Tahquamenon: The River of a Hundred Bends

Tahquamenon River by Jim Sorbie

According to Wikipedia’s entry for the 89-mile long Tahquamenon River in the eastern Upper Peninsula:

The river is best known for the Tahquamenon Falls, a succession of two waterfalls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park totalling approximately 73 feet (22 m) in height. Because the headwaters of the river are located in a boreal wetland that is rich in cedar, spruce and hemlock trees, the river’s waters carry a significant amount of tannin in solution (i.e., it is a blackwater river), and are often brown or golden-brown in color. The Tahquamenon Falls are thus acclaimed as being the largest naturally dyed or colored waterfall in the United States.

The meaning of “Tahquamenon” is not known. Some called it the “River of the Head Winds” because they bucked the wind on the lower river no matter what direction they were paddling. Others called it the “River of a Hundred Bends”. Twentieth century descendants of local Chippewa translated the name to mean “river up against a hill” or “lost river island” or “river with an island part way”. In 1930 Jesuit scholar, Father William Gagnieut, concluded that the meaning of the name had been lost.

Jim took this in early July. Check out more in his awesome From the Air gallery on Flickr!

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2 thoughts on “Tahquamenon: The River of a Hundred Bends

  1. Absolutely Beautiful! We spent our Honeymoon viewing this 48 years ago! Loved and plan on returning as soon as we can travel again after the COVID-19 Virus. Thank you for sharing the photos of Michigan my Home State!

    Like

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