Mary Shurtleff Collection

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Mary Shurtleff Collection

The materials in this Deep Blue collection form part of a larger record group held at the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index of content related to the Mary Shurtleff Collection, please consult the online finding aid. Researchers should contact Reference and Access Service for more information.

Members of the Shurtleff family first moved to Cross Village in 1870; Mary Belle Shurtleff was the daughter of a local shopkeeper who wrote a history of Cross Village, Old Arbre Croche, and collected various historical documents related to the village. This online collection consists of a panorama of the village waterfront, and a plat map of Cross Village Township.

Cross Village is located in northwest Emmet County, Michigan. Over the course of its history it has been variously known as Waganakisi, Anamiewatigoing, L’Arbre Croche, Old Arbre Croche, LaCroix, and Cross Village, after its namesakes, a crooked tree and a large cross in the village.

The Ottawa inhabited the village beginning in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. A Jesuit mission was also established in the village, though abandoned in the late eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century Catholic priests once again served in the village including Father Francis Pierz (1830s), Father Ignatius Mrak (1840s to mid-1850s), Father Seraphim Zorn (late 1850s), Father Loius Sifferath (1860s), and Father John Bernard Weikamp (1855-1889).

Treaties between the United States Government and the Ottawa and Chippewa (several of whom had moved to Cross Village sometime after 1830) resulted in them being granted tracts of land in the area during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. One early initiative was to move the village from the shore to the bluff. In the late 1840s, several Ottawa pooled their resources and gave their chief, Joseph Nawimashkote “full power to purchase land for use at the cross, that we may own it in common” (Shurtleff, 1963, p. 11). Upon his death, the land was to be redistributed to those who had contributed to its acquisition.

Members of the Shurtleff family first moved to Cross Village in 1870. Captain John Wagley, who himself had come to Cross Village in 1865, had established the first district school in Emmet County and engaged John S. Shurtleff to teach there. Two of Shurtleff’s sons, Orville Homer and William Melville, went into business together in Cross Village and built a store in 1883. Mary Belle Shurtleff was William’s daughter. She wrote a history of Cross Village, Old Arbre Croche (published in 1933, 1945, 1955, and 1963), and also collected various historical documents related to the village.

Please note:

Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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