The Alpena News, July 17, 1930

Eular Thorne Tells What He Knows About “Indian Jim” Alpena’s Great Old Chief

“What I do or do not know about Indian Jim Paschobi” is the introductory line on an interesting lot of reminiscences by Eular Thorne which follow, just as Mr. Thorne related them.

As this is a bit of history allow me to introduce the writer who never learned a lesson in college; High School or grammar school; or in a one-room country school, but learned all his lessons in the school of hard knocks, so that where you do anything that is not just as it would be in writing, spelling, grammar, etc.  Please look over the ink.  The writer came to Alpena in 1866 at the age of sixteen.

In the winter of 1874 & 1875 I _____ camp working for A.N. Spratt on Upper South (little David ____ foreman).  The camp was located either in Sect. 14 or 23 – T2 9N. R.4E. about  fifteen rods from the river and about one mile from Turtle Lake (west).  We put in all the timber between the river and Turtle Lake, but that is not the story I started to tell.

Some time in Feb. 1875 there was team and light sleigh drove up to camp from Alpena.  I have forgotten the driver’s name but the two passengers I remember distinctly.

One was Captain George Mitchel.  Very few people knew him by any other name than Captain George.  He had been on the shores of the Great Lakes for many years doing much trading with the Indians, he had their language down fine, and when I first knew him he was captain of the tug Bemis (I think) and I think it was the first tug that belonged to Alpena. (But that is another story).

The other passenger was the Indian Paschobi.  And what I learned here was through Captain George as interpreter.  This was on Saturday night that they came to camp.  On Sunday we took Paschobi over to his camping ground on the east side of Turtle Lake with all of his [sup]plies, etc., and helped put up tent fixtures, tent, gun, traps, food  supplies and to pur other things in good shape for him.  I think his tent was set on Sec. 19-T29N-R5E. and each Sunday morning during the rest of the winter I would take him over a little tobacco or some other little thing, and we would jabber away at one another and make plenty of motions with our hands.  But he could not understand me anymore than I could understand him.  But what I did learn as I said before was through Captain George and as follows:

That he was born on the Indian Green (which is about three miles down stream from where our camp was located) sixty years ago, and that they used to come there every spring to make sugar on the west side of the river.

The Indian Green is on the east side so if this Indian is the same one I met at that time which is over fifty years ago, he is at least one hundred and fifteen years old (115) according to his statement then.  I have never met him since in all those years, although we have both lived in the same county, and I have worked much around Hubbard Lake where he lives, but I had supposed that he had passed on long ago to the Happy Hunting Grounds.  I would very much like to meet him again, and I will surely make the effort.  And now a few words about that beautiful Indian Green and Turtle Lake as I remember them: which I have not seen for many years.

I would call the Indian Green a knowl of heavy sand fairly well covered with evergreens (principally pine) and in the long ago there were many little hollows in the ground, which when opened up, showed that holes had been dug, and lined with birch bark for the purposes of storing furs, food, etc.

I have drove many millions of feet of pine saw logs pas the Indian Green and when we had driving water it was an island of about five acres, and about three to four feet above the flood, and that was the only piece of dry ground in all my beat which was several miles long.  My camp was built with the floor three or four feet above the water, and it was water as far as you could see and then some more, so that we, to avoid frogging in the water, fell trees in line, connecting one with the other, and that is what we called a pole trail, and was very glad to have those poles to walk on above the water.


Note:  I have not seen the original but re-typed a copy made by Clyde Morrison.  I have filled in A.N. Spratt's name based on an educated guess.  Hopefully, I will get the original and fill in the details.  Nelson Herron