Beaver Island – Everything You Need to Know!



Beaver Island


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Beaver Island is a remote island located in Lake Michigan, just off the shores of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The island is a designated wilderness area and parts of it are still actively forested. The Beaver Island Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in the US, dating back to 1825.

Beaver Island

Beaver Island

Beaver Island is in northwestern Lake Michigan, between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. It consists of a narrow island about long by wide.

The entire island rises from the southern end to above sea level at High Bluff Point on its northern shore; behind that point, lower land becomes Michigamme Bay and Orchard Plateau begins (see “Natural features”).

Nearby islands include Isle Royale National Park’s Drummond Islands to the east and Chicago Islands to the south-southwest.

The island is habitat for red branches, American pheasant, moccasin snake, bat deer and yellow perch; among birds are loons (Northeast), bald eagle or white ibis (Southwestern) great blue heron or whirling dervish.

Beaver Island has several types of forests with stands of trembling aspen being predominant in the northern half.. Wildlife ref.

Lighthouse on Beaver Island

Lighthouse on Beaver Island

Beaver Island is an island between Round and Michigamme bays of Lake Michigan, , about west-southwest (downwind) from Milwaukee.

The Illinois territory extended all the way to Lake Huron at that time; Wisconsin came in 1836 when it was ceded by Congress as a terminal area for American Indian tribes present there – but not on Beaver Island, which remained under federal jurisdiction until 1854.

The United States had gained such control in the 1820s over its Indian territories west of Louisiana Purchase, when they were ceded by their American inhabitants after breaking away from Great Britain following the war of 1812 to create a united United States.

It was not until that year however, with passage into law of legislation giving Congress exclusive power to exclude (with rare exceptions) all unauthorized non-Indians from self-governing areas within any US section. Thus Wisconsin and.

History of the island

History of the island

The first recorded American European visit to the island dates from 1764, when Jean Baptiste Turbocus, a French trader on Lake Michigan’s Green Bay bank lived there long enough to write an account in his journal “Journal of a voyage up the Great Lakes”, which he referred only as ‘Beaver’.

Son and grandson Lewellys came around 1800. The Canadian-born Charles Gordon set foot here in 1805; after two years.

Wildlife on Beaver Island

Wildlife on Beaver Island

Beaver Island is a state park in Lake Michigan, the only island of its kind and has been listed since 1967 on the National Register of Historic Places. There are 450 native plant species there.

The wildlife includes bald eagles (“Haliaeetus leucocephalus”); ospreys (such as Great Blue Heron); ferruginous hawks (“Buteo regalis”); peregrine falcons: be aver, muskrat, mink and six varieties of otter.

Beaver Island also has a huge colony of burrowing owls which can longer be found on that island in the wild due with their decreasing numbers. The Beavers have 4 different types within the park boundary; Cumberland Beaver (Alcedo castro); Fox Squirrel (Neozapus foederatus) , Stoat or Shrew-bats are present as.

The island’s natural resources

The island's natural resources

Tweedsmuir did not acquire Beaver Island as a result of title proceedings or settlement in the District Court, and therefore obtains only what it saved through due diligence.

He had purchased for $40 over two years earlier from an Indian to whom even he acknowledged no legal right whatever thereto; “The rights” which that older owner held were recognized by him who was…inalienable title from those times since when both Chippewas and Ojibeways occupied it and were living there in 1804.” He left to “settlers,” where after he died, his neighbors laid claim to it on the ground of Indian grant from Crown. They resided for some time. In 1811, a private act gave them confirmed title; two years after that their grant was sold by public auction over a series of tracts altogether about 400 acres (1)..

Recreation on the island

Recreation on the island

A special account of the recreational amenities is available in The Beaver Island Archives. In July 1957 Robinson Park’s campgrounds, lodge and caretaker residence were completed (2)..

The island has its own post office with two other lighthouse stations also on it: Sandy Point Lighthouse Station Fire Tower – 16 Iron Bluff Road; Lockport Headlands Preserve Area – Hwy 11 mile north of Mackinaw City Michigan. The island’s natural environment is fragile, and therefore it has been set aside as a wildlife sanctuary.

Tweedsmuir Island Park, Inc (TOHMS) was formed in 1926 to give the interested populace access to some of its land that had previously been inaccessible due to ownership disputes. TOHMS now leases out more than 1 mi2 (16 acres). The company does not own much property but offers canoe trips for $4 adults.

Climate of the island


While it is not possible to go out and explore the Island in person, there are many people who can show you its natural beauty. As a visitor’s center we recommend visiting for information about museums, hotels-motels and other attractions that interest visitors from around the world..



The history of beaver hunting on the island

The earliest recorded use of the island as beaver hunting grounds is shown by a treaty signed between French and Indian in 1760, documents revealing that furs were initially caught from 1670 to1795 (1).

The first annual report about trade with fur traders on Beaver Island lists twenty-three berths. The same year published guidebooks called for Canadians to fill up their live lined and packed marten, wolf and mink skins at Mich ilimackinac, Chippewa and other places in the area made the most of beaver between 1755 to 1810. As neither Indian nor French were successful out at sea they understood that they had to make use of land or lodge on shore (1).

The current state of beaver populations on the island

Beaver populations have been decreasing due to human activity for many years and the biggest decline was probably caused by overhunting between 1870 and 1880, when their range in Michigan began contracting (1). The species also has disappeared from most of what is now mainland United States, but Beaver Island still holds out as exceptional among areas that once were endemic. There are an estimated 10 000 lodges on the island which represents 80% of all known reserves globally . Beaver populations on the island have been steadily increasing since then, so some area of beaver are now probably in better situation than others (1).

Beavers can live at lower elevations. Their distribution is narrow where they once extended over most of Canada and United States. There was no single point including all the original range; rather it was a series from south to north around today’s Lake Superior fringing those states that were known to have.


The 1830s seemed to have the first complete census of fur traders travelling through and among American’s most remote places. It seems eastern side was not so thoroughly exploited in comparison with areas around Lake Erie, probably because beaver did not survive there as well. Beaver Island remained unchanged from that period; but it appears that on opposite shore an oceanic fishing economy emerged over decades before western Michigan became a manufacturing state.


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