MYSTERIOUS PLACES IN MICHIGAN

Is There a Michigan “Stonehenge” on Beaver Island?

Vikings, Phoenicians, Egyptians or the lost tribe of Israel in Michigan? What?! According to author Mark Jager and his Mystic Michigan series, Michigan may have had visits from these four cultures at some point in history. Jager wrote about a stone circle similar in nature to Stonehenge found on Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island that could have been built by any of these ancient groups, who some theorize visited North American in the past. This stone circle is known as The Beaver Island Stone Circle.

I raised an eyebrow when I read this and wondered why we Michiganders had never heard of such an extraordinary discovery if it was in fact true. According to the book, Beaver Island doesn’t want it to be a tourist attraction but there are “thirty-nine stones forming a 397-foot circle.” The stones vary in size and shape and are found on the west side of the island on Redding Trail, below Angeline’s Bluff.

Beaver Island Stonehenge offering rock

A large boulder with a carved-out spot with offerings left behind.

While looking for Native American artifacts, Terry Bussey noticed the stones in 1985. Their placement didn’t look natural to her and the stones seemed to be in a pattern. Some stones even appeared to have been hand carved with symbols. Bussey used a compass, spent a couple of nights under the stars, and noticed that the stones line up with star positions. Later research found the stones were aligned to the midsummer solstice. Many archaeologists say the stones are nothing special and suggest they are just boring old glacial deposits. A minority speculate the Mound Builders could have placed them thousands of years ago.

Bussey used a compass, spent a couple of nights under the stars, and noticed that the stones line up with star positions. Later research found the stones were aligned to the midsummer solstice.

The stones don’t look like much but there does seem to be a pattern when viewing them with some suggesting they look like a Native American medicine wheel. One of the larger stones that stands out has a carved indent on top that serves as a place where sacred offerings are left. Also, the bands of Native Americans local to that area did not create stone monuments. 

So if these stones are something more than just “glacial deposits,”  then who placed them there? Are these stones worth putting more study into? Or are we just trying to make something out of a pile of stones that are sitting there and nothing more? Perhaps the rocks were indeed placed there by natural means, but over the years, they have still become a sacred source to be respected. 

READER SUBMISSION

“I think it is relevant to mention that, while many of the stones on Beaver Island do show signs of carving or bowl-like depressions, many of the stones of the “circle” have been moved from their original positions when a road was built right through the circle. Having lived on the island for many years and looking into this phenomenon myself, I feel that it’s far less mysterious than most people hope; it’s just some rocks in a clearing.” – Anonymous

 

Do you have a thought on the Beaver Island Stonehenge?

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