Marquette Mission Park and Museum of Ojibwa Culture – St. Ignace, Michigan
This national historic landmark offers an insiders view of the rich archaeology and history of a 17th century Huron Indian village.
The museum is owned by the city and the park features several exhibits as well as being the home to the Longhouse Theatre wit on-going video showings.
You will be able to learn about this outstanding Indian culture. The Ojibwa Indians formed the base culture of the Upper Great Lakes and tells the story of why Huron Indian refugees established a village in St. Ignace in 1671 (before there was a St. Ignace).
This is the oldest documented archaeological site in Michigan. It is on the National Historic Site and Landmark and a Michigan Registered Historic Site.
Marquette’s French Jesuit Mission and local Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian traditions and contemporary culture are shown at the museum.
The misson was maintained until 1706 when it was suspended and then in 1712 it was reopened and served the region around the Mackinac Straits until 1741 when it was moved again to the south shore of the Straits.
Marquette was one that journeyed with the explorer Louis Jolliet for the journey which was to trace, for the first time, the broad stream of the Mississippi from its upper reaches in Wisconsin to the mouth of the Arkansas River. Upon his return, exhausted and ill, he remained in the Illinois Country hoping to found mission there. But in 1675 he felt that his death was near and wanted to return to St. Ignace Mission but he died and was buried en route. two years later, his remains were carried to St. Ignace and he was re-buried at the mission. Then in 1877, what have been identified as Marquette’s remains were discovered at St. Ignace and reburied on the site of the Mission chapel. So even in death he was a traveler.
Location: Marquette Mission Park & Museum of Ojibwa Culture
500 North State Street
Saint Ignace, MI 49781
Phone: (906) 643-9161
Fax: (906) 643-9380
Along with the museum you will want to take a little while and visit Father Marquette National Memorial which is on a rise overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. It tells the story of the 17th century missionary-explorer, Father Jacques Marquette. It also tells of the meeting of French and Native American cultures in the interior of North America.
There are outdoor exhibits and interpretive trails to enjoy at this location.
The Memorial is administered by Michigan’s Department of History, Arts, and Libraries in cooperation wiht the Department of Natural Resources. It is open Memorial Day through September. Enter from Boulevard Drive, off US-2, one block west of I-75. For more information contact Straits State Park, St. Ignace, MI 49781 or phone 906/643-8620.