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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 54-55
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History

Indians of North America -- History

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

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THE GREAT BATTLE BETWEEN THE FOX AND THE CHIPPEWA Under the heading, "A Good Many Dead Indians," a 1912 history of Oakland County sketches the story told by a French fur trapper named Michaud or Micheau to an early settler, Edwin Baldwin, of a great battle between the Chippewa and the Fox Indian tribes before the coming of the white man. Michaud, a centenarian when Bloomfield was settled, told of coming upon a Chippewa village on "Swan's Plains," the tableland later settled by Dr. Ziba Swan. In the late 1700s, Michaud was camped along the Rouge River where "Manresa" is today at Quarton and Woodward, and was startled to see Indian feathers passing silently by the rocks. He knew instantly that the Fox were about to attack their ancient enemies, the Chippewa. In the bloody battle which ensued, the Chippewa village, braves, squaws and children, were wiped out. The battling braves followed those trying to escape down the Saginaw Trail which, with the plains, was littered with dead bodies. Michaud described them as numbering 1500. Early settlers felt he exaggerated, yet history is on Michaud's side. "Swan's Plains" might have been so named because the Indians had cleared the land to build their village with its vegetable gardens. When the Oakland County Road Commission dug down just a short distance to put in the wires for a traffic signal at Quarton and Woodward (the Saginaw Trail) in 1961, they encountered the bones of two young braves, just in the three-foot radius and 42" depth of the hole. Hinsdale's "Archeological Atlas of Michigan" also located a probable Indian village and burial site within the boundaries of what is now Birmingham.

Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 54-55 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 54-55 part 2

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