What's in a Name? - Burnettʼs Traders #567, St. Joseph, Michigan

William Burnett landed his canoe on the west bank of the St. Joseph River about 1780, establishing the first permanent European settlement in the area. Trading extensively with the Native Americans, in 1882 he married Kakima, daughter of Potawatomi Chief Aniquiba.

As his trading post prospered, he built warehouses in Chicago and at the mouth of the St. Joseph River on Lake Michigan. Burnett died in 1814 leaving a large agricultural and trading business. Kakima appears to have returned to her family following his death, as she was one of the Potawatomi representatives signing the April 11, 1836 Treaty at Tippecanoe.

Chapter History

Burnettʼs Traders Chapter #567 was established in 1972—one charter member, the founder, Connie Yore, is still active in our chapter.  The current membership is 16, with Burnettʼs Traders meeting 10 months a year. 

P and R Projects

Among the many fund raising projects we contributed to through the years were the purchase of a desk for the jail at the old Berrien County Court House in Berrien Springs. We also funded the repair of the mausoleum doors displayed at the Heritage Center and to the Ben King statue on the bluff. Preserving the heritage of Silver Beach, we donated money to the Silver Beach Carousal for repair of the old cotton candy and weight machines. In recognition of the importance of the nautical history of our region, we also donated funds to assist in the restoration of the Fresnel lens at the St. Joseph harbor lighthouse. Lastly, we also raised funds and received a Questers State Grant to support the Morton House.

Fundraising Projects

Fundraising projects included various white elephant sales, purse sales, auctions, and a booth at the Antiques on the Bluff sale.

Chapter Meetings

Members and speakers give talks on their collections covering virtually every imaginable topic. We also take field trips around the area touring homes and historical places. And, of course, there is the installation dinner or potluck in June and the Christmas parties each year. 

Connie Yore, November 2021