Friday, May 23, 2008

Ignatius Petoskey...


the founder of the city of Petoskey was honored by a statue about 3 years ago. He was born the son of a French trapper and an Ottawa woman back in the 1780's. His name was "Biidassige" or "Pe-to-se-ga" which is Ottawa for "One who Brings the Light". He was given the first name of Ignatius by the Jesuit missionaries and his last name was recorded as Petoskey.

He moved across Little Traverse Bay when he had a dispute with the local Catholic community about his children's education. Here he obtained 440 acres and became a successful merchant as a fur buyer for John Jacob Astor. There are still many descendants of Ignatius Petoskey in the area and are very glad that he is honored this way.

The statue shows Ignatius wearing European style clothing with Native American elements as well. He is facing the bay, so the clothes look as if the wind is blowing them back. The feathers he is holding represent honor for veterans, elders, country, flag and ancestors. He also wears a peace medallion as a symbol of the peaceful relations between the two cultures in which he lived and did business. It was fascinating to learn more about this man who lived here almost 200 years ago and founded this town.

Here are a few articles about him and his descendants:
http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2005/07/11/news/local_regional/news01.txt
http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0507/07/B08-239724.htm

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Great post, Christie! Very informative! I wondered where the name of the town had come from!

Petrea said...

Very nice post. I like the statue as well as your photo of it, and your excellent writing.

Reg said...

Hello my Great Grandmother was Sara Manitouwash who married Isaac Petoskey whos daughter was Alice Petoskey my Grandmother whos Son was Charles Petoskey my father. I am looking for information on Isaac Petoskey which maybe a decident from one of the children of Ignatius or grandchildren not sure at all there is no files on Isaac Petoskey that i can find...I believe they where mostly in Emmet county area any help on this would be greatly appreciated my email address is manitouwindsfarm@yahoo.com...Miigwetch

kidd3791 said...

My name is Craig Petoskey. My Great Great Grandfather was Chief Ignatius Petoskey. My Grandfather was James Petoskey Sr, and my Father is James Petoskey Jr. I am interested in filling some gaps of information. If anyone can help me out email me kidd3791@yahoo.com