Greensky Hill … and Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Hill Indian Mission Church

Greensky Hill Indian Mission Church, photo by jhhymas

Today’s post is in the “Stories I Found When Exploring Other Stories” category. Over on Absolute Michigan today we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to the October Festival at the Commons this Friday night in Traverse City. Greensky Bluegrass is a great band that tours nationally but hails from Michigan, and if you’re interested in seeing them and enjoying this festival in my backyard, click here to check it out & enter to win.

The Michigan Historical Marker text for Greensky Hill Mission via reads:

Here in the 1840’s the Chippewa Indian missionary, Peter Greensky, established a Protestant mission in an area where legend says Indian chiefs once held their councils. New trees have been planted in an arrangement similar to that of the trees that made up the original council circle. Mission services first were held in a rude building of boughs and bark. In the 1850’s the Indians built the present church. It is a fine example of the old log style construction with hand-hewn timbers and notched corners. Windows, doors, and much of the lumber were brought by canoe from Traverse City to Pine Lake (now Lake Charlevoix) and then carried two miles to this site. Methodist services for the Indian congregation have been held here regularly to the present.

The Greensky Hill Indian Mission United Methodist Church adds that Peter Greensky started his preaching in the Leelanau area in the 1830s, serving as a guide and interpreter for his missionary Peter Doherty before acquiring a following of his own as a strong preacher with great influence among his people. His congregation traveled with him to the Charlevoix area. In 1860 he was put in charge of the all-Indian Pine River Mission, now known as Greensky Hill where he served there until his death in 1866.

June adds that her son-in-law’s mother was Ovenia Greensky Shomin, a direct descendant of the founder of this church. Check this out background big and see lots more photos of the mission and grounds (including details of the logs) in her Greensky Hill slideshow.

More Michigan churches on Michigan in Pictures.

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