Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Not-So-Old Mission

I’ve been informed that it wasn’t French Catholics who build a mission on Old Mission Peninsula (see yesterday), but Presbyterians, and not until the late 1830s. No wonder I couldn’t find anything in the New France style of missions. How did I get that idea? Can’t say, but it does show that travel is broadening only if you get your facts right.

Or maybe facts are overrated. There’s romance to a story about voyageurs and priests landing at this remote spot on the great inland lakes in the decades before North America’s fate as either French or British was decided. There’s a lot less romance to Presbyterians setting up shop in the almost-wilderness of the new state of Michigan. Why weren’t they on their way to the South Seas anyway? “Brothers and sisters, shall it be Otaheite or… Michigan?” Then again, Henry Schoolcraft played a part in the early days of the Old Mission Peninsula, which is cool.

The Wisconsin part of the trip will be mentioned over the next few days. I’ll try to get my facts straight.


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