Rows of white wooden crosses stand in a simple cemetery near Lake Michigan. The people laid to rest under them is all that remains of Onominese. A small Indian village named after the Indian Chief Onominese. ( also spelled Onominee) The town was about five miles north of Leland, in the Leelanau Peninsula on Lake Michigan. The people that lived there mostly traveled to the town by canoe as there were no roads that led to the village.
Reverend Smith traveled through crude forest trails almost every Sunday from Northport to conduct church services. A small schoolhouse was built after the Civil War ended in 1865. Besides bringing religion and education to the native Americans the white man brought an epidemic of smallpox and diphtheria that killed off most of the small village’s population. It is the white crosses of those that died which stand in the field near Lake Michigan to tell the story of the small Indian village that once was.
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