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General History / Native Settlers: Page 5

Tribal Meetings

The Saginaw Valley was a popular place for holding tribal meetings, it was centrally located and the big river providing good camping grounds. The last meeting among the tribes took place in 1865 on the west bank of the Saginaw River down river from the bay which would be the Banks area today. The meeting was cause for some concern to the white settlers who feared problems may arise from this gathering. In the book, "Bay County Past and Present", written by George Butterfield, he writes about a story told in 1917 by one of the early pioneer's to a sixth grader in recalling this meeting:

"From the viaduct to Joseph Street, and between the river and Marquette Street, the Indians camped. They came there to elect a chief for each tribe. The white people were much alarmed, not knowing what they were there for. The women and children went over to the other side of the river to sleep and for a time pickets guarded the city. There was a party, consisting of Joseph Tromble of Bangor, Mader Tromble of the South End, and Father Schutjes (pronounced Shoo-zshay) of the Catholic Church who went to see the chief and wanted to know why so many Indians were gathered there. They wanted to know if they were going to massacre the citizens. The chief said it was all a friendly meeting for the purpose of electing a chief for each tribe. After their business was over they quietly disappeared."
  • Indian Dave Historical Marker - Located in Tuscola County, reference is made to this meeting.

    Proud Legacy:

    The legacy of the Indians is a proud part of the history of Bay County. They contributed greatly to a tradition of cultivation, conservation and respecting nature. They contributed to values of supporting friendships, maintaining honor and respecting family. It is a legacy worthy of recognition by all who would call Bay County home.

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    SETTLERS MENU
    1. Native Settlers
    2. Indian Life
    3. Ottawa & Chippewa
    3a. Sauk & Chippewa
    4. Saginaw Treaty
    5. Tribal Meetings
    6. Pictorials
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    SAGINAW TREATY PICTORIALS
    HISTORY: Joseph and Mader Trombley built the first framed house in Bay City.