The early French voyageurs in coasting from
Mackinac southward found two considerable indentations of the coast line of Lake
Michigan on the east side, which they were accustomed to cross from headland to
headland. The smaller of these they designated 'La Petite Traverse,' and the
greater, 'La Grande Traverse.' These names were transferred to the two bays
known as Little Traverse and Grand Traverse Bays.
Grand Traverse means 'a long, long way round' and it must have seemed a long way
to the first people who came over the Great Lakes and threaded the pathless
wilderness guided only by chart and compass, sleeping under the everlasting
stars, with giant trees for a canopy while the hemlock and pine boughs furnished
a soft bed whose sweet odors soothed their weary senses and refreshed them for
the toilsome onward march still farther from civilization.
A charm of historic association rests upon all its area. Mound-builders, the
most ancient inhabitants of the territory of the United States of whom we have
any knowledge, had extended their scattered frontier settlements into the Grand
Traverse country. The ground's surface has been scarred by Indian wars in the
Here the cross was erected by the early missionaries, and weather-beaten
buildings erected by their successors still remain to connect us with a past
that is rapidly receding. The fame of the Grand Traverse Region, however, is not
dependent on its past. Its pleasant climate, beautiful scenery, and abundance of
sports are of world wide reputation.
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I DO NOT LIVE IN MICHIGAN AND AM UNABLE TO DO