Marker 127: Spirit Rock

© Photographed September 20, 2012 and March 2, 2018
Erected 1963 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Keshena, Menominee County, Wisconsin
44° 55.079′ N, 88° 39.034′ W

One night long ago a Menominee Indian dreamed that Manabush, grandson of Ko-Ko-Mas-Say-Sa-Now (the Earth) and part founder of the Mitawin or Medicine Society, invited him to visit the god. With seven of his friends the Indian called on Manabush who granted their request to make them successful hunters. One of the band, however, angered the god by asking for eternal life. Manabush, seizing the warrior by the shoulders, thrust him into the ground and said, "You shall be a stone, thus you will be everlasting". The Menominee say that at night kindly spirits come to lay offerings of tobacco at the rock and that if one looks closely he can see their white veils among the trees. The legend is that when the rock finally crumbles away the race will be extinct.
The marker is deep in the woods at a highway turnout on southbound Wisconsin Highway 55, 2.2 miles north of its intersection with Wisconsin Highway 47 / 55, Keshena, Wisconsin 54135.

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

Menominee Oral Tradition: Story of Manabush

The marker is included in the From the Pineries to the Present Tour No. 1

 Spirit Rock (1928)

Comparing the photo above with the photo below,
apparently Spirit Rock has been removed from this location.

 The isolated stretch of Wisconsin Highway 55,
where the Spirit Rock historical marker is located.

 Painted rock on Wisconsin Highway 47/55,
en route to the Spirit Rock marker location.

Spirit Rock is located in Keshena, Wisconsin.


Mike B said...

Need to search for the pic I took there years ago. There was a strange white "fog" in the image.

Wisconsin Historical Markers said...

Wow, would love to see that photo! That's really cool!!

Helene said...

I lived a mile down highway 55.Daughter of Gerty Sennett.A Menominee Decendant of Charles Warrington, On New Years Eve Midnight,our Family would walk to Sprit Rock,an lay tobacco on top of the rock to Bless the New Year, God Bless The Menominee

Wisconsin Historical Markers said...

Thank you, Helene, for sharing your story -- what a wonderful family tradition!

Unknown said...

As a child in grade school, I did cut out an article that was in the Suntimes or the Tribune, about Spirit Rock, and I actually took a little piece of the rock & included in the article. How sweet and innocent.Too bad I don't have that school project anymore... Kathleen from Chicago Menominee descendant

Wisconsin Historical Markers said...

Thank you for sharing, although I have a totally different perspective on your "sweet and innocent" story. Since it is the tradition of the Menominee that "when the rock finally crumbles away the race will be extinct", if everyone who visits the rock takes away "a little piece", won't that eventually mean the extinction of the Menominee? Just saying . . .

Post a Comment