“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Union City in Branch County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Indigenous Residents

Indigenous Residents Marker image. Click for full size.
By Val Rossman, June 17, 2016
1. Indigenous Residents Marker
Inscription. Long before European settlement and Union City, the St. Joe was known by Native Americans as the River of the Miamis. It was an important resource for water, game, fish and transportation. The origin of the St. Joe is found in the lake in Hillsdale named for the Potawatomi Chief BawBeese. Some accounts place a Potawatomi camp near this bank. Peaceful forest dwellers, they took advantage of the large stand of maple trees on the south side of the river to produce syrup. Friendly local tribes helped early settlers survive harsh winters in Branch County. In 1837, there was an estimated 1000 natives living near the junctions of the Coldwater & St. Joe Rivers, but many succumbed to diseases that arrived with early settlers. Other than a few reservations, including the Nottawaseppi just west of here, most of their land was taken under the 1833 Chicago Treaty. Many were forcibly moved to reservations in Kansas under the Indian Removal Act of 1840 with local Chief Moguago escaping during the long trip and returning to the Athens area. The Nottawa Huron Band has a 120 acre reservation a few miles away, northwest of Athens, and was recognized in 1995 by the U.S. Government.
Erected 2016 by Union City Heritage Water Trail. (Marker Number 24.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Union City Heritage Water Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 3.725′ N, 85° 8.954′ W. Marker is in Union City, Michigan, in Branch County. Click for map. This marker is on private property please do not attempt to access it by trespassing on foot. It is meant to be viewed by paddling the St. Joseph River as part of the Union City Heritage Water Trail. It is on the south bank of the St Joseph river down river from the Park Street Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Union City MI 49094, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elkhorn Lodge: Home of "Skinny" Bullock (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gerald Davison's Hilltop House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Head of St. Joe Navigation (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alumni Field (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Arbogast Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); "Municipal Pond" Becomes Union Lake (approx. half a mile away); The Park Street "Spencer" Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); The French & Trading Posts (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Union City.
More about this marker. There are 28 of these markers comprising the Union City Heritage Water Trail on the Coldwater River and the St. Joseph River launched in 2016 for the village's Sesquicentennial. These markers can be viewed by paddling the 5 mile stretch of river from the JP Palmer Launch in the Village of Union City to the Riley Dam on the SW Corner of Union Lake. Most of these markers CANNOT by accessed by foot as they are on private property along the river. Please do not trespass. More details can be found at
Also see . . .  Union City Heritage Water Trail Marker 24. This link will take you to the official Union City Heritage Water Trail page for this marker which contains additional photos and information. (Submitted on June 17, 2016, by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan.) 
Categories. Native AmericansSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan. This page has been viewed 89 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on , by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 19, 2016.
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