Isle Royale National Park

Michigan

At Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, a wilderness island in Lake Superior, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is working with park staff and seasonal residents to assure the preservation of dozens of cabins built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the island was home to a thriving commercial and sport fishing industry.  To acquire the archipelago in the 1930s, the Park Service granted life leases to the owners of cabins and fish camps.  Today, those properties are often unmaintained by an aging generation, but the park has no funding to assure their preservation, even though most are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  The National Trust is working with the families of the original lessees, park staff, the Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer, and the regional office of the Park Service to find a solution that will preserve this historic residue on a wilderness island.