MICHIGAN HISTORY: The Lost Indian Village of Saganing
Seven miles southeast of Standish in Arenac County lies what once was the Indian village of Saganing, near Whites Beach and in the county's lower right-hand corner.
This former Indian village was located along the Saganing River, and remained one until 1871, when settlers arrived from Indiana.
A post office was established in 1876, and by 1877, the population had risen to a whoppin' 140.
The village boasted an Indian church, Indian school, general store, shingle mill and stave mill. The post office discontinued in 1914. From there, the village dwindled but remained, and was taken off maps years later. Some people refer to this area as a ghost town since it's not recognized on maps, but I don't feel it is.
The area is now listed as part of Standish and still retains some of its Native American legacy.
The church was established in 1846 as an attempt by Methodists to bring the word of God to the Native Americans. The Saganing mission started services in a log one-room schoolhouse until the current church was constructed in 1874. With services being held by Native American pastors, the membership grew to 114 by 1875 and Sunday School was attended by 59 students.
By 1989, the congregation had slowly dwindled to approximately 23 parishioners and a decision was made to close down, which they did, on January 1, 2012. By that time, there was nobody left in the congregation. Services had been unattended - completely empty - for a year and a half. The Saginaw Indian United Methodist church still stands.
Today, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe owns the local casino and there's a pow-wow every August. Find out more about their pow-wow and other events at sagchip.org. You can watch a video of this year's pow-wow below the photo gallery.
Take a drive there someday!