This town is known under various spellings:

But these days, it seems to be mainly listed as 'Peshawbestown'.

Peshawbestown was created somewhere between 1849-1852 as a mission by the Franciscan Catholics especially for the Chippewa and Ottawa Native American tribes. Chippewas were led here by Father Ignatius Mrak in 1849 and the mission was established, right on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay in the Leelanau Peninsula.

That's one version.

A second telling (the Catholic Encyclopedia) states the mission's beginnings were in 1852 by Father Angelus Van Praemel. Father Mrak took his place in 1855. It was Mrak who called the place “Eagletown”.

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When Mrak was replaced by Reverend Philip Zorn, the name was changed to 'Peshaube' after Chief Peshaba.

Then, in 1895, Reverend Bruno Torka took over and re-arranged the name once again, to 'Peshawbeston'.....over time, the “w” was added and it has been ever since known as “Peshawbestown”.

Sitting along the railroad, it became more than just a mission – it became kind of a town. I say 'kind of', because in 1911, a Detroit Free Press description read Peshawbestown was "two long rows of log cabins, built in 1849".

It's not much of a town now, as there are hardly any businesses there.....just a lot of beachfront homes, summer resorts, and a casino. However, every year, the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes hold their annual powwow with Native American artists, dancers, singers, and more.

Peshawbestown is also headquarters of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and the location of the Grand Traverse Reservation.

This is a must-see stop on a Michigan roadtrip...take a look at the gallery below!



Abandoned Native American Boarding School & Asylum, Mount Pleasant

Traverse City Asylum, Re-Visited 2022

The Barely-Recognized "Village" of Pearl, Michigan

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa


MORE TO EXPLORE: Michigan's Grand Canyon

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