“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Algonquin Legends of South Haven

Algonquin Legends of South Haven Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2017
1. Algonquin Legends of South Haven Marker
By: Chief Pokagon

"Our traditional account of South Haven given us by ki-os-ag (our forefathers) was held as sacred by them as Holy Writ by the white man. Long, long bi-bong (years) ago Ki-ji Man-i-to (the Great Spirit) who held dominion of Mi-shi-gan (Lake Michigan) and the surrounding country, selected Haw-was-naw a place at the o-don (mouth) of Maw-kaw-te (Black River) as his seat of government. His royal throne (Ki-tehi-wik) was located on the highest point of that neck of land lying between Maw-kaw-te River and Lake Michigan. This high point of land was called Ish-pem-inz, meaning a high place.

The tradition above given was handed down to us by a tribe of Au-nish-naw-be-og (Indians) that lived in Michigan before my people, the Pottawattomies. They were called Mash-ko-de (Prairie tribe), on account of their clearing up large tracts of woodland and living somewhat as farmers. They were said to be very peaceful, seldom going on the warpath. We had great reverence for their traditions, as we occupied the land of their principal odena (village) about Black River. We named it Nik-onong, which was derived from two Algonquin words "nik" (sunset) and o-nigis (beautiful).

Nik-a-nong, in its day, was quite a manufacturing town. Large quantities of white birch bark were brought there by canoe loads
Algonquin Legends of South Haven Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2017
2. Algonquin Legends of South Haven Marker (wide view)
and, as it never decays, was buried in the earth for use or trade when called for. Out of this wonderful manifold bark our fathers made canoes, hats, caps, wigwams and dishes for domestic use, and our maidens tied with it the knot that sealed the marriage vow. Sis-si-ba-kwat (maple sugar) was also made and kept in large quantities near this place and sold to southern and western tribes for wampum or in exchange for pi-jis-ki-we-win (buffalo robes)."

Sponsored by John L. Marple

Erected by John L. Marple & Michigan Maritime Museum.
Location. 42° 24.345′ N, 86° 16.607′ W. Marker is in South Haven, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Marker is on Black River Street 0.1 miles south of Dyckman Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Harbor Walk, beside the sidewalk, across Black River Street from All Seasons Marine and the South Haven Maritime Docks. Marker is at or near this postal address: 234 Black River Street, South Haven MI 49090, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Evelyn S (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Shipbuilding (about 500 feet away); Commercial Fishing (about 500 feet away); South Haven World War I Memorial (about 600 feet away); Haven Peaches (about 600 feet away); Dyckman Avenue Bascule Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Entertainment Around the Harbor (approx. 0.2 miles away); Downtown's Rich History (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Haven.
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high posts. Marker is part of South Haven's Harbor Walk series.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. South Haven Harbor Walk
Also see . . .
1. Nik-a-nong - Algonquin Legends of South Haven. The book "A History of Van Buren County" by Oran W. Rowland includes a chapter "Algonquin Legends of South Haven, By Chief Pokagon" which reads as follows... (Submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Chief Simon Pokagon. In the later part of the Nineteenth Century when the spiritual vibrations for human rights were beginning to encircle the planet, there arose in the Potawatomi Nation a literary genius named Simon Pokagon. He was the Chief of the Potawatomis of southwestern Michigan. During his lifetime he became known as the best-educated full-blooded Indian in North America and was called “the Redskin Bard,” “the Longfellow of his Race.” He visited President Lincoln on two occasions and smoked a pipe-of-peace with President Grant. (Submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. South Haven Harbor Walk. This South Haven Harbor Walk map shows the location of this and other historical markers in South Haven. (Submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Categories. Native Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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