Cultural History Articles

History – Articles containing information about Cultural History.

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

(NPS News Release) Join us in congratulating David J. Cooper, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Archeologist and Cultural Resource Manager, in being awarded the John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology for Professional Achievement. “Dave Cooper’s work shows the impact one person can have not only within a park, but across a whole landscape,” said Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “Dave has spent his lifetime protecting the historical and cultural resources on and around Lake Superior. From portages to fish camps to lighthouses and shipwrecks, Dave...

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Gardening is an important part of the history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Early lighthouse keepers planted fruit trees, vegetables and grains to provide nourishment for the body; they also planted flower gardens to nourish the soul. On Michigan Island, Elizabeth Lane raised three children where her husband, Ed, was keeper from 1902 until he retired in 1938. She also cultivated some amazing gardens. Of Elizabeth, Coast Guard Chief Walter Parker said,“How she used to love to get up to that island and get at that garden of hers. That whole station was one mass of...

Lakeshore Logbook – Dave Chesky

Lakeshore Logbook – Dave Chesky

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 20th 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. Dave Chesky worked as a Seasonal Park Ranger GS-5, during the 1978 and 1979 seasons. What is the coolest thing you did in Apostle...

History Mystery: Who is considered the “father of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore?”

History Mystery: Who is considered the “father of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore?”

A Legacy of stewardship.  Gaylord Nelson was born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin on June 4, 1919.  Nelson was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1948 and held that office for a decade before becoming the Governor of the state. After two terms as Governor, he was elected to the US Senate in 1962 where he served until 1981. Gaylord NelsonIn 1969, then US Senator from Wisconsin, Nelson formulated one of the most powerful ideas of the century.  On April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was a resounding success, celebrated by 20 million people across the US who came together in their communities to...

History Mystery: How did his support for the park cost Julian Nelson a job?

History Mystery: How did his support for the park cost Julian Nelson a job?

Julian Nelson was born in Bayfield in 1916.  His father moved to Bayfield from Bergen, Norway in 1897 and took a job with the Booth fish company.  He eventually became an independent commercial fisherman operating out of a fish camp in Julian Bay on Stockton Island.   His sister watches Julian work on a gill net at his fish camp In 1938, at the age of 22, Julian bought out his father’s fishing business.  Julian bought property on Rocky Island in 1947 and moved his fishing cabin there from Stockton Island on a barge.  Moving the Nelson cabin from Stockton to Rocky Island in 1947 Julian Nelson...

Prescribed pile burns scheduled for Raspberry and Michigan Islands during week of June 13th

Prescribed pile burns scheduled for Raspberry and Michigan Islands during week of June 13th

The National Park Service says piles of accumulated wood debris at the Raspberry and Michigan Island light station cultural landscapes will be burned later this month.   In a statement, the Park Service said, "Weather permitting, prescribed burning of these piles is scheduled during the week of June 13th with the assistance of the National Park Service's Black Hills Fire Module.  Wind, humidity, smoke dispersion and surface moisture will be assessed before igniting any fires.  Please be aware that smoke may be visible." The Park Service said a 19-acre prescribed burn on the Highbush Unit,...

You can solve Apostle Islands History Mysteries this summer

You can solve Apostle Islands History Mysteries this summer

The Apostle Islands are full of nature’s beauty, wildlife and adventure. The Islands also have a rich and varied human history. This summer, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the park, we will be exploring that history with a little help from some friends: large, nearly life-sized standing poster board images of lighthouse keepers, sailors, ship captains, fishers, island lovers and more. Each cutout will ask you a question, present a mystery of island history, and offer you a QR code. Point your cell phone camera at the QR Code on the sign and follow the link to learn the answer to...

History Mystery: Francis Jacker marooned on Oak Island!

History Mystery: Francis Jacker marooned on Oak Island!

Francis Jacker was keeper at Raspberry Island Lighthouse from 1885 through 1892. Jacker was born in Germany in 1840 and studied for three years at the Munich Academy of Arts.  He immigrated to America in 1859 and moved to northern Michigan in 1862 to reunite with his brother who was a missionary among the Indians.  In 1863 Jacker married an Ojibwe girl, named Ikwesens (Little Girl), or Catherine, as she was christened.  Her father, Wabos, was one of the great chiefs of the Ojibwe nation.  They built a home near Portage Entry, Michigan and started a family. Francis Jacker at his farm near...

History Mystery: How Gert Wellisch saved Sand Island Lighthouse

History Mystery: How Gert Wellisch saved Sand Island Lighthouse

Gert Wellisch (1896-1966) spent her childhood summers in the Apostle Islands. In 1910 her father Robert Wellisch, a well-to-do manufacturer from St. Paul, joined with three other businessmen to build an imposing, Adirondack-style lodge on the west shore of Sand Island.   The West Bay Club The main room in the West Bay Club Gert by the wood pile at the West Bay Club in 1916 Gert grew up to be a St. Paul schoolteacher, and her small cadre of female city friends became a regular fixture of the Sand Island summer community during the World War I era. Their island adventures, exploring forests,...

History Mystery: Emmanuel Luick photos document life of the Sand Island community and beyond

History Mystery: Emmanuel Luick photos document life of the Sand Island community and beyond

  Emmanuel Luick served as the head lighthouse keeper at the Sand Island Lighthouse from 1892 through 1920 when it was the first Apostle Islands lighthouse to become automated.  Sand Island Lighthouse Along with his duties in tending the light, Luick also documented life at the light station in his log book.  For a while he allowed his first wife, Ella, to assume this duty. Ella Luick was 16 when she married 27-year-old Luick in 1895.  She took over the light keeper's log, treating it like a diary, recording her boredom and dissatisfaction. Then in May 1905, Ella Luick jotted down that...