That Ignorant Frenchman - Jean Baptiste Trotochaud

That Ignorant Frenchman - Jean Baptiste Trotochaud

The Forgotten Origins of St. Francis Solanus Church on W. Lake St in Petoskey, Michigan which includes the story of how this site got its name.  Fortunately, since this article was written, community members launched a successful attempt to restore this historic church to a usable and safe condition.   I especially salute the members of the restoration committee and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa for their contributions.   Information about the restoration committee and how to contribute may be found here.

18 July 2008 - St. Francis Solanus Mission Rededicated

Rededication Photo 18 July 2008

When JB's daughter Lucy passed away in 1922, the Petoskey Evening News published this: 

   Mrs. Lucy Duvernay, who was born in Petoskey 63 years ago, and who claimed to be the daughter of Trocho, the Indian who donated the old Indian church on the beach near the western boundary of Petoskey, died at her home, 516 Sheridan street, last night.
    The funeral will be held from St. Francis church Monday morning at 9 o'clock.  Interment will be at the Catholic cemetery.  She was the wife of John Duvernay, well-known Civil war veteran, who is a familiar figure on Petoskey streets.

   --- from the Petoskey Evening News, on microfilm roll #59. "Dec. 13, 1921-Oct. 4, 1922." in the Petoskey Public Library.  Issue of Friday 14 July 1922, p. 4.   One can see how quickly the church's history was forgotten, even though the records of the gift of the land from J. B. Trotochaud to Bishop Baraga could have been found (and are still available) at the Emmet County court house.

St Francis Mission Church in Petoskey prior to 21st century restoration

Trotochaud Homestead

An icon of the original St. Francis Solanus may be seen in the St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM.   Click here for a look at the raredos in St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM.   The icon of St. Francis Solanus is at the upper right.

Here are some of my favorite websites:

Emmet County USGenWeb Home Page Vizenor-Trotterchaud family of Minnesota
More photos of the church

Roy family and Boucher family Genealogy site

Last updated 7 July 2012

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