Situated between the first and eighth fairways (and near the ninth tee) is a twisted, broken tree and a curious stone marker.
As the legend goes, this tree was bent as a sapling by native Americans to mark the trail that passed between Detroit and Pontiac.
If the story is true, the tree is well over 200 years old.
Prior to the arrival of European colonists, Michigan was home to an estimated 100,000 members of the Potawatomi, Ottawa, Ojibwa/Chippewa, Miami, and Huron nations.
Detroit dates to 1701, when French nobleman Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac established Fort Pontchartrain at a location called “The Strait,” or “le détroit” in French. The fort’s purpose was to protect the Great Lakes fur trade.
A trail between the French fort and trading post at Detroit and Native villages in Pontiac would have been quite likely at this point. That doesn’t mean the tree is that old, but the trail probably is.
The city of Detroit was incorporated in 1806 on 20 acres with a population of about 700. The first European colonists reached Pontiac, Michigan in 1818. By that time, it seems to me unlikely that Native Americans still would be marking the trail.