How did Michigan Cities Get Their Names? Part 5

We’re happy to share with you another post in our ongoing series of how cities in Michigan got their names. Here is the naming history of five more cities, including one city whose founders’ clever thinking was able to get their city named as county seat. In case you missed them, here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Marquette is surrounded by its past but also by new shops displaying artwork, restaurants serving whitefish, symphonies playing in restored historic structures, and theaters highlighting local and national talent.

 

Marquette

The city of Marquette was founded with a different name. It was first called Worchester by a group of miners from a city by that name in Massachusetts. In 1850, the city was renamed to honor French Jesuit missionary Jaques Marquette, who famously explored the region.

Livonia

The area that is now Livonia was known for its rich soil and abundant harvests, attracting pioneers from New England. It’s believed they named the area after cities of similar names in New York state, Pennsylvania and, possibly, after a region near the Baltic sea comprising present day Estonia and Latvia.

Saginaw

The Sauk Indians originally lived in the Saginaw area before being driven out by the Ojibwe, or Chippewa Indians. The name, however, stuck. Saginaw is believed to mean “where the Sauk were.” The first permanent settlement by those other than the Native Americans began in 1815 on the banks of the Saginaw River.

Temperance

Originally named Bedford Center in 1859,  “Temperance” was suggested by one of the founding land father’s wives, who was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. A petition was sent around, and the name was changed to Temperance. As you might imagine, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was prohibited for some time.

Cadillac

The name Cadillac comes from Native American language as “Kautawabet” meaning “Broken Tooth,” after a Potawatamie chief who signed the Great Peace Treaty of 1825. The city was first organized in 1872 and called Clam Lake Village, but a dispute with the village of Sherman ensued over which city would hold the county seat. A group of politicians thought to change the name to Cadillac, after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, an early Michigan explorer and founder of Detroit. Changing the name tricked the legislators, and Cadillac became the “new” county seat.

Fortune Bay Expedition Team’s Biking Journey

As the fall season pushes forward, so do Michigan’s adventurers. Chuck Hayden and his group of bikers did just that, bicycling over 80 miles through Michigan trails. Enjoy Chuck’s account of this adventure here with Pure Michigan Connect!

It was difficult to hear each other over the crunching roar of bike tires and gravel.  As we rode in formation, I watched the numbers slowly increase on my bike’s computer odometer.  I looked up and to my right to glance at Ryan as he slowly pushed the pedals.  Although it didn’t look like he was struggling, I could sense his fatigue.  He was pulling a trailer with over one hundred pounds of gear.  He was quiet.  He starred at the ground just ahead of him. We were all quiet.

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