Commercial Fishing on Isle Royale, 1800-1967
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Grace Lee Nute, Lake Superior (New York, 1944), and "The American Fur Company's Fishing Enterprising on Lake Superior," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 12:4 (1926), has summarized the Activities of the American Fur Company. Her accounts are supplemented by Gabriel Franchere, "Journal of his voyage in the 'Brewster' with Mr. Scott to Grand Portage, Isle Royale and the Ance in August, 1839." The original is in possession of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. The Houghton office of the National Park Service has a photostatic copy. Microfilmed copies of the American Fur Company papers in the Detroit Public Library were also utilized. The Survey Notes and Plats of William Ives, 1847, were of value in locating sites of the posts, as was Tyler Bastian's unpublished report on the archeology of Isle Royale.

For the later period two reports of the U. S. Commissioner on Fish and Fisheries, that of 1872 and 1887, were particularly useful. In addition, Kenneth McMurry's "General Description of Isle Royale" (manuscript, n.d., Mott Island library, NPS), Dr. Robert Halkala, Isle Royale: Primeval Prince (National Park Service, 1955), Lynn H. Halvorson, "The Commercial Fishing of the Michigan Waters of Lake Superior," Michigan History, 34:1 (1955), p. 1-18, and the log of the Menagerie Island Lighthouse, 1874-93 (Mott Island Library) have been valuable. Most valuable of all however, has been tape recorded interviews with fishermen and other "old-timers." They have furnished a wealth of information not otherwise available. Peter Edisen, Milford Johnson, Glen Merritt, Ed Holte, Sam Rule, Stan Sivertsen, Edgar Johns, Roy Oberg, and John Skadberg have contributed immensely to this study.

The historical photographs were originally taken by W. W. Stockley, superintendent of the Wendigo Mining operation, and Alfred C. Lane, state Geologist of Michigan. The negatives are now in possession of the author. Contemporary protographs are from NPS files.

This study is part of a historical project financed by the National Park Service. Some members have contributed greatly to this study, induding Superintendents Schmidt and Johnson; William Dunmire, William Bromberg, George Pine, Charles Lomas, Zeb V. McKinney, and Warner Forsell. Gordon Haber, now a graduate student at Northern Michigan University, aided me in the field map and oral history projects. The St. Louis County Historical Society of Duluth, and the Marquette County Historical Society, Marquette, Michigan, furnished valuable data. My wife, Mary, aided me in both the field work and in editing the manuscript.

rock pinnacle

fishermen with nets

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Last Updated: 02-Apr-2007