Superior Councilor Aims To Rename Moccasin Mike Road
A roadway that leads to Wisconsin Point could be getting a new name. Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle is leading the movement to put a new name on Moccasin Mike Road - the stretch that leads from Highway 2 and 53 out to the popular waterfront area, following a disturbance of the Indigenous burial ground located out there after a local contest went awry.
According to news sources, the road name's origin is unclear. Research done by Van Sickle and former Douglas County Board supervisor Terry White, the road seems to have gotten its name from the nickname of a Douglas County Board member who was instrumental in getting the road built. Michael S. Bright, Jr., the board member - was the son to "Moccasin Mike" S. Bright, Sr. and inherited his fathers nickname.
Although the name is racially-charged when looked at through the prism of 2021, Van Sickle and White aren't necessarily certain that "Moccasin Mike" was Indigenous. Nonetheless, the councilor says that this is the time for a rebranding - sharing that "[t]his kind of mockery leads to an absence of respect and knowledge".
The timing to rename the roadway also coincides with the area's newest honor; the sacred burial site was recently recognized as a Wisconsin Historical Site; Van Sickle suggests that it's "time to change the name of the only road leading to Wisconsin Point".
Earlier this month, the Indigenous burial site at Wisconsin Point was "damage[d] and disrespect[ed]" when participants of a buried medallion contest got out of control. While there were shovels and rakes involved at the site, according to Superior Mayor Jim Paine "there was no permanent damage".
If Moccasin Mike Road gets a new name, the proposal would need to make its way through the process at city government. The first step: "The proposal....go[es] before the Mayor's Commission on Communities of Color at 5:00 PM March 8".