The Oldest Functional Cemetery in the U.S. is in Michigan
This old Michigan cemetery is believed to be the oldest one in America that is still being used.
Gros Cap Cemetery can be found in Moran Township, Mackinac County, west of St. Ignace on US-2.
The cemetery’s beginnings go back to the late 1600s when a group of Native Americans from the Ottawa tribe made their homes near West Moran Bay. The Ottawas were one of the largest Native American tribes in Michigan, prospering during the early days of fur trapping. The land which became the Gros Cap Cemetery was the Ottawas' original burial grounds; however, when European settlers began infiltrating that area, they placed their own dead within the Indian graveyard.
Originally named Western Cemetery, the graveyard was taken over by the Moran Township Board in 1889, who organized and re-named it.
The cemetery has dwindled in size since its origin, with bodies being re-buried elsewhere. To this day, the graves of Indians, Europeans, and Americans dot the grounds with headstones up to 200 years old. Some were made of wooden crosses, which seem to have disappeared. Some graves have no identification or information.
In 1970, Gros Cap Cemetery was designated as a Michigan State Historic Site and made the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It’s marker reads: "Here on West Moran Bay, a large 17th century Ottawa village was directly connected by trail and water with Michilimackinac center on Moran Bay, Lake Huron. Both bays were named for Trader Morin whose post was at this settlement. Erected by the Township of Moran, 1960, at the ancient campfire site.”
Just because it may be a creepy graveyard, it doesn’t mean it’s haunted (even though most cemeteries seem to be). So far, there have been no documented reports of paranormal activity, even though it would be the perfect place for supernatural occurrences.
Pay a visit sometime this year and see for yourself!
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