On the east side of Hat Point on the Sibley Peninsula stands a single white cedar called the Witch tree. It clings to the rocks ten feet above the water. Its trunk is twisted like a corkscrew and its green scale like leaves are scanty. It is called by some arbor vitae or the tree of life. This is the oldest type of tree on the Great Lakes shores. It may live more than 800 years. People have wondered how it stays alive since it appears as though there is no soil under it; its roots wrap around rock.
Both the Cree and the Ojibway indians have used this tree for offerings by placing tobacco around its roots. They call it a Manitou or spirit tree and tell legends about it. One legend is of the manitou Nanboujou who wears the cedar tree on his head with the roots bound around his body.
Another legend tell of an evil spirit in the form of a large bird who would plunge from the top of the tree and swamp canoes.
Map of area