bookLake Superior Place Names: From Bawating to the Montreal (1996)

By Bernard C. Peters

Lake Superior Place Names is about the origin and meaning of Michigan’s Lake Superior shoreline place names in existence before the American invasion of the 1840s. Although such names as Sault Ste. Marie, Tahquamenon River, Grand Marais, Munising and Keweenaw Bay are in daily use, few know much about their origin and meaning. The existence of these names reveals the early Native American and French imprint on this region.

The Native American names reflect the way of life of a people who traversed the shoreline of Lake Superior in birch bark canoes in search of fish and animals. Such names as Traverse Island, Portage River and Grand Marais indicate that in their fur-trade economy, the French also adopted the birch bark canoe as their mode of transportation. This book examines the origin and meaning of the Native American and French place names that form part of Michigan’s Lake Superior landscape.

(Source: Book jacket, Lake Superior Place Names)