Friday, December 16, 2016

The mysteries of Michigan's Cemetery Island


ISLE ROYALE, MI - More than a few kayakers who've skirted the shoreline of Isle Royale have had this experience: You're paddling through a light mist around one of Michigan's most remote places only to see the nearby Cemetery Island rise out of the water, just off the mainland.

Contained inside this small island are at least nine marked or partially-marked graves that hark back to the 1850s - an era when the nation's copper rush stretched past the northern reaches of the Upper Peninsula.

Many of the graves likely are associated with the area's copper mines. At least one was dug for an infant. And there is island lore that perhaps ties others to the 1885 loss of the steamer Algoma, the deadliest shipwreck in Lake Superior's maritime history.

"It's special because it definitely captures the interest of island visitors. You can see the mystique," said Seth DePasqual, an archeologist and cultural resources manager for the National Park Service, who has looked at some of Cemetery Island's archived material….more


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The Past Whispers
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