Leelanau on Location: Peshawbestown

Peshawbestown is located just a few miles south of Omena and is part of the Grand Traverse Indian Reservation, which is owned by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The village is composed of a community center, Indian art store, medicine lodge, governmental center, Strongheart Civic Center, Fire/Rescue/Police departments, and the historic Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church, and many historic houses. The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Leelanau Sands Casino is located in Peshawbestown and attracts many visitors every summer. Originally founded as a mission, Peshawbetown’s exact history and dates are disputed.

Peshawbestown was established by 1855, and in 1911 the Detroit Free Press published an article about the village. According to the article in 1911 Peshawbestown “was the only pure Indian village in all of Michigan.” The village had “two long rows of log cabins” which showed “the battering of nearly three-quarters of a century of tempestuous northern winds and snows… broken window panes [are] stuffed here and there with rags to keep out the cold… the doors of the houses all fasten with a latch string, a piece of bent wire hooked over a nail or an occasional padlock.” The village was originally called Eagle Town and then renamed Peshabestown after Chief Peshaba who was Chief in 1859.

Today the Peshawbestown Pow Wow remembers the history and culture of the Ottawa Chippewa Indians.

Local area links:
Wikipedia’s Peshawbestown entry
Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Peshawbestown page

Leelanau on Location