the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 052-053
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Fish, Fannie

Bloomfield Township (Mich.)

Indians of North America -- History

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


AMERICAN INDIAN INHABITANTS Fannie Fish, in 1888, presented a paper before the Oakland County Pioneer Society in which she described the hundreds of Indians who came past their house on Woodward north of Lone Pine (now the old red brick Benedict farm)-each week. They had been to Detroit to get their bounty, the money paid them for the land, which they spent on food and whiskey before moving up the Saginaw Trail. These Indians were members of the Chippewa or Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Ottawa, Miami, Saulk, Fox and Mascouten tribes. Some may even have been Wyandots or Hurons who had been driven out of Ontario by the fierce and feared Iroquois. In any case, they were known as the Younge Tradition Indians, named after the first site where their occupation, traced back to about 700 A.D., was found. They were preceeded in this area by four other groups, the mastodon- hunting Paleo-lndians, known for their fluted arrowheads; the Old Copper Indians, first to mine that metal; the Woodland Indians who first made pottery; and the Hopewell who took to farming in addition to hunting and fishing. At the time about which Fannie Fish wrote, there were only an estimated 7,737 Indians in all of Michigan! Those from this area moved northward, and little trace but graves today indicates their presence here. Yet in the early days many white settlers were saved when a compassionate squaw shared her succotash with them, among them Captain Hervey Parke who lived in Birmingham for some time. In 1940 there were only 6,282 Indians in the state, but the number has been on the increase since then. The Indians of this area were distinguished from others by the round bark huts they built, as opposed to the longhouses built by other Indian groups.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 052-053 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 052-053 part 2

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