Dassler Cabin

The Dassler Cabin sits hidden amongst trees while its nearby smaller Guest House perches on the shoreline. Viewed from Scoville Point across a bay.
Scoville Point overlooking the location of the Dassler Cabin.


Artist Cabin

Your Island Assistants, Guests, Cabin Amenities, What to Bring,
Mice, Rock Harbor Amenities, Photo Gallery, Book List,
Kitchen Inventory

The Artist-in-Residence program is based in the former summer cottage of the Dassler family from Leavenworth, Kansas (cir. 1905). It has housed over 100 artists since 1992. The cabin, located in Tobin Harbor, is two miles by canoe or trail from Rock Harbor. A small guest house at the site serves as a second quarters, studio, or storage facility. Accommodations are simple — pit toilet, no electricity or running water. The park provides furniture, water filter, cooking equipment, utensils, cooler, and a libary; the selected artist must supply campstove fuel, sleeping amenities, food, and art supplies.

Isle Royale is a remote wilderness and all visitors must be well prepared. The artist should be self-sufficient, in good health, and expect cool temperatures and simple facilities.

View the Dassler Cabin Photo Gallery.

A scenic view of Tobin Harbor taken from a boat, blue sky, small island, blue water.
Several long time residents prior to the park's existence maintain cabins in Tobin Harbor and assist the Artist-in-Residence program.


Your Isle Royale Assistants
Tobin Harbor Volunteers: Though the Dassler Cabin is isolated, and you will be on your own a significant amount of time, you will not be alone. Park volunteers, residing in Tobin Harbor, will visit you from time to time. Often they assist with transporting you to and from the Dassler Cabin. These volunteers have a long history with Isle Royale and are a remarkable source of information.
Rock Harbor Park Rangers: Should the Tobin Harbor Volunteers be unavailable, rangers are stationed in Rock Harbor. You may visit Rock Harbor at any time and consult with them. At the beginning of your stay, a Rock Harbor Ranger will coordinate your public program (what, when, where, and transportation). A park radio to contact Rock Harbor Rangers is supplied at the cabin for emergency use.


Who Can Come With Me?

The cabin accommodates two people very well. There is a large main room with a smaller bedroom and kitchen. There usually is additional space in a small two-room guest house as well. If more than two people, expect people to sleep on the floor. Remember, all sleeping amenities are provided by you.

We discourage a large number of people from visiting during your time on the island. It is a time to embrace wilderness, solitude, and your artwork.

One artist and guest receives free transportation aboard the Ranger III. Anyone else accompanying must pay full transportation costs to and from the island. Guests beyond the first may be required to pay park entrance fees as well.

A drip water filtration system in the small kitchen of a cabin
The park provides the cabin with a water filtration system.


Cabin Amenities

  • Basic Cabin Furniture (bed frame, table, chairs, couch, etc)

  • Cookware, plates, cups, and utensils (full kitchen inventory)
  • 2 burner Coleman Camp Stove
  • 1 Small Coleman Camp Oven
  • 120 Qt Cooler (37.1 x 19.2 x 18.9 inches)
  • A 3 or 4 gallon drip filter which safely converts the lake water into drinking water. Buckets are supplied so you can transfer lake water to the cabin for filtering.
  • First Aid Kit (in kitchen)
  • Garbage can liners, toilet paper
  • Books available for reading (full book list)
  • If you need additional supplies, contact the volunteer or the Rock Harbor Visitor Center.
  • Artist journal: Artists in the past have either made daily entries or one entry at the end of their trip. Please assist us in keeping this tradition alive.

What You Need to Provide

  • Sleeping gear (bags, pillows, pads, or whatever you are comfortable with).
    • The main cabin and sleeping cabin contain a full size bed.
    • No linens provided.
    • Camping outside of the Dassler Cabin is not permitted.
  • Propane canisters for the stove and oven (1-2).
  • Ice or Freezer Packs for the cooler (if you’d like to use it).
  • All your food
  • Art supplies
  • After hour lighting sources. There should be a Coleman lantern in the cabin, as well as a few candles and hand-held flashlights, but if you would like to have after-hours light, it's good to be prepared with what you would like.
    • The cabin no longer has a lighting system
  • All personal supplies and considerations

Recommended Items to Bring

  • Headlamps (best for late night trips to the outhouse)
  • Bug spray
  • Bug head net
  • Personal books (the cabin does have a small Isle Royale library)


Early in the spring the cabin is cleaned and mouse proofed (holes, if found, are filled in with steel wool), but living in a wilderness, there is always a possibility of mice in the cabin. If mice appear to be a problem, secure your food products as best as possible and give the cabin a good cleaning, especially the kitchen.

View of the Rock Harbor Lodge complex from the air.
Rock Harbor, Isle Royale


Rock Harbor Amenities

Laundry and Hot Showers

Showers can be taken at the concession-operated store in Rock Harbor. The store is located approximately 2 miles from the cabin. The concession operation sells tokens which supplies you with a towel, soap, and 5 minutes of running hot and cold water. Laundry facilities are also located in Rock Harbor behind the store. Check upon arrival for current costs.

What Does the Rock Harbor Store Supply?

Groceries including: canned goods, assorted frozen and canned meats, eggs, milk, vegetables, bread, freeze dried foods, and other staples. Fishing tackle, camping and hiking accessories, camping fuels, photographic supplies, post cards, boating accessories, and sundries are also found in the store. You should plan on bringing all of your own food and supplies and only use the store as a backup. Be sure to plan for insect protection.


Outgoing mail can be given to the Rock Harbor Visitor Center. The mail will go to the mainland on Wednesday and Saturday onboard the the Ranger III. Incoming mail can be picked up at the Rock Harbor Ranger Station on Tuesday and Friday.
Outgoing mail can also be picked up and dropped off at the small mail drop building in Tobin Harbor just two islands southwest of the cabin.


Last updated: April 5, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

Contact Us