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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chief Noonday to Be 2nd Grand Rapids Community Legends Sculpture

bust of Chief Noonday
bust of Chief Noonday (photo from the CND Chapter web site)

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Peter Secchia, Grand Rapids patron, has begun a 50-year project to commemorate 25 local heroes by commissioning statues which will be placed around the city. Lucius Lyon, a land surveyor who became one of Michigan's first U.S. Senators was the first, but the second will be Potawatomi Chief Nawquageezhig, known to the settlers as Chief Noonday. The North Country Trail Association Chapter which covers Barry and Kalamazoo Counties is named for him. He was an influential Native American who fought with Tecumseh in the War of 1812, and supposedly was the one who carried the body of Tecumseh from the battlefield where that great Shawnee warrior died at the Battle of the Thames.

Many natural features near Yankee Springs bear his name. In just a few months, Grand Rapids will receive a new sculpture of Nawquageezhig, which will be created by Antonio Tobias Mendez.

There are no known photographs of the Chief, and the bust above is likely to not be an actual likeness, although it too, honors his memory.

In preparation for his sculpture, Mendez commented, "I'm looking at photos of other Indian chiefs of the period, so it'll be a composite of what I find," The final work will be seven feet tall and should be completed in August 2010.

The Chief Noonday Chapter's sections are on NCTA map MI-02 and 03

See Who was Chief Noonday? on the CND web site.

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