History Articles

Articles specific to natural, park, local, Traditional Knowledge and cultural history.

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

September 26th marks 52 years for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and kicks off a new commitment for FriendsIt was September 26, 1970. After years of meetings, negotiations, revisions, and debate, there finally came these words: “for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public … there is hereby established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.” With those words, Public Law 91-424 officially established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a place that preserves beauty, adventure, and offers reconnection to nature. The twenty-one islands and...

Oldest National Park Service Ranger retires at 100

Oldest National Park Service Ranger retires at 100

Our national parks are a place for all ages, young and old. No single person embodies that sentiment quite as well as Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service who retired recently at the age of 100. An interpretive ranger at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park located in Richmond, CA, Soskin used her formidable and rich life experience to share the stories of the efforts of women from diverse backgrounds who worked, often unseen and unheralded, on behalf of the war effort. Her programs, says a recent National Park Service news release...

A Time Capsule Letter to the Future Stewards of the Apostle Islands

A Time Capsule Letter to the Future Stewards of the Apostle Islands

What would you say to the future? Our 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is over. The speeches have been given, the cupcakes eaten, the candles blown out. But the legacy of all we have accomplished in the park, our honoring of the past and excitement about the future, will live on in a kind of “time capsule” being submitted to the National Park Service commemorating this anniversary year. It will include pamphlets and pins, photographs and invitations and the texts of speeches given. It will include the proclamation issued in honor of the...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Neil and Forrest Howk

Lakeshore Logbook – Neil and Forrest Howk

Neil and Forrest in the Stockton Island campground As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 35th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Neil Howk worked as a Seasonal Interpretive ranger, supervisory park ranger,...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Susan Larsen and Sophie Howk

Lakeshore Logbook – Susan Larsen and Sophie Howk

Ranger Susan Larsen at age 23 Sophie and an old white pine on the trail to Sand Island Light As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 34rd in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Susan Larsen worked as a seasonal...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Warren Bielenberg

Lakeshore Logbook – Warren Bielenberg

Warren Bielenberg serving as a volunteer-in-park at Great Smoky Mountains National Park As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 33rd in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Warren Bielenberg was the park's first  first...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Jim Stowell

Lakeshore Logbook – Jim Stowell

Jim Stowell and a photo of Raspberry Island Keeper Lee Benton As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 31st in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Jimm Stowell worked as Raspberry Island Ranger Interpreter from 2003...

Lakeshore Logbook – Kellie Weidinger

Lakeshore Logbook – Kellie Weidinger

Kellie Weidinger As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 30th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Kellie Weidinger says Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was her first job in a national park. She worked here during...

Lakeshore Logbook – Matt Welter

Lakeshore Logbook – Matt Welter

Matt Welter As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 28th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Matt Welter was the park ranger/interpreter at Raspberry Island from 1990 to 1998. What is the coolest thing you did in...

History comes to life in the Apostle Islands: The maiden voyage of the Don A

History comes to life in the Apostle Islands: The maiden voyage of the Don A

Visitors who made the trip to Raspberry Island Lighthouse at noon on Friday, July 30th may be excused for thinking they had journeyed back in time. That’s when the 16 foot lighthouse skiff “Don A” pulled up to the Raspberry Island dock on its maiden voyage in the Apostle Islands. The Don A is a replica of the skiffs historically used by the lighthouse keepers in the Apostle Islands. The brainchild of former Bayfield Maritime Museum president Don Albrecht, the skiff was constructed by museum volunteers. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and other donors supported the project...