Waugoshance Point

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The location of Waugoshance point on the U.S. State of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Waugoshance.png
The location of Waugoshance point on the U.S. State of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Waugoshance Point (GNIS ID#1615889) is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) cape [1] or peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan from the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan in Emmet County. It separates the Straits of Mackinac to its north from Sturgeon Bay to the south and is part of Wilderness State Park. The nearest town is Mackinaw City. Waugoshance is a hybrid word, that combines the Anishinaabemowin word wah'goosh [2] (English:fox) and the French word anse [3] (English:cove).

Geographic Names Information System geographical database

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a database that contains name and locative information about more than two million physical and cultural features located throughout the United States of America and its territories. It is a type of gazetteer. GNIS was developed by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) to promote the standardization of feature names.

Cape (geography) A large headland extending into a body of water, usually the sea

In geography, a cape is a headland or a promontory of large size extending into a body of water, usually the sea. A cape usually represents a marked change in trend of the coastline which makes them prone to natural forms of erosion, mainly tidal actions. This results in capes having a relatively short geological lifespan. Capes can be formed by glaciers, volcanoes, and changes in sea level. Erosion plays a large role in each of these methods of formation.

Peninsula A piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland

A peninsula is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though not necessarily named as a single body of water. Peninsulas are not always named as such; one can also be a headland, cape, island promontory, bill, point, or spit. A point is generally considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape. A river which courses through a very tight meander is also sometimes said to form a "peninsula" within the loop of water. In English, the plural versions of peninsula are peninsulas and, less commonly, peninsulae.

Contents

Waugosance Point sandy beach, with reef lighthouse on horizon. Wilderness State Park.jpg
Waugosance Point sandy beach, with reef lighthouse on horizon.

Geography

The subaerial ridges along the cape rise approximately 13 ft (4.0 m) above lake level (an elevation of about 590 ft (180 m) above sea level. [1] ) Beyond the tip of Waugoshance Point are Temperance Island and Waugoshance (previously, Crane) Island. The point and the islands consist of both sandy and rock and gravel beaches. These are an ideal habitat for gulls and wading shore birds, including the endangered piping plover. Dominant trees include balsam fir, white spruce, white cedar, white pine, paper birch and trembling aspen. Mosses and lichens are abundant in its wetland ecosystem. Perch and small mouth bass are abundant off-shore.

In natural science, subaerial, has been used since 1833, notably in geology and botany, to describe events or features that are formed, located, or taking place immediately on or near the Earth's land surface. They are thus exposed to Earth's atmosphere. This may be contrasted with subaqueous events or features located below a water surface, submarine events or features located below a sea surface, subterranean events or features located below ground, or subglacial events or features located below glacial ice such as ice sheets.

Temperance Island

Temperance Island is an island off of Waugoshance Point, in Lake Michigan. It is located in Bliss Township of Emmet County, Michigan. Temperance and nearby Waugoshance Island are part of the Wilderness State Park. The Big Cut Canal separates the islands from Waugoshance Point. Together the islands form the northern boundary for sturgeon bay.

Waugoshance Island island in Emmet County, Michigan

Waugoshance Island is an island off of Waugoshance Point, in Lake Michigan. It is located in Bliss Township of Emmet County, Michigan. Waugoshance and nearby Temperance Island are part of the Wilderness State Park. The Waugoshance Light is located north west of the island in shallow water shoals, that prove to be challenging for navigation. The White Shoal Light and the Grays Reef Light are also in the waters near the island.

The point and its neighboring islands are bedrock outcrops of an extensive reef that reaches more than 6.5 mi (10.5 km) WNW from the inner end of the point, with water depths of only 9 to 12 ft (2.7 to 3.7 m) at the outer end. [4] This reef, along with others in the vicinity are exceptionally dangerous hazards for sailing vessels and small craft along the northeastern rim of Lake Michigan. Three nearby lighthouses warn mariners away from the danger that lurks just below the surface and mark the western approach to the Straits of Mackinac:

Bedrock Lithified rock under the regolith

In geology, bedrock is the lithified rock that lies under a loose softer material called regolith within the surface of the crust of the Earth or other terrestrial planets.

Outcrop visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth

An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth.

Reef A bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water

A reef is a bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water. Many reefs result from natural, abiotic processes—deposition of sand, wave erosion planing down rock outcrops, etc.—but the best known reefs are the coral reefs of tropical waters developed through biotic processes dominated by corals and coralline algae.

White Shoal Light (Michigan) lighthouse in Michigan, United States

The White Shoal Light is a lighthouse located 20 miles (32 km) west of the Mackinac Bridge in Lake Michigan. It is an active aid to navigation.

Waugoshance Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

The lighthouse at Waugoshance protects boats from a shoal area at the northern end of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse is located in Emmet County, Michigan, United States, and in U.S. Coast Guard District No. 9.

History

Jean Nicolet was probably the first European explorer to pass through the Mackinac Straits area as he journeyed westward in the late summer of 1634. At that time, the region's primary inhabitants were the Odawa and Ojibwe people, who called the region Michilimackinac. They, along with the Potawatomi were part of a long-term tribal alliance called the Council of Three Fires (Anishinaabe: Niswi-mishkodewin), which was formed at the end of the eighth Century at Michilimackinac. [8] [9]

Jean Nicolet French explorer

Jean Nicolet (Nicollet), Sieur de Belleborne was a French coureur des bois noted for discovering and exploring Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island, Green Bay, and being the first European to set foot in what is now the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

Michilimackinac is derived from an Odawa name for present-day Mackinac Island and the region around the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Early settlers of North America applied the term to the entire region along Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior. Today it is considered to be mostly within the boundaries of Michigan, in the United States. Michilimackinac was the original name for present day Mackinac Island and Mackinac County.

Potawatomi Native American peoples

The Pottawatomi, also spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi, are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, and western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. The Potawatomi called themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of the word Anishinaabe. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples.

French voyageurs and coureurs des bois explored and settled in this part of Michigan in the second half of the 17th century. Father Jacques Marquette established a Christian mission at Saint Ignace in 1671. These newcomers were well received by the Indian populations in the area, with relatively few difficulties or hostilities.

Voyageurs French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years

The voyageurs were French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years. The emblematic meaning of the term applies to places and times where transportation of materials was mainly over long distances.

Jacques Marquette French Jesuit and explorer

Father Jacques Marquette S.J., sometimes known as Père Marquette or James Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. In 1673, Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to explore and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River Valley.

Alexander Henry, a fur trader, was the first Englishman to venture into this area after its cession by France to Great Britain, arriving at Fort Michilimackinac in 1761, after the French garrison had abandoned the post, and before the British sent to occupy it had arrived. He found the Indians to be incensed at having been surrendered to British domination and bitterly hostile toward him any anyone not French. [10]

Henry was present two years later when, on June 2, 1763, Ojibwe and Sauk Indians attacked and took over the fort, as part of the wider movement known as Pontiac's Rebellion. Most of the fort's British inhabitants were killed. Henry was one of the few whose life was spared. The earliest known written reference to Waugoshance Point is found in Henry's journal in his recounting of the massacre and his ordeal afterward. [11]

Much of the old growth forest on and around Waugoshance was heavily logged during the second half of the 19th century. The white and red pines that made up much of the forest was in high demand nationwide for the building of individual homes and whole cities, along with furniture and other items, such as railroad ties. [12]

During World War II the cape, along with the islands off the point and the abandoned lighthouse were designated as the Waugoshance Point Target and used for tactical bombing and strafing practice as well as for experimentation with radio controlled (drone) aircraft. Planes were flown out of the Naval Air Station at Traverse City (now Cherry Capital Airport). [13] [14] Evidence of this military usage can still be found in the area. Shell fragments and motor parts are occasionally uncovered. The fuselage of a target plane can be seen from the point parking lot. [15]

Since 1951, this area has been a nature wilderness reserve and study area.

See also

Related Research Articles

Mackinac County, Michigan County in the United States

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Emmet County, Michigan County in the United States

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Mackinaw City, Michigan Village in Michigan, United States

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Mackinac or Mackinaw may refer to:

Wawatam was an 18th-century Odawa chief who lived in the northern region of present-day Michigan's Lower Peninsula in an area along the Lake Michigan shoreline known by the Odawa as Waganawkezee.

Straits of Mackinac strait connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan in Michigan, USA

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Fort Michilimackinac

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Fort de Buade commercial and military post erected in 1683 north of Mackinac Strait, between Lakes Michigan and Huron (Canada-United States)

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Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park is a public recreation area bordering Lake Michigan, five miles southwest of Mackinaw City in Emmet County in Northern Michigan. The state park's 10,512 acres (4,254 ha) include 26 miles (42 km) of shoreline, diverse forested dune and swale complexes, wetlands, camping areas, and many miles of hiking trails. The state park is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which has, as of 2006, approved a proposal that 4,492 acres (1,818 ha) be officially dedicated as a wilderness area. Wilderness State Park was designated a Michigan "dark sky preserve" in 2012.

DeTour Reef Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

The DeTour Reef Light is a non-profit-operated lighthouse marking the southern entrance of the DeTour Passage between the eastern end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island. The light is an automated active aid to navigation. It marks the northern end of Lake Huron. The passage is used by almost all of the Great Lakes commercial freighter traffic moving to and from Lake Superior, with approximately 5,000 vessel movements annually. It is said to be "the gateway to Lake Superior." In addition, many recreational boaters use the passage. The Light is located in Lake Huron, three miles (5 km) south of the nearest town, DeTour Village, Michigan.

Old Mackinac Point Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.

Poe Reef Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

Poe Reef is a lighthouse located at the east end of South Channel between Bois Blanc Island and the mainland of the Lower Peninsula, about 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Cheboygan, Michigan.

Spectacle Reef Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

Spectacle Reef Light is a lighthouse 11 miles (18 km) east of the Straits of Mackinac and is located at the northern end of Lake Huron, Michigan. It was designed and built by Colonel Orlando Metcalfe Poe and Major Godfrey Weitzel, and was the most expensive lighthouse ever built on the Great Lakes.

Round Island Passage Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

Round Island Passage Light is an automated, unmanned 1948 lighthouse located in the Round Island Channel in the Straits of Mackinac, Michigan. The channel is a branch of Lake Huron.

Grays Reef Light lighthouse in Michigan, United States

The Grays Reef Light is a lighthouse located in northeastern Lake Michigan, 3.8 miles (6.1 km) west of Waugoshance Island in Bliss Township, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

References

  1. 1 2 "Waugoshance Point". United States Board on Geographic Names.[ dead link ]
  2. "Native American Glossary". Native Americans of Northern Michigan. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  3. "English Translation of anse". Collins French English Dictionary. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  4. Bulletin of the Northern and Northwestern Lake Survey. Detroit, Michigan: U.S. Lake Survey Office. April 1912. pp. 1–229. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  5. "Inventory of Historic Light Stations--Michigan--White Shoal Light". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  6. "Inventory of Historic Light Stations--Michigan--Grays Reef Light". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  7. "Inventory of Historic Light Stations--Michigan--Waugoshance Light". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  8. Williamson, Pamela; Roberts, John (2004). First Nations Peoples (2nd ed.). Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. p. 102. ISBN   1-55239-144-2.
  9. Loew, Patty (2001). Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
  10. Rites of Conquest: The History and Culture of Michigan's Native Americans. The University of Michigan Press. 1992. pp. 138–139.
  11. Henry, Alexander (1809). Travels and adventures in Canada and the Indian territories, between the years 1760 and 1776. New York.
  12. Quinlan, Maria. "Lumbering in Michigan" (PDF). Michigan Society of American Foresters. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  13. "Waugoshance Point Target". Louisville District: US Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  14. O'Brien, Bill (2011-12-06). "Marker pays tribute to secret WWII work". Traverse City Record-Eagle. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  15. Smith, William W. (1972-01-26). "A History of Wilderness State Park". sitemaker.umich.edu. Retrieved 2014-10-11.

Coordinates: 45°45′32″N85°00′47″W / 45.759°N 85.013°W / 45.759; -85.013