Hannahville is a growing and diverse community located in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
With the introduction of gaming in the 1980’s, the tribe has grown tremendously from a fledging, struggling community subsisting on minimal federally funded dollars to a growing and prospering community that is becoming a key driving force for the entire Central Upper Peninsula.
The Hannahville Indian Reservation is a Potawatomi Reservation and according to records the current location was founded in 1884 under the direction of Methodist Missionary, Peter Marksman. Little information is available through the Missionary records as the presiding elders or missionary failed to keep detailed records of the Mission.
The original settlement is thought to have been along the mouth of the Big Cedar River, on Lake Michigan.
The people of Hannahville are descendents of those who refused to leave Michigan in 1834 during the great Indian Removal. They lived with the Menominee in Northern Wisconsin, and the Ojibway and Ottawa people in Canada. In 1853 some these people began returning to Michigan. It was at this time they settled along the Big Cedar River.
Church records report that Marksman was sent to the area as an assistant, rather than the presiding Missionary. During this time he has been credited with finding a parcel of land and moving the Potawatomi people to the current location. According to church records, the people were very fond of Marksman wife, Hannah and named their community after her.
In 1913, Congress acknowledged the Hannahville Potawatomi and purchased 3.400 acres of land in scattered parcels and added another 39 acres in 1942. The people of Hannahville have been federally recognized since 1936.
The Potawatomi Indians are one of the three tribes making up the Three Fires Confederacy or as it is commonly referred to today as the Three Fires Society. The Three Fires Society consists of the Ojibway, the Ottawa and the Potawatomi tribes. The Ojibway are given the honor or keeping the “Original Teachings” alive and passing these teachings down through upcoming generations. The Ottawas are responsible for the “Provisions and Security” of all the tribes attending gatherings. Making sure that everyone has enough to eat and ensuring the attendees that their meeting place is secure from invasion and disruption is their major responsibility. The Potawatomi Indians are responsible for keeping the “Sacred Fire” alive, as it is the symbol of light and must be kept alive.
Hannahville Indian Community
N14911 Hannahville B-1 Rd.
Wilson MI 49896