The way Columbus is celebrated you might come to think there wasn't an American population before he "found" the country. Yet American was home to many hundreds of Native American tribes and today at leas in my Michigan experiences many historic makers come to remind us of the important places to Indian tribes and their people. One such place is Kitcheossening - now known as Big Point Rock.
On our drive north from Mio through to Mackinaw we took the long scenic route through Charlevoix along the western coast of the state and found Big Point Rock as a place for a sarnie and a viewpoint. Markers state that Big Rock Point was named for a large boulder Native Americans used as a landmark and a gathering place by the Odawa (Ottawa) Indians as early as the mid 19th century. Each spring the Odawa returned to Waganaksing (are between Harbor Springs and Cross Village) with their wiigwaas jiimaan (birch back canoes) loaded with goods - sugar, furs to skins, meat, oils and honey after spending the winter hunting. You can see why - the huge bay although stony, is an excellent base for getting out onto Lake Michigan even today.