The Andrew J. Blackbird Museum
The Lake Michigan shoreline was a natural gathering place for Native Americans and large populations settled in what is now Harbor Springs, Seven Mile Point, Good Hart, and Cross Village. Middle Village was the half way, or middle spot, between Harbor Springs an Good Hart.
Andrew J. Blackbird was born in what is now Harbor Springs around 1815. His father was an Ottawa chief named Mack-e-te-be-nessy (Makade-binesi, "black hawk"). The name was mistranslated as "Blackbird", which became the family's English name. Mack-e-te-be-nessy was chief of the Arbor Croche, or Middle Village band of the Ottawas. Andrew was trained as a blacksmith but enjoyed education and attended Twinsburg Institute in Ohio and Michigan State Normal School, now Eastern Michigan University.
During the 1850s, Blackbird was a counselor for both the U.S. and Ottawa and Ojibwa peoples and worked to help Native American veterans receive pensions. He helped settle land claims and worked to achieve citizenship for Native Americans. He married and bought a house in Harbor Springs. He became the town's second postmaster in 1858.
Today, Blackbird's mark on Harbor Springs as well as the Native American influence on Northern Michigan is preserved at the Andrew J. Blackbird Museum. Located on Main Street in Blackbird's restored house, the Museum shares space with the Harbor Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. Native American artifacts fill the museum space. This tiny museum is across the street from the Harbor Springs History Museum.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Blackbird Museum
368 E. Main St.
Harbor Springs, MI
More Northern Michigan History...
Uniquely Harbor Springs...
For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in Northern Michigan:
Harbor Springs, Michigan -- Harbor Springs is the place to try new things! Rent a bike or a kayak, go snow tubing, attend a concert or an art fair, or play a round of golf with friends.
Petoskey -- There's so much to do in Petoskey from the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, to Petoskey State Park, to biking, golfing, hiking, and more.
Charlevoix, Michigan -- Visiting Charlevoix in Northern Michigan is a fun-filled vacation with great beaches, boating, skiing, fishing and year 'round family fun.
Things to Do in Boyne City, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like Boyne City in Northern Michigan with camping, boating, skiing, year 'round outdoor activities, and of course, the morel mushroom!
Lots of Activities in Mackinaw City, Michigan -- Explore Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan for history, the International Dark Sky Park, and outdoor activities.
Mackinac Island -- Take a step back in time and find lots of things to do when you visit Mackinac Island by horseback or bike--no cars allowed!
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!