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

Place of the Iroquois Bones

Point Named After Decisive Battle Fought in 1662

 
 
Place of the Iroquois Bones Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
1. Place of the Iroquois Bones Marker
Inscription.  When the first French traders and missionaries arrived in the 1600s, the Native American Tribe called Ojibwe or Chippewa lived along the Bay. They referred to themselves in their native language as Anishinabeg, which translates as "Original People." During the period of colonization, the powerful and much feared Iroquois tribe invaded this area in an attempt to gain influence and dominate the fur trade. In 1662, local Ojibwe bands defeated an Iroquois war party here in a battle that ended that tribe's westward expansion. According to Henry Schoolcraft, in their language, the Ojibwe called Point Iroquois "Nau-do-we-e-gun-ing," which means "Place of the Iroquois Bones". A fur trader from Sault Ste. Marie observed human bones and skulls still visible on the beach here in the late 1700s.

"The battle at Iroquois Point was not a minor local skirmish, it was a turning point in Ojibway History… it was to them what Waterloo was to the nations who stopped the encroachments of Napoleon"
—Chase S. and Stellanova Osborn, 1944

"They were the first to defeat the Iroquois, who to the number of a hundred warriors came to take
Marker detail: Detail from 1688 map of New France by Vincenzo Coronelli image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Detail from 1688 map of New France by Vincenzo Coronelli
possession of one of their villages. Hearing of the enemy's march, fifty Sauteur (Ojibwe band) went to meet them. Under the cover of a very dense fog they entirely defeated them. They had for arms only arrows and tomahawks, while the Iroquois relied much on their firearms.

—LaPotherie, 1753

"They united and formed a circle around the camp of the Iroquois… They entered the camp during a shower of rain, near day light. Not a soul was awake to give the alarm; and every Iroquois was put to death except two. The two saved were furnished a canoe, and told to go and inform their relatives of the result, and tell them never again to venture into the Chippewa country."
—Excerpt from Ozhaguscodaywayquay’s Account (from Schoolcraft, 1827)
 
Erected by Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway and Hiawatha National Forest.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNative Americans.
 
Location. 46° 29.042′ N, 84° 37.895′ 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
Marker detail: Flags Representing History of Whitefish Bay’s South Shore image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Flags Representing History of Whitefish Bay’s South Shore
• Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
c. 1500-present
• Bay Mills Indian Community
c. 1500-present
• French
c. 1671-1763
• British
c. 1763-1814
• United States of America
1814-present
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. Glacial Gifts (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. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Point Iroquois Light Station, Michigan
 
Also see . . .
1. Why the name "Point Iroquois?". The Iroquois often sent expeditions far from their homeland and attempted to control the trade routes leading east from the Great Lakes. Accounts of a decisive battle at Point Iroquois in 1662 have been passed down for over 300 years. They tell how an Iroquois war party camped near the point where the lighthouse now stands, and how the Chippewa secretly watched their movements and mounted a surprise attack near dawn. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The interesting and tumultuous history of Gros Cap. As dawn approached and the Iroquois began to fall asleep, the Ojibwe quietly beached their canoes. A massacre ensued and all but two Iroquois had been killed. The remaining two were kept alive but had their noses and ears ceremoniously
Marker detail: Ozhaguscodaywayquay (“Green Meadow Woman”) image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Ozhaguscodaywayquay (“Green Meadow Woman”)
(portrait based on 1826 drawing by James Otto Lewis)
cut off and sent east in their canoe to relay a message. According to the source, SUPERIOR: Under the Shadow of the Gods, the Ojibwe were successful in sending a clear message to the Iroquois. Invasions of their land would not be tolerated. However, another source, Gros Cap : Ancient Home, Meeting Place, Rare Natural Beauty: A gem at risk, tells that in 1668 the Iroquois invaded once again and devastated all the villages of Lake Superior. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
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 84 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 8, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Feb. 25, 2021