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James Callow Folklore Archive

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BEAR-MAN LEGEND

THIS STORY CONCERNS THE NAMING OF A NEARBY CHEBOYGAN LAKE WHICH
IS NOW KNOWN AS DEVEREAUX LAKE. THE NAME IS A FAMILY NAME
BELONGING TO MANY NATIVES OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN, ESPECIALLY IN THE
CHEBOYGAN VICINITY. ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT CERTAIN WHICH FAMILY IS
THE GENUINE DESCENDANT OF "OLD MAN DEVEREAUX," NUMEROUS PERSONS
CLAIM HIM AS THEIR ANCESTOR.
THIS SOUGHT AFTER PERSONAGE LIVED APPROXIMATELY SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS
AGO. TOWARDS THE END OF AN APPARENTLY LONG LIFE, HE LIVED ALONE
AND HAD THE FUNNY HABIT OF CARRYING AROUND WITH HIM AN UNLOADED
MUSKET. ONE DAY WHILE HE WAS PICKING BERRIES NEAR A LAKE, HE WAS
CONFRONTED BY A LARGE BEAR. IT IS NOT QUITE CLEAR WHAT ENSUED
(VERSIONS VARY), BUT THERE DID TAKE PLACE A TREMENDOUS HAND-TO-
HAND STRUGGLE, LASTING FOR A LONG TIME (ALSO VARIES). EVENTUALLY,
BOTH WORN OUT AND DEATHLY EXHAUSTED, THE OLD MAN LAY DOWN NEAR
THE WATER WHILE THE BEAR RETREATED TO A NEARBY KNOLL. THERE, IN
THEIR RESPECTIVE PLACES, THEY WENT TO MEET THEIR MAKER. AND SO
THEY NAMED THE BODY OF WATER AFTER THE OLD GENTLEMAN, DEVEREAUX
LAKE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CHEBOYGAN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
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