Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Sunday in Michigan

November 22nd, 2015

I’m spending this week in the Petoskey, Michigan with my brother and his wife for Thanksgiving. I visited them last year and learned a few interesting facts. Today’s blog is a replay while I play with my niece.

Did you know Ernest Hemingway spent his childhood summers at nearby Wallon Lake and used it as a setting for his Nick Adams stories.

And the name “Petoskey” is said to mean “where the light shines through the clouds” in the language of the Odawa Indians, who are the original inhabitants. The Petoskey stone and the city were named after Chief Ignatius Petosega (1787–1885), who founded the community and has a nearby campground named after him, that has very nice hiking trails.

Petoskey is also famous for a high concentration of Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan. And I found one while at the lake last month. The stone is a combination of fossilized coral and stone giving it a unique look. When they’re dry they look like any other limestone, but when polished the six-sided coral fossil emerges.

Petoskey was also the location where 50,000 passenger pigeons were killed each day in the late 19th century, prior to their complete extinction in the early 20th century. A state historical marker commemorates the events, including the last great nesting in 1878. One hunter was reputed to have personally killed “a million birds” and earned $60,000, the equivalent of 1 million dollars today. Crazy!

What happened in your area?

Originally established as a boys camp in 1920, Camp Petosega now encompasses some 300 acres and offers year round recreation to visitors.

Originally established as a boys camp in 1920, Camp Petosega now encompasses some 300 acres and offers year round recreation to visitors.

The Petoskey Historical Marker says: At one time North America's most numerous bird, the passenger pigeon was particularly abundant in the Upper Mississippi valley. The mature male was about 16 inches long. Less colorful and big was the female. In 1914 the last known survivor of the species died.

The Petoskey Historical Marker says: At one time North America’s most numerous bird, the passenger pigeon was particularly abundant in the Upper Mississippi valley. The mature male was about 16 inches long. Less colorful and big was the female. In 1914 the last known survivor of the species died.

Petoskey stone in shallow water.

Petoskey stone in shallow water.

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.