May 13, 2011 at 01:14pm
WORD FOR THE DAY “Pokegama” (poh KEG’ uh muh) (n.) name of two lakes (at least) in northern Minnesota, one of which is near Grand Rapids. Meaning: (Ojibwa) “many fingers, many bays” also, “spider.” Example: "Governor Dayton will fish the Opener this weekend on Lake Pokegama, Grand Rapids.”
During summers at the lake of my childhood, my siblings and I were always referred to as “the cabin kids” by our cousins. We called them “the other MacDonells.” Our clan occupied acreage along the shores of Poole’s Bay on a large northern Minnesota lake called “Pokegama,” which we were told by our parents meant “spider” in the Ojibwa language. It was a marvelous place in which to grow, beautiful with its white and Norway pine, birch trees and sumac, its expansive and every-changing winds and water, wooded and poison ivy infested Nesbitt and Drumbeater islands, and Tioga No. 2 iron mine – located across the bay from our home, just beyond a shallow channel of lily pads and cattails. Our combined MacDonell acres comprised the summer playground of our youth and the site of many adventures.