Thursday, August 20, 2009


The setting sun lights up another historical marker in the city, for an 1830 "plat" called Moab. There is something oddly ominous about the stone.

"Moab" was laid out in July of 1830 by Christopher Shinnaman; the location is now part of the Third Ward of the city of Three Rivers. By 1834, though, there were still only three houses in Three Rivers. Shinnaman purchased the land from Molly Richert, who had built a home there in 1829.

Another community called St. Joseph (the Second Ward of the city of Three Rivers) was also laid out later in 1830 by George Buck and Jacob McInterfer. Late in life George Buck recounted running a tavern and hotel on what is now Fourth Street and the "three camps of Indians" that lived in Three Rivers. Perhaps what makes the Moab stone seem ominous is the 1830 date -- knowing that the real estate speculators were getting busy while the original Potawatomi residents still lived nearby.

A third community was laid out by John H. Bowman "on the north shore of the St. Joseph River" in 1836 and called Three Rivers. Bowman owned several mills and in 1837 was elected to the Michigan State Legislature. (Information is from "St. Joseph in Homespun" by Sue Stillman.)

The Moab area also seems to have been called "Canada". The three areas became the city of Three Rivers in 1855.

The marker says "MOAB, Pioneer village platted 1836" and that it was erected in Oct. 1925 by the Abiel Fellows Chapter of the DAR.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Just curious why it is declared Moab. History shows that the name Moab spoken over this community is not in the best interest of the city. Any history to why this was chosen