September 1, 2017
Pigeon: Known as Berne Junction since back in 1883, folks began referring to the area near the Pigeon River as Pigeon. The waterway’s name derived from the bountiful amount of passenger pigeons that inhabited the river’s environment. Some reports claimed the birds literally blocked out the sun when they flew, so thick were they crowded together. Within 40 years of its founding the fowl the town was named for was extinct.
Port Hope:The first lot of land in current-day Port Hope was purchased by William Stafford in 1851. Much more government-owned acreage was soon obtained by Stafford and William Southard. This land had been kept by the Army for use as pensions for War of 1812 veterans. By the 1850’s much of the land was unclaimed, so became available. Upon his first inspection of the land after the exchange was completed, a storm forced Southard to disembark the Schooner he had taken and row in to shore. Legend has it, he swore to name the new town Port Hope if he managed to make it safely to port.
Sebewaing: The village and river are named for the Algonquian word “sibbewaing” meaning winding creek. Missionary Lutheran minister Reverand John J.F. Auch founded the town to administer to the Native American community there in 1845.
Ubly: Once called Sidon, a Biblical reference to the fact it was to the north of Tyre. After Alfred Pagett built and ran the first market, when a post office was applied for, the locals suggested Pagettville as the name. Alfred refused the honor, instead opting for naming the locale after a village he had liked in Britain. Ubley was the name of the town there, but somehow the application from Michigan was changed in D.C to “Ubly”. Here is a photo of Ubley, England:
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