A man named Tim O’Brien of Copemish, Michigan is a rock hunter. When he discovered a Petoskey stone in Lake Michigan a week ago, he tried to unearth the rock but said it was too difficult to dig out by hand. So he returned, with his girlfriend, but together they still couldn’t get the rock out due to waves. Three times is a charm for O’Brien. On September 22 he used a trowel and successfully dislodged the 93 pound rock.
So what’s so special about Petoskey stones? And what’s behind the name? According to Ottawa legend, in 1787 an Ottawa Indian princess gave birth to a son on the banks of the Kalamazoo River and her husband, a French fur trader, Antoine Carre, named him Petosegay, which means “Rising Sun.” In 1965, the Petoskey Stone was named the state stone of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources land Use Rules allow rock collectors/hunters to collect up to 25 pounds per year, per person of aggregate. P.S. President Obama keeps a Petoskey stone on his desk in the Oval Office.