St. Ignace, Michigan

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Saint Ignace, usually written as St. Ignace, is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 2,678. It is the county seat of Mackinac County[3]. From the Lower Peninsula, St. Ignace is the gateway to the Upper Peninsula.

St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but is politically independent.

Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace is at northern end of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City is to its south. The bridge connects the Lower and the Upper Peninsulas of Michigan.

Contents

History

St. Ignace is one of the oldest cities founded by Europeans in Michigan. Before French contact, Native Americans had inhabited the area for centuries. Historic peoples here were the Iroquoian-speaking Wendat, whom the French called the Huron and, dominating the area by the 18th century, the Anishinaabe Ojibwe.

French explorer and priest Jacques Marquette founded the St. Ignace Mission on this site in 1671 and was buried there after his death.[4] He named it for St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order. (Ignace is the French version of Ignatius.) Jesuits worked at the missions to convert First Nations/Native Americans to Catholicism and share French culture.

While exploring the region on the ship Le Griffon with Louis Hennepin, La Salle reached St. Ignace on August 27, 1679. The Jesuits abandoned the mission in 1705. The Ojibwe, who came to dominate most of the territory of present-day Michigan in the 18th century among Native Americans, were allies of the French in the Seven Years War.

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