Chippewa County

Chippewa County

Whitefish Lighthouse


From the historical marker: "This light, the oldest active on Lake Superior, began operating in 1849, though the present tower was constructed later. Early a stopping place for Indians, voyageurs, and Jesuit missionaries, the point marks a course change for ore boats and other ships navigating this treacherous coastline to and from St. Mary's Canal. Since 1971 this light, fog signal, and radio beacon have been automated and controlled from Sault Ste. Marie."

Photo credit: Heidi Blanton, Some rights reserved: Link


Chippewa County was created from part of Mackinac County in 1827. Sault St. Marie is the county seat


“A treaty was concluded in the city of Washington in the year 1836 to which my people- the Ottawas and Chippewas- were unwilling parties, but they were compelled to sign blindly and ignorant of the true spirit of the treaty and the true import of some of its conditions. They thought when signing the treaty that they were securing reservations of lands in different localities as permanent homes for themselves and their children in the future; but before six months had elapsed from the time of signing this treaty, or soon after it had been put in pamphlet form so that all persons could read it and know its terms, they were told by their white neighbors that their reservations of land would expire in five years, instead of being perpetual as they believed. At the end of this time, they would be compelled to leave their homes, and if they should refuse they would be driven at the point of the bayonet into a strange land, where, as is almost always the case, more than one-half would die before they could be acclimated, At this most startling intelligence more than half of my people fled into Canada; fled to the protection of the British government; fled, many of them, even before receiving a single copper of the promised annuities; fled to a latitude like that in which they had been accustomed to live. The balance of them determined to remain and await whatever the consequences might be, and receive the annuities which they were promised for twenty years. But fortunately their expulsion from the State was suddenly stayed, in the years 1850 and '51. By the kindness of the people of the State of Michigan, they were adopted as citizens and made equal in rights with their white neighbors. Their voice was to be recognized in the ballot box in every election; and I thought this is what ought to be for the same God who created the white man created the red man of the forest, and therefore they are equally entitled to the benefits of civilization education and Christianity.”


Source: History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan: A Grammar of Their Language and Personal and Family History of the Author, Andrew J. Blackbird , pp. 88-89


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County Map

"Chippewa county, MI 1904". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - Link