Isle Royale sits at the furthermost northwestern corner of Michigan Territory. According to MSU, the island was purchased from the Ojibwe tribe in 1843, but didn't become a national park until March 3, 1931.

Now before we get to the vintage photo gallery, here are some
Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do any people live on Isle Royale?
A: No. There are summer homes, a few stores, and campgrounds, but no permanent homes. Native Americans used the island hundreds of years ago for hunting and fishing, but only during warm summer months.

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Q: Is Isle Royale open all year?
A: No. It's closed to tourists, summer homers, and vacationers from November 1 thru April 15.

Q: Is there a cost to visit the island?
A: Yes, because the whole island is a national park. It costs visitors seven dollars a day. In 2022, the island stopped accepting cash payments! Officials figured it's not worth the hassle. According to the National Park Service, "the cost to collect cash overshadowed the volume of cash that was collected. Maintaining cash operations on an isolated island in Lake Superior was no longer financially sustainable". However, Rock Harbor and Windigo will still take your dollars and cents.

Q: How do we get to the island?
A: Only two ways: by ferry boat or seaplane, either from northern Michigan or Minnesota.

Q: Why should I visit?
A: That totally depends on YOU as a person. If you're too spoiled by today's standards with fancy restaurants, mall shopping, Netflix, social media, television, gaming, etc. then you'll probably be miserable. However, if you love a rugged atmosphere, plenty of wilderness, lots of wild animals, roughing it, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, listening to the waves as they rock you to sleep, and very few people to bug you...then this is for you. It's a great getaway from EVERYTHING.

Below is a photo gallery of Isle Royale, going back to the early 1900s!

Vintage Isle Royale


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