Before Patrick Marantette set up the trading post on the Nottawasepe reservation near what is now Mendon, he had operated a trading post for his in-laws at present-day Coldwater, Michigan. There had been a reservation near here, set up as part of the 1821 Treaty of Chicago.
The Chicago Road runs through this spot. At one time it crossed the Coldwater River on the older bridge shown in the foreground; now it crosses on the bridge in the background. This road was also known as the Sauk Trail because Black Hawk’s people used it as their route from the Mississippi River to Fort Malden in Canada. The trading post was on the right-hand bank of the river as seen in this photo, possibly very near the older bidge.
Marantette claimed to have met Black Hawk on his trip through in 1825, when he was 18 years old, and to have done $600 in business with him. Records kept by the British Indian Agent at Fort Malden show that Black Hawk did indeed make the trip that year.
The reservation went away when Americans thought it was bad for the land business to have Indians living right on the major thoroughfare from Detroit to the west. So the Potawatomi people were induced to give up this reservation, as well as a number of other small ones, and swap the land for a consolidated reservation at Nottawasepe. The trading post followed them there.
This photo was taken on a day ride on October 22, 2005.