There are so many interesting figures that came out of Michigan during the Civil War era, but one of the most peculiar is a man by the name of Franklin Devereaux, who in 1884 may have died in the most unlikely of ways.

There were no witnesses to the death, but it is said that in August of 1884, Native American, Sam Flynn found Devereaux‘s body and that of a bear on the spot where Franklin Devereaux is buried on the shore of Devereaux Lake, just off M-33. Torn turf revealed signs of a struggle and Native Americans surmised that the hermit and the bear met in a clump of berry bushes.
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That’s right, he and the bear may have scrapped over berries. Franklin was able to mortally wounded the bear, but not until it was able to fracture his skull. Sadly, both Deveraux and the bear died in the altercation.

Sawyer Dan was traveling when he came across the grave:

This grave doesn’t have markers to say it’s here until you get close. It’s on a little private road on a tiny private lake. Civil War Veteran that killed and was killed by a bear while picking berries and he was buried where he lived. Also, I saw another cemetery in Michigan with 2 soldiers listed as the smallest military plot in the state. This one is the smallest it’s just not known about. There’s an out of print hard to find a book about this called. Sign of the bear.

The spot was honored by the local American Legion on September 7, 1930, but it is not a registered historical site...yet.

Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
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Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
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Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
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Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
Sawyer Dan (Used w/ Permission)
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Michigan's Involvement in the Civil War, 1860s