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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Brimley in Chippewa County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Glacial Gifts

Coastal Landscape Formed by Ice, Water and Wind

 
 
Glacial Gifts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
1. Glacial Gifts Marker
Inscription.  Ice-Age glaciers covered the Whitefish Bay Area for thousands of years and left behind a complex mosaic of sand, gravel and clay. Following the last glacier's retreat about 10,000 years ago, water and wind shaped these deposits into the landscape of the present. Based on the resulting variations in soils and other conditions, different plant and animal communities developed. Later, Native Americans and then European immigrants traveled along this coast to find what they needed to make a living.

Point Iroquois and Gros Cap (opposite shore in Canada)
"These two promontories stand like the pillars of Hercules which guard the entrance into the Mediterranean, and their office is to mark the foot of the mighty Superior, a lake which may not, inaptly, be deemed another Mediterranean Sea."
—Henry Schoolcraft, 1851

In the Ojibwe language...
"Nouns are mainly designated as alive or dead, animate or inanimate. The word for stone, asin, is animate. Stones are called grandfathers and grandmothers and are extremely important in Ojibwe philosophy. Once I began to think of stones as animate, I started
Marker detail: 16,000 Years Ago image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: 16,000 Years Ago
"Just a few years ago, geologically speaking, a glacier passed this way, and that's why North America has a unique 1,200 mile lake chain, containing about a third of the world's freshwater area."
—R.W. Kelley and W.R. Farrand, 1967

About 10,000 years ago, Mastodons and early hunters roamed the southern Great Lakes, but most of the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan was under water.
to wonder whether I was picking up a stone or it was putting itself into my hand.
"
From Two Languages in Mind, but Just One in the Heart,
by Louise Erdrich, 2009


Background Photo: Glaciers carried many of these stones here from bedrock formations located to the North in Canada.
 
Erected by Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway and Hiawatha National Forest.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 46° 29.043′ N, 84° 37.892′ W. Marker is near Brimley, Michigan, in Chippewa County. Marker can be reached from West Lakeshore Drive (Iroquois Road) 0.7 miles east of South Monocle Lake Road, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located in a boardwalk kiosk at the east end of the Point Iroquois Light Station parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12942 West Lakeshore Drive, Brimley MI 49715, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Place of the Iroquois Bones (here, next to this marker); Point Iroquois Light Station (here, next to this marker); Anishinabeg (here, next to this marker); Point Iroquois (within shouting distance of this marker).
 
Related markers.
Marker detail: Point Iroquois image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Point Iroquois
View looking east from Big Pine area, toward Point Iroquois. About 4,000 years ago, wind and water finished building the giant sand dune in the distance now covered by forest and called Iroquois Mountain.
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Point Iroquois Light Station, Michigan
 
Also see . . .  The Interesting and Tumultuous History of Gros Cap. From the towering point of Gros Cap, the view of Lake Superior is spectacular. Gros Cap on the Canadian side of the river and Iroquois Point on the American side, face each other across the Southern entrance to Whitefish Bay. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Sandstone Bedrock image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Sandstone Bedrock
Deep layers of sand, gravel, or clay cover the underlying sandstone bedrock along most of the byway. Hoverer, in a few small areas it is exposed along the shore and carved by waves and ice.
Marker detail: Iron Particles on the Beach image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Iron Particles on the Beach
Most of the sand grains that form the beaches of Whitefish Bay are light colored quartz, but heavy black particles of iron stand out when waves concentrate them in thin layers.
Gros Cap, Canada image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
6. Gros Cap, Canada
(looking northeast across south end of Whitefish Bay, from boardwalk near marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 8, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 1, 2021