Ottawa Indian Sites To Be Added To Historic Northern Michigan Tours


MANISTEE, MI – Popular historic tours of Manistee County will soon be expanded to include the contributions and heritage of the Ottawa Indians of the Little River Band.

The $ 150,000 project will weave some 20 new sites into the county’s eight existing circuits. There will also be a brand new walking tour focused on the founders of the region. Primarily funded by a $ 72,500 grant from the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the project is expected to be completed in one to two years.

“The Little River Ottawa Indian Band (LRBOI) applauds this effort to provide an accurate representation of our historical past and our continued involvement on behalf of the tribe in the life of West Michigan,” said Ogema Larry Romanelli. “We live in a beautiful region and look forward to sharing our story with visitors. “

The Manistee County Historic Site Tours opened in 2016 and was officially opened in 2018. Work on the program began in 2014. A collaboration between the Manistee County Visitors Bureau and the Manistee County Historical Society, tours are the county’s most comprehensive tourism project, featuring featuring over 100 historical sites. This update will highlight LRBOI while improving signage, online content and guidance.

“The historic assets of Manistee County are a key tourist draw for the region, and this award allows us to expand this popular program to include not only new sites and resources, but also our region’s long and rich Indian heritage. of Little River, which we are delighted to share with locals and visitors, ”said Tim Riley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Visitors Bureau.

The LRBOI Historical Preservation Office, Little River Casino Resort and Tribal Families will help identify sites to include in existing tours, which focus on museums, churches, destinations, homes, downtown, the industry and the Manistee Riverwalk. Some sites already flagged to be added include the LRBOI Cultural Corridor at Little River Casino Resort, Private Homes, Udell Rollways and Udell Lookout Tower, the Old Lyric Theater and Manistee National Bank site, as well as neighborhoods like Maxwell Town and Filer City.

The Founders’ March, tentatively scheduled for the Douglas Park / First Street Beach area, will include historic LRBOI leaders as well as modern 1880s founders.

The project will also result in new signage in high-traffic areas. The panels will include QR codes giving visitors access to photos and videos, and waterproof mounts for the guides.

Finally, the guide and corresponding online information will be redesigned and expanded to include new locations, founders’ walk and information about LRBOI. A full story about the tribe will be at the start of the guide.


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