Bois Blanc Island (Michigan)
Bois Blanc Island is coterminous with Bois Blanc Township, Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The island covers about 34 sq mi (88 km2) and is about 12 miles (19 km) long, 6 miles (9.6 km) wide and has 6 lakes. Bois Blanc is located in Lake Huron southeast of Mackinac Island and almost due north of the city of Cheboygan.
"Bois Blanc" is French for "white wood". The name is commonly thought to be a reference to either: (a) the paper birch, or more likely (b) the basswood, called "bois blanc" in other contexts. The basswood's white underbark was extensively used by Native Americans and French-speaking fur traders for cordage, including the sewing up of canoes and the manufacture of webbing for snowshoes. The French Canadian colloquial term for "inner bark" was bois blanc. The Indians themselves had a name for Bois Blanc Island and the meaning is the same as the Canadian name. It was called Wigobiminiss. Wigobi or wicopy signifies "tying bark" or "inner bark". Miniss means "island".
"Boblo" is an English corruption of the French pronunciation of the name. Several islands with the same name dot the Great Lakes, and nearly all are known as "Boblo" or "Bob-lo" by the local populations.
Famous quotes containing the words bois and/or island:
“This spirit it was which so early carried the French to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi on the north, and the Spaniard to the same river on the south. It was long before our frontiers reached their settlements in the West, and a voyageur or coureur de bois is still our conductor there.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I candidly confess that I have ever looked on Cuba as the most interesting addition which could ever be made to our system of States. The control which, with Florida, this island would give us over the Gulf of Mexico, and the countries and isthmus bordering on it, as well as all those whose waters flow into it, would fill up the measure of our political well-being.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)