Article

Star Island Fishery

On This Page Navigation

shoreline of fishery, boat pulled up on ramp next to fish house, cabin in back
Fishery situated on the small Star Island, photograph circa 1940s.

National Visual Inventory Cards 40-399

History

Located approximately mid-way between Rock Harbor Lodge and Rock Harbor Lighthouse is a small, rocky, five-point island called Star Island. The Johnson families were relocated to this site from the Rock Harbor Lighthouse and Edisen Fishery in 1938. The brothers Milford and Arnold Johnson were fishing partners for about twenty-five years; Arnold quit fishing in 1951. When they and their families located on Star Island, there were two dwellings that they renovated for the families.

The island barely provided an adequate fish camp having only a small area of soil and little room for the children to play. Fritz and Ida Johnson owned Star Island and fished there from 1922 to about 1925. When their son drowned, they left. John and Lorraine Johnson fished Star Island in the early 1930s.

Although in one of the busier areas of Isle Royale, one could feel quite isolated on Star Island. Milford Johnson moved his fishing site from Star Island to Crystal Cove in 1956. The buildings at Star Island were destroyed when he left and Arnold gave up his fishing rights. Unlike some fish camps, the fishermen used Star Island only for living and fishing. The location provided a safe harbor, however, and fishing remained profitable since most of the family fishing grounds did not change.

(Toupal, et. al, 2002)

Fishery Site Map

sketch of Star Island Fishery site, pinpointing 50 points of interest
Star Island Fishery Site Map

NPS / Dave Arthurs

Isle Royale National Park

Last updated: August 24, 2020