Upon returning to their former homeland after evading removal, NHBP members discovered they were not welcome at the former Nottawaseppi Reservation since it was flooded with settlers who desired the outstanding farmland. Fortunately, with the assistance of Holcomb, as well as familiar and sympathetic settlers and clergy, available land in Section 20 of Athens Township was identified where the returning Tribal members could settle and live off the land.
Since much of the section was bottom-land (low-lying land, which is typically by a river and subject to overflow during floods), formed by the numerous marshes of Pine Creek, and much of the remaining land was sloping, rocky, and heavily forested. The section was not thought of as optimal land but rather waste land by area farmers, who pursued deeper and richer soils that were turned by their horse- or ox-drawn plows with less effort.
Between 1845-1848, a number of NHBP members, estimated to number between 40 to 60 persons, pooled annuity money owed to the “Potawatomi of Huron” from the 1807 Treaty of Detroit with the U.S. Government and used this money to purchase 120 acres of land. This land was then transferred to the State of Michigan, where then-Governor William A. Booth accepted the land to be held “forever in [state] trust on behalf of a ‘certain band of Indians [Huron Band of Potawatomi] residing in Calhoun County Michigan.'”
Since 1845, the Pine Creek Indian Reservation has served as core community of the NHBP and center of political/governmental activity for the Tribe.
Rodwan, John, and Virginia Anewishki. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, A People in Progress. Pine Creek Reservation, 2009.
United States, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research, et al. “Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc.” HPI-V001-D004, https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/ofa/petition/009_hurpot_MI/009_pf.pdf.