Not-a-pe-ka-gon was the Native American name given to the Ludington area and translates as "heads on sticks." The name refers to a battle between the Ottawa and Mascouten Indians in the 17th century that raged along the river toward Lake Michigan. The heads of defeated Mascoutens were placed on sticks as a warning to all. Later a bluff overlooking the lake and river was the site of the death of Fr. Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary and explorer. When the first settlers of European descent arrived, they gave the name of Pere Marquette to their village, lake, and the river in honor of the fallen missionary. Eventually renamed after lumber baron James Ludington, the community became a bustling maritime port and the home of the largest car ferry fleet in the world.