Wahbememe Memorial Park
Wahbememe Memorial Park is named after Potawatomi Chief White Pigeon (Wahbememe), who is buried in the park. A stone monument with an inscription commemorates his life and apparently marks the location of his grave. Legend has it that in 1830 he ran 150 miles without stopping to the white settlement here (which was later called White Pigeon) to warn of an impending Indian attack. He soon collapsed and died of exhaustion. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
Despite these well-supported facts, the legend of Wahbememe's story emerged as a tradition in White Pigeon, as the town came to be called. Nonetheless, the site is still historically important as it is likely that the man buried here was Chief White Pigeon of a Potawatomi village in the St. Joseph Valley. It seems possible that there was more than one Wahbememe, since there are records with various spellings of the name in treaties signed in 1818, 1833, 1846.
"Wahbememe Memorial Park." St. Joseph County Michigan Parks and Recreation. Accessed December 13, 2018. https://www.stjosephcountymi.org/parks/parks_wahbememe.php.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons