Michigan has some of the most unique names in the country. Names of counties, towns, communities, townships, lands.....many derived from Native American terms. The list below shows 55 Michigan places named from Native American words, and a definition of what they mean - Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and others. Take a look!

Ahmeek: "beaver"
Cheboygan: "sewing needle" or “a place of ore"
Chesaning: "big rock place"
Cohoctah: "many trees in water"
Dowagiac: "fishing waters"
Escanaba: "land of the red buck" or "flat rock"
Genesee: "beautiful valley"
Gogebic: "water-mold lake"
Ishpeming: "on air"
Juniata: "standing rock"
Kawkawlin: "place of pike fish"
Kenockee: "long-legged"
Keweenaw: "portage" or "where portage is made"
Mackinac: "great turtle"
Manistee: “river with islands at its mouth"
Manistique: "vermillion" or "yellow thunder"
Meauwataka: "halfway"
Michigamme: "great water"
Michilimackinac: "land of the great snapping turtle"
Missaukee: "large mouth of the river"
Munising: "at the island"
Muskegon: "swamp" or "marsh"
Nahma: "sturgeon"
Neahtawanta: “placid waters"
Negaunee: "pioneer"
Newaygo: "much water"
Ogemaw: "chief"
Okemos: "little chief"
Omena: "is that so?"
Onaway: "awake"
Onekama: "singing water"
Ontonagon: "my bowl is lost"
Oshtemo: "headwaters"
Ossineke: "where the image stones stood"
Otsego: "clear water"
Owosso: “end of the trail”
Petoskey: "where the sun shines through the clouds"
Pewamo: “slow water”
Pinconning: "place of potatoes"
Ponshewaing: "peaceful waters" or "winter home"
Pontiac: “he stops a canoe”
Quinnesec: "smoky"
Saginaw: "place of the outlet"
Sandusky: "water"
Saranac: "staghorn sumac cone river"
Saugatuck: “river that pours out"
Sebewa: "little creek"
Sebewaing: “river place"
Tecumseh: “goes through one place to another”
Tekonsha: “resembling caribou"
Topinabee: “a quiet sitting bear”
Unadilla: "meeting place"
Washtenaw: "far away waters"
Wequetonsing: "at the head of the little bay"
Zeba: "river"


(All photos available @ worthpoint.com)


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