaine Twp, of old age, Feb. 6, '03.
She is listed as "laborer," parents "deceased," res. B.I..
Samuel Babonwena, "black," widower, age 87, died in Peaine Twp, of old age, on Feb.
21, '03. Laborer, parents "deceased," res. High Island.
Moses Wowegeis, "black," widower, age 101, died in Peaine Twp, of old age, on Mar.
11, '04. Born Mich., laborer, parents deceased, res. Beaver Is..
Jule Wowegeis, black, female, age 1-1-10, died in Peaine Twp, on Mar. 10, '04, cause
not given. Born Mich.; parents Juge Wowegeis, Jule Meboeur, res. B.I..
Angeline, Indian, married, age 20, died in St. James Twp, Oct. 10, '06, of tuberculosis of
the lungs. Father Frank Martin, mother unknown; res. St. James (I find no Frank M.).
Peter Manuto, single, 15, died St. J. Twp, "kicked by a horse." Parents Peter Manuto &
Angeline. Peaine.
Garden Island -
Indian name Tagoning, meaning garden or cultivated land. It is inhabited (1854) by about 200 Indians, who subsist by fishing & raising corn & potatoes. Their numbers are increasing.
Hog Island -
Occupied by a few families of Indians.

From Mrs. O'Brien's notes -
"How the Indians first came to the Beaver Islands is told by our Indian friend Jack Thomas of High Island, who tells the story as told by his grandfather:

An Indian first visited the Islands, coming from Goodhart, a small settlement at that time on the Upper Peninsula. The name of this Indian was She-gog. He & his wife landed on Hog I.. Exploring this island they found a great many beavers, which led them to visit the other islands where they found still more beavers, which delighted them very much. This Indian had come to Goodhart from the present site of Chicago, which had been his happy hunting ground. Too many white settlers having drifted in he left there for the north, finally locating at Goodhart, hence his visit to the Beaver Islands. After looking over the islands and being well-pleased with the prospects for fur-trading, he returned to the north shore but said nothing of his find.

But this did not keep others away, for two more Indians with venturesome spirits started out to visit these islands. Mogwisom (meaning bear heart) and his grandfather also landed on Hog. I., exploring this & the other islands and finding a great many beavers. They went back & reported this to their friends. Mogwisom and his family returning with a few other families and settling on Hog I., where they caught beavers and started trading with Mackinac I., where two fur-traders were located at that time.

Our friend Jack tells us of their first trip to Mackinac. This is the story as told by Jack. White man gave Indian glass of whiskey. White man ask Indian how he feels. 'Make Indian feel good.' White man give Indian more drink. Make Indian go round & round. White man give Indian another drink. Indian fall down. They take some whiskey home with them to the other Indians, who like it very well.

The next trip they bring home a good supply & they all get drunk. A big fight is the result - in which one Indian kills another. This Indian, whose name is 'Misigan,' for his crime is banished to High I., which at this time was not inhabited. He & his wife were forced to live there alone for a long time, but later were forgiven and other Indians moved there. Many Indians came from the North Shore, settling on the islands, attracted by the beavers, until they had settled most of the islands."

- This was written during the year of the 100th celebration of Bishop
Baraga's 1st visit, so it must have been 1932.


Five Indian villages in Emmet County (1854): Garden Island, Cross Village, Middle Village, Le Arbre Croche, & Bear Village, all containing a population of about 2,000.

Garden - formerly lived on Beaver & have moved to Garden in last 6 years. A priest
visits once a year; very devout but a few are pagan.

Cross Village - priest lives there who is supported by U.S. as a teacher. Have a sawmill.
Middle Village - on bluff back of Isle de Galet (Skillagalee) lighthouse. Much such a
place as Cross Village.

Le Arbre Croche - Little Traverse; most thriving town - have well-built vessel of 30-40
tons burthen, constructed, owned, & navigated by themselves.
Bear Village - south side of Little Traverse; an outstation of Le Arbre Croche.

- Strang, An. & Mod. Mack., p. 39-40

Chippewa, Ojibway - eastern half of Lower Peninsula & Upper Peninsula
Ottawa - lower half of southern Peninsula
Potawatomi - a strip across southern part
- when pressure of white man from east, boundaries shifted
1618 - when Etienne Brulé (1st white) landed on Mich. soil, at Soo -
Mich. pop. about 15,000, southern 1/2 12,000, rest in pine forests of the north; settlements
along rivers in hardwood forests (used maple for sugar, birch for canoes); agriculture
- corn, st__le, also squash, tobacco, kidney beans.
1680 - 800 voyageurs (French) in total pop. of 10,000.
1822 - Schoolcraft appointed Indian Agent, headquarters [at] the Soo.
As pressure of settlers built up in the south, Indians moved to northern 1/2 of
Southern Peninsula & Upper Peninsula.
1930 - census enumerated 7,080 Indians in state, 1,214 full-bloods; on reservations,
1939 - 4,530 Indians in state (report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs); of these, only
579 in census.
1 Brackets in this paragraph in original.
2 Wilbert B. Hinsdale, Archaeological Atlas of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1931.

Ireland - Memories of

Martins, p. 90
Pete McCauley, p. 78, 98
Dan Boyle, p. 101
Greens, p. 107

Irish Customs Transferred to Beaver Island

[see also Singing, Dancing, Fairies, Gaelic Language]
Brought from Ireland:
Fairy hill (rath)
Communal pasture
Wakes - Emma Hurt[?]'s "fine long funeral"
"The single life that was so prevalent in Ireland seems to have extended to Beaver Island, for we had many bachelors and spinsters."
  1. Eddie O'Donnell (Edgar), corresp. with Clink
"I was eight when my dad passed on. He had the old Irish custom of holding us on his knee in the dusk & singing."
- Ibid.

Irish Immigration to Michigan - General

In 1806 Detroit had enough Irish so there was a city-wide celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Large-scale Irish immigration, however, came during the late forties & fifties, when political & economic conditions in the motherland were such that thousands of Irish migrated to the U.S. & Michigan received a considerable number of them. Although many Irish located in Detroit, others, even before the Civil War, found their way to towns in the southern tier of counties. The "Irish Hills" section in Lenawee County received its name from the Irish settlers of the '40s & '50s.
- Quaife & Glazer, Michigan, p. 323
Hard times in 1856-58. Did this help send the Irish to B.I.?