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Swanson Fishery

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fishhouse and dock at the edge of Little Todd Harbor,
Swanson Fishery at Little Todd Harbor, ca. 1935.

Willemin Collection

History

The history of the Little Todd Fishery is not fully understood; what we know is gathered from varied sources with scant detail. It appears that some of the history compliments that associated with fishing at Big Todd, i.e. Green Isle. Lake Superior fishing interviews conducted in 1894 (Rathbun, 1894) mentions 4 fishermen listed at Todd Harbor: Dan Lind, Dan Wilson, Rose and McLain, and Francis. Another interview lists 2 boats at Big Todd Harbor and 3 at Little Todd Harbor. It is quite possible that one of the fishermen listed at Big Todd Harbor may have operated from Little Todd. Dan Lind was a relative to the boat builder Hokie Lind. One North Shore newspaper article mentions Dan Lind accompanying John Linklater to identify/witness the Kamloops victims that made it to shore. Although we don't know for sure, it is possible that Dan Lind was at Todd when the Kamloops went down. The Green Isle Fishery location is believed to have been occupied in the 1920s or 1930s by Olaf and Kris Ronning. The two brothers were coopers and they made their own herring barrels. They fished herring primarily. It is thought that the demise of the north side fisheries may have been a result of the America sinking in 1928. Thereafter the fishermen at these locations no longer had a scheduled pick-up service. The derelict buildings seen at Little Todd in 1936 might reflect this scenario.

Isle Royale National Park

Last updated: August 24, 2020