Joe Louis Arena Demolition


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  1. #26


    BigB, I have been learning some things about the early history of the Smiths of Northport. It seems that when the Indian Removal Act was being enforced in the Holland area in the 1840s, some of the people were given a choice to move north to continue farming up there, or go to Nebraska. Chief Waakazoo decided to take the offer of staying in Michigan and moving north to land that was not in such demand for settlement. Local pastor George Smith accompanied Waakazoo and his people to Northport. Sometime during this period, Waakazoo is said to have also taken the name Smith, so there are two lines of Smiths. My line seems to been on the Waakazoo side. I have to do some tracing to verify that information. So far, it's just a story I heard.

    Another thing that history brings out is the the origin of names from the Northport area referring to the South. There are several families there with names that translate to South, or Man from the South, or similar. Shano, Shawano, Shawanaby are a few.

  2. #27


    Bear with me folks. I am enclosing a copy of a petition we presented to city council for historic designation of four out of five eastside riverfront parks. The fifth already has historic designation. What is humorous is that the historic advisory commission lost our petetion for several years, then found it, we got a call about three months ago asking if we wanted to pursue designation. Friday, we got a letter saying council would consider our application within the next year. Hey guys, this is Detroit. The petition only briefly discusses the Sac Fox Nation and the massacre but I thought people might be interested in Detroit history so I am sending the petition in its entirety. I have lots more info on the massacre but most of this stuff is on a very old computer. It took me more than an hour to retrieve the info I am sending. I have more info on the massacre but I am an impatient person. I did a presentation in front of our local CDC regarding new development along the riverfront. I addressed the Indian legend of the white lady on Belle Isle. I promise to look further for my research but not just today. Sorry if I am a little off point but I hope history buffs enjoy!

    The Lighthouse Recreation Center, Lakewood East, AB Ford & Mariners Park

    These parklands have experienced the “landscape” of Detroit’s History like no other area in the city. From Indian occupation pre 1701, French occupation from 1701-1760, to British occupation 1760-1796, 1796 when the Americans assumed control and the War of 1812 where Americans fought the British and won. Each group, each battle, in its turn left its mark on the above mentioned riverfront parks. In 1805 Michigan was declared a territory and as a result the Grand Marais, now Creekside parklands, became part of the newly formed Hamtramck Township. When Grosse Pointe Township was formed in 1848 this area was included in it. This area over the years has housed such things as windmills, lighthouses, excursion boats, racetracks, speakeasies, dancing pavilions, yacht clubs, industry, military installations, marinas, bait shops and more. The area has seen Indian battles and the demise of the marshland called the Grand Marais due to drainage and landfill, first by landowners, than by the US Federal government and also the City of Detroit. Specific direct information regarding the above cited history will be presented in the body of this presentation.

    A Sense of Place

    A sense of place has been described as “…the characteristics of a particular setting which conveys how the forces of human and non human nature, have in the past, created characteristic and distinctly identifiable landscapes…” The following quote perhaps best describes the sustaining passion Creekside residents possess towards their parks.

    “The past is important: it tells us where we have come from: what shapes what we are and
    influences what we will become. The built environment - historically, architecturally, and
    culturally rich buildings, districts, and landscapes - gives us a sense of place - that this is
    different from that. It provides a physical bond with a shared past and helps provide mental
    and physical stability in a changing world. Ideally, it becomes a living link between past
    and present.”

    Adrien Jolliet, a Frenchman was first to travel the staits now known as the Detroit River. He traveled by canoe. The year was 1669. At that time the shores were peopled by groups of Indians of the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes. Specifically, Wyandotte (Huron), Potawatomi and Ottawas made their homes along the lands by the river. In August of 1679, Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle sailed the first ship, the Griffon, through the straits. The Griffon’s chaplain, Father Louis Hennepin wrote a highly favorable account of the terrain along the strait and of the lake they name Ste. Claire. In part he said, “Nature alone could not have made, without the help of Art, so charming a prospect.”

    By 1701, with the arrival of Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, his troops and Canadian settlers to establish French control of the river, the French had already come to call the area the Strait or le Detroit. Fort Pontchartrain was quickly erected.

    About 1707, French farmers began to push primarily east of the fort along the river front. The ribbon farm system implemented by the French farmers was peculiar to the southeastern area of Michigan. As stated in Tonnacour, “ This system of land parceling nicely fitted the geology of the area. It provided ease of approach from the lake and river, easy access to water for transportation, and equitable distribution of the better (and poorer) land, and relative ease of defense. The course of later roads, private lanes and other access pointes were determined in large part by the long axial lines which constituted the borders of the private claims.” Silas Farmer described the ribbon farms thusly:

    “The front of the French Farms on the river was occupied by the dwelling-house and garden; back of this was a very valuable and beautiful orchard; and in the rear of the orchard were wheat and cornfields. The farms were narrow, so as to give riverfronts to as many as possible, and to also keep occupants close together for convenience and safety. The depth of the farms was always intended to be forty French acres, the width varied from two to five acres, or in other words, the farms had a river frontage of from four hundred to nine hundred feet, with an average depth of one and a half miles.”

    Over the course of the years, these farms changed hands many times via marriage, inheritance or to settle gaming debts. Gambling, especially on horse racing, was a passion of the French.

    For the purpose of this history, the riverfront area to be discussed is the Grande Marais. The Grande Marais or Great Marsh stretched from roughly Bewick to the west, Cadieux to the east, what is now Jefferson to the north and the river to the south. It is important to note that the topography of the land then is vastly different to the area today. For the purposes of this history, Presque Isle (nearly an island), Grosse Pointe, La Cote du Nord and Windmill Pointe, all a part of the Grand Marais, can be used interchangeably.

    The Grande Marais

    The Grande Marais was a low flat marshy wild grass covered land. In the spring, wild iris bloomed blue, in summer and fall, wild roses and orchards dotted the land. The Grande Marais was treated by the French as public recreational property. Many trapped muskrat and fished its environs. The grasses that grew there were available to all who wished. In the early winter, the French typically burned the grasses resulting in a spectacular form of fireworks with the fires burning for days. Later, in winters, the Grande Marais was the site for a celebration called the Cabaret du Grande Marais.

    The Grand Marais was also a spring home to the Indians. For many years and as late as the 1820’s the shores of the Grand Marais was home to Indians in the thousands wishing to treaty and/or trade with the French, then the English and finally the Americans at the fort.

    The most notable early event taking place in the Grand Marais, in the year of 1712, was between the Fox Indians and the French, aptly called the Fox Creek Massacre. The Fox Creek was a natural drainage way from the marsh to the river flowing roughly southwest through the Grand Marais. The Milk River flowed northeast draining the Black Marsh into Lake St Claire. The two are now connected as part of the vast underground sewer systems servicing Detroit and the Grosse Pointes.

    In the spring of 1712, the Foxes in company with Outgamies and Mascoutins came down from Saginaw Bay with the intention of wiping out the fort. Failing to secure the defeat of the fort, they withdrew to the Grand Marais, Windmill Pointe area. The Commandant of the fort, Dubuisson dispatched a company of French soldiers and an army of friendly Indians to defeat them. At Windmill Pointe, the Foxes and their allies were virtually slaughtered to a man. The official record of the day set the number at 1000. The captive squaws and papooses were driven back to Fort Detroit thru the marsh as captives given to the Indians that sided with the French, via the River Road, a muddy and frequently unpassable Indian trail. The Grand Marais housed many Native American camps for other Indian wars against the French. The first was 1703, then 1707, 1712 (the above mentioned Fox Massacre) and lastly in 1746. Interestingly in the siege of 1746, Pontiac, the Chief of the Ottawa Indians, sided with the French to ward off the English.

    Sorry guys, my petition has too many words so I could not post all. If anyone is interested I post the rest in segments.

  3. #28


    That is good information. From what I have heard, the Fox were a threat. As your history shows, they wanted to wipe out the Fort. It is true that the Ojibwe were friendly with the French, and intermarried with them, so there were a lot of family connections. They had realized they would not be able to defeat the settlers, and they preferred the French way to the English way. That continued until the French were ousted.

    The burning of the grasses was an Indian tradition for management, must have been adopted by the French. They were the kind who respected what was already happening in an environment and could learn from and live with the people who were already here.

  4. #29


    PS, Papoose is an English adaptation of a word from some language or other. It isn't close to the Algonquin base word for children, so I don't know yet where it came from or what it originally meant.

    Binooji - Child (bin o' jee)
    Binoojinhs - Baby (bin o' jeese with a little nasal N added like this jeenhs)

    Plurals - Binoojisak, Binoojinhsak (-suk)

    Wikipedia says Papoose is derived from a Naragansett word (also Algonquin based), recorded in 1643 by Roger Williams. I guess there could be that much difference. Squaw is similar, derived from an eastern Algonquin word for woman. We say kwe or ikwe.

    These days, squaw is regarded as an insulting, pejorative word. I feel somewhat the same about papoose, having grown up hearing both terms spoken by whites in a sneering tone or with a bit of a distasteful wrinkle to their noses.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; August-16-09 at 10:45 AM.

  5. #30


    I agree that many terms used in my original petition are dated and even harmful to a tribal mind set. Mea culpa, it was written so long ago.

    I wish I could find a more current piece I wrote regarding Belle Isle and the legend of the white lady. I promise to be less lazy.

    I love your use of root words and language of the tribes. It is so informative. I love languages and the implied world vision that is implicit. It seems so long ago that I wanted to be a French teacher. I took seven years of language instruction. Alas, I have forgotten more than I learned.

    Thank you so much for sharing your info on your culture. Our family history claims indian blood in our geneaology. Maybe true, maybe not. My Mom's family has been here since practically the Mayflower. None the less, Indian history has always fascinated me. Sumas

  6. #31


    Sumas - very interesting reading. I vote yes for you to keep posting what you have found. I may be able to ascertain something about my husband's line through what you have already learned. Never know!

    Thanks for this thread Ravine!

  7. #32


    Sumas, great point of view. I picked it up mostly after I started learning Anishinaabemowin, which is highly reliant on root words for historic definition. The teachers keep saying, "Our culture and our history is all in the language." And it is, but it is hard to learn to find it, and to interpret it. A modern native speaker may not have the same base as the elder native speaker. It is the same as listening to English spoken by high school students. It just doesn't seem like the same language though it is certainly somewhat intelligible to elder speakers.

  8. #33

    Default The utility of modern education

    A friend is reading Letters of a Nation, a compilation of letters written during the formation of this great society. This was written by the Chiefs of the Six Nations in 1774:

    On June 17, 1744, the commissioners from Maryland and Virginia negotiated a treaty with Indians of the Six Nations at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Indians were invited to send boys to William and Mary College. The next day they declined the offer as follows:

    We know that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those Colleges, and the Maintenance of our young Men, while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced, that you mean to do us Good by your Proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise must know that different Nations have different Conceptions of things and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen not to be the same as yours. We have had some experience of it. Several of our Young People were formerly brought up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in all your Sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad Runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods . . . neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, nor Counsellors, they were totally good for nothing. We are, however, not the less oblig’d by your kind Offer, tho’ we decline accepting it; and, to show our grateful Sense of it, if the Gentlemen of Virginia will send us a Dozen of their Sons, we will take Care of their Education, instruct them in all we know, and make Men of them.

    Link to the book site:
    Last edited by gazhekwe; August-18-09 at 12:14 PM.

  9. #34


    I thought of something else to put here. These teachings, the Seven Grandfathers, are the most fundamental of all teachings in our culture. They are the principle behind our teaching and learning stories, and our daily communications with each other and the other earth people.

    The Seven Grandfathers

    Nbaakaawin -– Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people.

    Zaagidwin -- Love: Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most.

    Mnaadendmowin -- Respect: Have respect for all that is. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.

    Aakdehewin -- Bravery: To face a foe with integrity. To do what's right even when the consequences are unpleasant.

    Gwekwaadziwin -- Honesty: Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others.

    Dbaadendizin -- Humility: You are equal to others, but you are not better.

    Debwewin -- Truth: Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.

    This version was taken from a 2003 Minnesota Public Radio series,
    Rekindling the Spirit: The Rebirth of American Indian Spirituality

  10. #35


    Sometimes it is a very small world. I am a member of a 501c3 organization called the Village of Fairview Historical Society. We specialize in east area riverfront history but on our way to other things we collect any information that applies to historic Detroit.

    This week alone we have been contacted by a professor from an accredited university looking for info on Mack Park, home of the Detroit Stars, a venue for the National Negro League. By golly, we had what she needed. A local east area neighborhood organization (a part of Next Detroit) wanted info to “spice” up local historical info, we had it.

    What really blew me away though was being contacted a TV production company that wanted info on the Fox Creek Massacre. It is almost too weird.

    As a researcher, I am pretty lazy about my filing system, both hard copy and computerized info. I could not find my disc with info regarding the battle but did find some of my research info in my paper files some days back. I set the hard copies on top of my computer but being lazy it sat there for a bit. I am a decent researcher and writer but the written word is hard for me. To write four paragraphs can easily take me hours.

    So here goes, I will try to take many pages of research and put it into a few short paragraphs. Some of this research was done to protect riverfront parklands in Detroit from being sold to developers. Sorry for the thumb nail sketch from multiple documents but I will do my best.

    The Fox (Sac) Massacre took place in 1712. This battle was well documented. The Fox tribe invited by Cadillac, created a settlement of warriors outside the fort. Women and children were settled in an encampment near Fox Creek.

    Cadillac was charged by the French Roi (king) to assemble tribes native to the Great Lakes to treat and treaty. Other tribes assembled were the Hurons, Ottawa and the Miamis .

    The new forum timed me out so lots of info I wanted to put out there got lost. I will try tomorrow to type the story of the battle.

    Sorry but it is getting late and I am not in the mood to recreate what I just re created. Will try tomorrow to share the history. Thanks Gaze for all your insight. Sumas

  11. #36


    Oh, ish! I hate when that happens! Maybe try putting your thoughts into a Word document then you can paste it in here. Anxiously waiting to hear what you have compiled.

    One thing for sure, the Potawatomi would be here, as this was their beat, and we know the Ojibwe were because they led the fight. That was their role in the Federation, defender.

    That reminds me of the tale of Michilimackinac, which wasn't too much like the Alexander Henry version, which tells of a bloodthirsty massacre. The actual story can be found in the Pioneer Collection at Burton, including a report dispatched by the losing officer who was captured by the Ojibwe and passed along to the Odawa to make up for their not having gotten in on the fight. He sent his report out via Odawa traders. I believe he described a brief battle with 12 men lost including a civilian trader. Not long afterward, the Odawa traded the officer back to the British for some favor. I am very rusty on the details.

    I found this detail from the Clarke historical collection, a report on the Pontiac Confederacy War of 1763:

    The 18th [June, 1763] a Jesuit arrived from Michillimakenac and brought a Letter from Captain Etherinton and Lieutenant Lessley, with an Account of their being taken Prisoners. That Lieutenant Janet and twenty-one Soldiers. That on the 2nd the Indians were playing Ball as usual nigh the Fort, where Captain Etherington and Lieut. Lessley happened to be looking at them, but were suddenly seized on and carried into the Woods. At the same Time the Savages had purposely thrown their Ball into the Fort, as if that had happened by Accident, and followed it directly into the Fort, where a Number of their Women had Tomahawks and Spears concealed under their Blankets, which they delivered them and put the whole Garrison to death, except thirteen Men.

    I'm still looking for Capt Etherington's report, which gives a somewhat different picture, if I recall correctly. The Ojibwe war chief, Minavavna, was the one who handed the captives to the Odawa.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; August-26-09 at 02:45 PM.

  12. #37


    I found a copy of Etherington's report in a book on line.

    Along with other history it does give a slightly different picture. The garrison at Michilimackinac consisted of only 28 soldiers, of whom he mentions 13 survivors held by the Odawas and four known to be held by the Ojibwe.

    Page 141, A History of the northern peninsula of Michigan and its people, by Alvah Littlefield Sawyer. 1911

    The referenced story of the massacre is on page 71 and taken verbatim from Alexander Henry's 1809 account written 46 years after the battle. Note that Etherington does not describe the events or say that "most of the inhabitants were murdered" He makes no mention of the civilian inhabitants at all. Some accounts say that only one trader was killed.

    Battles are not beautiful things, that is for sure, but sometimes florid language can turn people's thoughts in unhealthy directions. When you consider the history behind the fight, and the motivations of the participants, there are many things to criticize on all sides.

  13. #38


    I'm not sure if I am explaining my points very well here. What I see, quite clearly, is that the one who writes the history controls public opinion. People as a species seem to love talking about battles. Fights between Indians and settlers or incoming armies always end up being called massacres if the Indians won. When they lost, it was a battle. The Battle of Wounded Knee, the Battle of Sandy Creek, the Massacre at Little Big Horn, the Massacre at Michilimackinac. And the Fox Massacre even though the Ojibwe were protecting the French in that fight. Indians were just massacrers, which implies they didn't fight fair. But the colonists wrote the histories.

    From our point of view, we won those fights fair and square. And from our point of view, when the Colorado militia, 700 strong, rode down on Black Kettle's Cheyenne at Sand Creek and killed 400 men, women and children who couldn't even put up a fight, that was a massacre.

    When Custer pursued Black Kettle and attacked his encampment along the Washita, despite Black Kettle's continuing efforts to make peace, that was a massacre. What Custer did, killing 50-100 men, women and children and taking many prisoners, killing the herd of 800 horses and mules, forced Black Kettle and his remaining people onto a reservation.

    Wounded Knee, where 500 troops of the US Cavalry, spooked by the Ghost Dance Ceremonies, surrounded Big Foot's Lakotah with Hotchkiss guns and opened fire, killing over 300 men, women and children, that was a massacre. It depends on who is telling the story.

    I noticed Wikipedia is now calling these incidents Massacres, as shoud be. Things have changed since my school days, thanks be.

  14. #39


    Interesting point, history is written by the "victors". I think in many ways I was lucky while in school, getting teachers who had to present curriculum that was tainted. I remember in school seeing a movie about the Zulus in Africa. Naturally, the British were protrayed as heroic and the Zulus looked blood thirsty. My teacher had the guts to show the movie then talk about the evils of imperialism.

  15. #40


    "Survival and regeneration: Detroit's American Indian community" By Edmund Jefferson Danziger looks to be an interesting book. Dean George, an Oneida Indian, and others are discussed.
    Last edited by vetalalumni; August-29-09 at 01:12 AM. Reason: typo

  16. #41
    Stosh Guest


    Having briefly discussed the Smith family with BigB at one point, I thought I'd follow up with this in relation to the Chief Waukazoo and his Smith connections. The wife's family claims some Native ancestry, but I've yet to find conclusive proof. This is from

    Miscellaneous notes on Joseph P. Waukazoo

    From records of Rev. Samuel Bissell, Twinsburg Institute, Twinsburg, Summit County, Ohio
    "Jany 9, 1849 Paid A. J. Blackbird for his ?service 0.25
    Jany 25, 1849. Gave J. Waukazoo 6 sheets paper 6 1/4
    Jany 29, 1849 Gave J. Shugowabanoo book 12 sheets 12 1/2
    Feb. 13, 1840 Gave Joseph Shingowab?? .06
    May 17, 1849 Paid the 3 Indian girls 0.75
    July 18, 1849 ?? Pr shoes for F. Petosega 2.00
    Sept. 18, 1849 Joseph Shinawabinoo Jr. diest ??? typhus fever having been sick 4 weeks. Funeral expenses 20.00.
    Dec. 8, 1849 to Simon James & Larence Pokagon, 2 slates, pail & basins 1.02
    Dec. 18 1849 Paid making pr of pants for A. Mixinassaw 1.50
    March 1 1850 Due me for pr of pants for Joseph Wakazoo in parts 0.75
    Gave Joseph Bouchard cat & paints 3.00
    Gave Oliver Bouchard pants 1.50"

    1860-1861 Twinsburg Institute, Twinsburg, OH, Class Roster lists Joseph Waukazoo as a student.

    from Western Reserve Historical Society, Manuscript collection #116
    Western Reserve Historical Society MANUSCRIPT CARD CATALOG MS 116 Cont. 4 change from Mss 3242 Bissell, Samuel 1797-1895 Twinsburg Institute, Twinsburg, O.

    The diary of Rev. G. N. Smith of Northport Michigan in June 1850 mentions that Joseph Waukazoo had spent almost 2 years at Twinsburg Institute in Ohio, and that fall Joseph returned for opening of class. On 4 January 1852 Joseph was baptized by Rev. Smith.

    Joseph Waukazoo's father is identified in the memoranda of Rev. George Nelson Smith, Sr. as follows:

    [Dec.]27. [1848] Mr. McLaughlin came yesterday--the snow has been so deep & the weather so bad that he has not begun the vessel yet. he has got out
    materials for Peter's boat last evening I wrote for Peter & his son Joseph who is in Twinsburg Summit Co Ohio in Mr Samuel Bissell's School of Ottawa's..."

    In the memoranda, Smith sometimes refers to Joseph's father Peter Waukazoo by his Indian name, "Pendunwan." Peter's older brother was also called Joseph, and was the Chief of the Old Wing Mission Ottawas until that Joseph died in 1845. Peter Waukazoo was the Chief who, with Rev. Smith, moved the Ottawas from the Old Wing Mission near Holland, Michigan to a new location, Wakazooville, in Leelanau County, Michigan in June 1849, which is now part of Northport. Some Ottawas and Chippewas were already residing in Leelanau County at places like Onumuneseville (now abandoned). In 1852 Chief Agosa and Rev. Peter Dougherty moved a band of Ottawas and Chippewas from Old Mission Peninsula to Omena, Michigan in Leelanau County, and various smaller groups of Ottawas and Chippewas moved from the Cross Village area and other parts of Michigan into other parts of Leelanau County.

    US Civil War records show Joseph Wakazoo of Michigan enlisting on 08 November 1861 as a private, age 23, at Hall's Hill, Virginia (near metro DC). He wrote a letter dated 2 Jun 1862 to Rev. George Smith of Northport describing the Battle at Fair Oaks. He went AWOL in October 1862. Joseph had dinner with Rev. Smith in Northport on October 13, 1862; he told Smith he left the Army of the Potomac three weeks earlier. Two days later, Wakazoo gave a talk to the Indian Council at the schoolhouse. In the following year, Rev. Smith got him out of trouble for desertion and placed him in charge of Lieutenant Brooks. It was reported on June 6, 1864, that he had been wounded in battle. "A History of Leelanau Township" The Leelanau Township Historical Writers Group, Lawrence Wakefield, Editor, revised edition, 1983, states there are no official records on Joseph Wakazoo, but there are civil war pension and widow's benefits available documenting his service. His Civil War Veteran's Invalid Pension Application # 288430, Certificate #858213, form was dated May 1899. Click here to view the form
    His widow Necette filed an application #947987 for widow's benefits in August 1910, and certificate 736654 was issued. Click here to view this form. I downloaded these forms from somewhere off the internet, but I have lost the link.

    From the article: "Domestic Missions: The Indian Deacons at White Earth" by the Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan, published 1881, from the archives of the Minnesota Historical Society.
    Joseph Wakazoo is an Ottawa --- a kindred people to the Ojibways. speaking nearly the same language from Michigan. He is now forty-two years of age.
    He was a soldier in the late {U.S. Civil] war, was shot through the body in the Shenandoah Valley and was again wounded. He was formerly attached to the Methodist body in Michigan as a worker, and about six years ago [that is, in 1875] he came among the Ojibways.
    He has been lay-assistant at Leech Lake, and again was in charge of the Church of St Antipas for some time; and has now a separate charge. that of the Mission and Church of St. Philip the Deacon, Lake Winniboshish.
    {The original article was a xerox page in the files of the Society. The original document was not mentioned.}
    The Protestant Episcopal Church Clerical Directory, 1898, mentions Joseph Wakazoo, born in Petoskey, Michigan, who became a Deacon in 1887, was living in Fosston, Minnesota in 1898. He was titled "Rev." in 1907 Durant Roll Field Notes page 9B-25. In 1908 Joseph was listed as residing in Ebro, Falk Township, Clearwater County, Minnesota. There is a inactive cemetery south of Ebro, said to have several individuals named Wakazoo buried there.

  17. #42


    That is great info. So many linkages. I was thinking about BigB the other day when my kids went to Great Wolf Lodge in TC. Great Wolf translates to MisheMaingan. I believe he comes down from Maingan, great family history. All those folks are also part of the history of Company K, First Michigan Sharpshooters. I am working with a historian who is putting together a history of Company K, the only Indian regiment. There are so many stories there. The historian is particularly interested in Payson Wolfe.

    I am really interested in Antoine Scott, who might have been also named Wiiyaabimind. He is the one who died before being nominated for the Medal of Honor. There is a story about him repeatedly dancing on the embankments of The Crater to draw Confederate fire and give the trapped Union troops time to scramble out of there. He was not hit, and of course that leads to the story of the big medicine protecting him from bullets. He survived the war and died near Muskegon in his 40s. So many stories of those heroic men.

    One Union soldier told about being assigned to cross a cornfield to reconnoiter the Confederate line, but there was a sniper who kept him from making the attempt. He was joined by someone from Company K, who showed him how to "make himself corn" by fastening cornstalks all over his clothes. Then the man showed him how to get across that cornfield, which they did without alerting the sniper. They were able to return after dark and the soldier gave his report.

    Another story. The oldest Indian recruit was the best shot. There was a Confederate sniper harassing the encampment. The captain asked this elder man to see what he could do. The man agreed, and disappeared for much of the day. In the late afternoon, there was a shot, and a man fell from a distant tree. The sniper was no more. In the morning, the sharpshooter reported to the captain, "Got him."

  18. #43
    Stosh Guest


    Those are some great stories, Gaz.

    Here's the other file on the Waukazoo brothers, including Miingun.


  19. #44


    I see some folks are still peeking in here. Stosh, I appreciate that info so much! I have added it to my archive.

    For anyone interested in researching their Indian ancestry, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need the name of the Indian ancestor, including maiden and married name for a woman. If you know the tribe, that helps a lot. Knowing their birthplace helps, or at least, where they lived.

    1. If you know the tribe, Google the tribe name, and you will find tribal websites. Each of these websites has much information including location, history, current services. Select the location nearest your ancestor's known location. Under administration, there should be a contact provided for the tribal enrollment officer. That would be the person to ask about your ancestor.

    2. If you do not know the tribe, but do know a location, Google for Indian reservations in that state. Check with the ones that are nearest that location. Caution: If the only location you know is a major city, like Detroit, this may not work. Michigan has 12 recognized tribes, and the US Census 2000 counted over 40 tribes represented here.

    Tribe names have changed through the years as tribes go back to their more traditional names. Winnebago are now Ho-Chunk. Pima are now Tohono O'Odham. Most sites will come up under the old name and refer to the new name.

    3. Your best resources are your elder relatives who may know more about the history than they have communicated. Interview them now while they are still here.

    This link is to a pamphlet "Tracing Your Indian Ancestry" that was developed by the Michigan Indian Commission in the 80s. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is still publishing the pamphlet, though the Indian Commission was dissolved in 1999.

    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-03-09 at 01:20 PM.

  20. #45


    I am posting this note mostly to get this thread at the top of the board. I still promise to finish my story on the Fox Creek battle. It was in effect, genocide, the Indian tribes friendly to the French slaughtered the Sac.

    On a different note, there is a thread about why people are not posting on Detroit Yes. It is threads like this that keep me here. Gaz, your info and wisdom on Indian culture is fascinating. Please Please keep sharing!

  21. #46


    Thank you, Sumas. I have been waiting for that history. I think part of it was posted before, maybe on the old forum. There were survivors of that fight and they ended up in the Green Bay area. You can read more about them here:

    Here's how they put it:

    Following the settlement and invasion of Europeans on the east coast, which also resulted in pressures from other Native nations, the Sauk moved from near Saginaw Bay in Michigan to Green Bay, Wisconsin...

    I will continue posting as long as there are questions or comments, or people keep peeking in here. I might have trouble thinking of something if no one says anything, though. I do very much enjoy sharing unknown bits of culture and history.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-04-09 at 09:20 AM.

  22. #47
    Stosh Guest


    I'm glad that you found what I dug up on the web interesting and helpful.

    As for the link for researching Native ancestry, I hope to get some information someday.

  23. #48


    Stosh, that family was so influential in the history of western Michigan, from Holland on up to Northport, it is key information for all of us. It is interesting because one story has it that Waukazoo's wife was a captive white woman. This is the Waukazoo who united with George Smith to move north rather than be removed to Kansas, and went north to found a new community near Northport.

    What is truly interesting is that Waukazoo's descendants, up til the 20th century, were considered full Indian. Some time in the 1890s, there was some kind of distinction being made as to who had white ancestry. It had to do with payouts. Someone made notations on the Durant Roll of that era to indicate white ancestry. Supposedly, payouts were pro-rated for Indian blood quantum. Money, the root of all evil! It seems ever since then, our traditional way of adopting people as tribal members has been called into question. We call it the "dogs fighting over a bone" syndrome.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-04-09 at 10:49 AM.

  24. #49


    Quote Originally Posted by gazhekwe View Post
    BigB, I have been learning some things about the early history of the Smiths of Northport. It seems that when the Indian Removal Act was being enforced in the Holland area in the 1840s, some of the people were given a choice to move north to continue farming up there, or go to Nebraska. Chief Waakazoo decided to take the offer of staying in Michigan and moving north to land that was not in such demand for settlement. Local pastor George Smith accompanied Waakazoo and his people to Northport. Sometime during this period, Waakazoo is said to have also taken the name Smith, so there are two lines of Smiths. My line seems to been on the Waakazoo side. I have to do some tracing to verify that information. So far, it's just a story I heard.

    Another thing that history brings out is the the origin of names from the Northport area referring to the South. There are several families there with names that translate to South, or Man from the South, or similar. Shano, Shawano, Shawanaby are a few.
    Gaz, in that geneological paperwork I want to send to you, my liniage (?) shows I'm decended from Rev. Smith, Kin-E-Quay, and Chief Waakazoo. I still want to get that paperwork to you, but it's best to reach me by cell phone now, as I'm still on the library computer. I'll send an message.

    Damn - no spell check on this computer either !

  25. #50


    The story is that Kin-e-quay was a white child captured by the Huron in Ontario, and somehow ended up with the Grand Traverse band as a trained medicine woman, (Shaman) in her later years. That's also in the paperwork I have.

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