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Thursday, September 10, 2020

How Do You Spell That?

It always seems to me that I shouldn’t have to double-check the spelling of Keweenaw, after calling Michigan home since 1967, but perusal of Schoolcraft’s Expedition to Lake Itasca report and appendices in the same volume containing reports and letters from others in his party – Dr. Houghton, the geologist; Rev. Boutwell, the preacher; and Lt. Allen, the military leader – has convinced me that it’s okay for my memory to need refreshing. Here are a few variants of the name I have found so far:







And I’m sure this list does not exhaust the possibilities. 


Spelling has been standardized since 1832, but some things never change, as evidenced by this note made by Rev. Boutwell on June 28:


The musketoes here are voracious, long billed and dyspeptic. They gore me until the blood runs.


Almost 200 years later, those 'musketoes' can still be maddening, but they will not be so today. Here below the Bridge, our furnace came on last night. And for those of my readers unfamiliar with Michigan names, 'Mackinac' is pronounced Mackinaw, whichever way it is spelled.


Dawn said...

You shouldn't feel bad. I LIVED in the Keweenaw for six years and I have to look it up every time.

P. J. Grath said...

Yeah! Doesn't it seem, from the pronunciation, that the double-e should come in the first syllable? But no!

Jeanie Furlan said...

So Pamela, are you needing to turn on your heat now? I’ve forgotten when cold temperatures start in the northern parts of your state. About your Mackinac Bridge....I think it IS funny how that ‘’aw’’ sound has nothing to do with the spelling! That’s a beautiful photo of that bridge, and it’s such a clear day! Do enjoy that!
Here in São Paulo, in a strange parallel with the USA, we have smokey skies because of fires in other states and forest areas. It is a very dry season we’re in, and the winds have worked the same way as in California, Oregon and Washington. The government says that the Amazon fires are not set on purpose, but that is really hard to believe. They say they’ve stopped people from setting fires. Let’s hope they are right!

P. J. Grath said...

Yes, Jeanie, our furnace has come on the last few nights. We are looking at a stretch of warmer weather coming, though, with highs in the 70s and nighttime lows only in the 50s, so that should stretch our porch season and maybe keep the furnace off.

Sorry about Amazon fires! Logging/clearing has already made dangerous inroads into that rain forest. I join you in hoping more fires will not be intentionally set!