Chaboiganing Nature Preserve / Indian Point Memorial Forest
In more recent times, this land and the surrounding area were home to the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (the Chaboiganing Band).
On October 15, 1900, the families of the Burt Lake Band were unexpectedly and violently ousted from their homes and village on Indian Point by “legalized arson.” Today this event is referred to as the Chaboiganing “Burn-Out”, a horror that acutely remains in the memories of ancestors of the survivors. More details about the Chaboiganing Burn-Out can be found on this sign, which is also posted on the kiosk at the Chaboiganing Nature Preserve.
In addition, you can find maps and details about the historic boundaries of the tribal village, the Burnout Lake Report, and much more ecological and historical information at the University of Michigan website.
In 1985, the Indian Point Forest was purchased by a sawmill and slated for heavy logging. A grassroots group spearheaded by conservationist Wendy O’Neil expressed great concern for this treasured area because of its red oak forest, one of the most significant in the Midwest. In response, Little Traverse Conservancy coordinated efforts to purchase the property with a substantial grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Partners included the University of Michigan Biological Station, the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy, local property owners, and citizens raise the needed funds. The Biological Station now owns Indian Point.
In 1993, Little Traverse Conservancy used donated funds to purchase 192 acres adjacent to Indian Point to form the Chaboiganing Preserve. The Pieniozek family donated an adjacent two acres in 2012.