MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM ) — Wind rustling through the trees through shattered windows and broken doors.
Somebody’s walker sits abandoned outside a crumbling dormitory.
This is what remains of Mt. Pleasant’s Indian Industrial Boarding School built in the 1800s.
“The intent was to create a military style boarding school with some religious background to indoctrinate the Native American students into the western culture,” said Frank Cloutier from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Many against their will.
The tribe is working to protect this property and uncover an ominous mystery.
“We have over 150 students we’ve identified that have never returned home to their families,” Cloutier said. “So, there’s always been this mystique or this lore about what may have happened to those souls. What may have happened to those children and their remains.”
That history attracts plenty of thrill seekers.
“We have high school kids running around in sheets scaring each other,” he said. “We have college students who want to go on a ghost hunt.”
But there is a giant fence equipped with barb wire, that’s because if you show up here it’s trespassing. It’s dangerous and it’s disrespectful.
“There are people that aren’t just looking for ghosts, there are people attempting salvage, taking pipes and different artifacts,” Cloutier said.
The problem has gotten so bad they’re looking for volunteers to stop the vandals.
People cut through the fence and spray paint these buildings with graffiti.
“That’s vulgar,” he said. “A cheap thrill-seeking moment in the dark of night.”
He says the danger of the buildings or steam tunnels collapsing is very real.
He hopes people will realize it’s an all-around bad idea and respect the site and its history.
“We want people to recognize it as a place of remembrance, a hallowed ground if you will,” he said. “In remembrance of those students.”
And remember the history that happened here.
If you’re interested in volunteering you can contact Tera Green by email or by calling (989) 775-4000.
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