2006-09-09 / Top News

Fall Festival Is Sept. 22

'Falling Leaves Moon' Soon To Be Celebrated on Island

Commemorating one of Mackinac Island's most notable women, Madame La- Framboise, and highlighting early American fur trading on Mackinac is the focus of the biannual Festival of the Falling Leaves Moon, to be held on Mackinac Island Friday, September 22, through Sunday, September 24.

The Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau will feature several events during the weekend, from a fur fashion show at the Gate House restaurant Saturday afternoon to a recreation of an 1812 battle, to encampments and reenactments by members of Spirits of the North. Friday afternoon and evening, and all day Saturday, this popular reenactment group will give demonstrations on military drills, fur trading, and early living in three encampments. An Indian encampment will be at Windermere Point, a military encampment will be set up on the school grounds, and a voyageur camp will be on the beach at the end of the boardwalk.

A bonfire with storytelling, tomahawk and knife demonstrations, and the requisitioning of goods from downtown businesses are other planned events.

A schedule of events appears on page 7.

Madame LaFramboise was a prominent fur trader of Ottawa descent who lived from 1779 to 1846. Married to a French fur trader and able to speak fluently in French, English, and in the Ottawa language, she was successful in dealing with Indian traders on Mackinac Island. When she died, she was buried underneath the altar at Ste. Anne's Catholic Church on the Island. Her grave was later moved and she now rests in the courtyard of the church. The Tourism Bureau wants eventually to erect a statue of Madame LaFramboise on the Island, although it may not be ready for this year's festival.

On Sunday, September 24, The National Society of United States Daughters of the War of 1812 will dedicate two plaques

in her honor. One will be mounted on her tomb and the other will be placed at her former home at Harbour View Inn.

The society was organized in 1892, and, in 1901, it was incorporated by an Act of Congress, approved by U.S. President William McKinley.

The festival is in honor of the Anishnabe season for the celebration of the trees to stay awake for seven days and seven nights, which, according to American Indian legend, only the cedar, pine, and spruce trees obeyed. As a reward, they are called "ever-green" and those trees which did not obey were to shed their leaves each fall.

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