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La Pointe, Wisconsin

La Pointe, Wisconsin

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Encyclopedia
La Pointe is a town in Ashland County in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. The town includes all of the Apostle Islands
Apostle Islands
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. The majority of the islands are located in Ashland County—only Sand, York, Eagle, and Raspberry Islands are located in Bayfield County...

. There is also an unincorporated community named La Pointe
La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
La Pointe is an unincorporated community located in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. This community, , is located on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands...

 on Madeline Island
Madeline Island
Madeline Island is an island of the U.S. state of Wisconsin located in Lake Superior approximately two miles northeast of Bayfield, Wisconsin, and connected to that town seasonally by a 20 minute ferry ride or an ice road. It is the largest of the Apostle Islands, although it is not included...

, the largest of the Apostle Islands
Apostle Islands
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. The majority of the islands are located in Ashland County—only Sand, York, Eagle, and Raspberry Islands are located in Bayfield County...

 (and the only one open for commercial development). The population was 246 at the 2000 census. Its name in the Anishinaabe language is Mooningwanekaaning, meaning "The Home of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker (see:Yellow-shafted Flicker)."

History


La Pointe was originally the site of a fortified
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 trading post
Trading post
A trading post was a place or establishment in historic Northern America where the trading of goods took place. The preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route....

 from 1693-1698, and 1718-1759. The current city developed as an American Fur Company
American Fur Company
The American Fur Company was founded by John Jacob Astor in 1808. The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest businesses in the country. The company was one the first great trusts in American business...

 outpost, beginning in the late 18th century under the leadership of Michel Cadotte
Michel Cadotte
Michel Cadotte 1764-1837 or was a Métis fur trader who dominated business in the area of the south shore of Lake Superior. He gained a strategic alliance through marriage into the Owaazsii clan of the Anishinaabeg...

.

According to William Whipple Warren
William Whipple Warren
William Whipple Warren was a mixed-blood Ojibwe historian, interpreter, and legislator in the Minnesota Territory. He moved from Wisconsin to Crow Wing in the fall of 1845. Warren suffered from lung problems for many years and died as a young man of 28 from tuberculosis on June 1, 1853.-Early life...

's History of the Ojibway People (19xx), Moningwunakuaning "is the spot on which the Ojibway tribe first grew, and like a tree it has spread its branches in every direction, in the bands that now [1885] occupy the vast extent of the Ojibway earth; and also that 'it is the root from which all the far scattered villages of the tribe have sprung.'"

Warren, whose mother was French-Ojibwe, learned from maternal tribal elders that the Ojibway originally lived near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. At the time of great sickness and death, the Great Spirit interceded through Manabosho, a common uncle of the Anishinubag (spontaneous people). Through the discovery of the snakeroot they were granted the rite, enabled through their Medawe (religion) 'wherewith life is restored and prolonged.' The great Megis (sea-shell) showed itself as a glossy thing reflecting on the sea. It led them first to a place near Montreal where they stayed for some time. Next it led them to Boweting (Sault St. Marie). Again they stayed for some time. At last it led them to Moningwunakauning (La Pointe, Madeline Island) 'where it has ever since reflected back the rays of the sun, and blessed our ancestors with life, light and wisdom,'says Warren. So the flickering shaft of light is the Megis, and La Pointe is the center of the Earth for the Ojibway.

Kechewaishke, commonly known as Chief Buffalo, was an Ojibwa
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

 leader born at La Pointe in 1759. Recognized as the principal chief of the Lake Superior Chippewa
Lake Superior Chippewa
The Lake Superior Chippewa were a historical band of Ojibwe Indians living around Lake Superior in what is now the northern parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.-Origins:...

 (Ojibwa) for nearly a half-century until his death in 1855, he led his nation into a treaty relationship with the United States Government signing treaties in 1825, 1826, 1837, 1842, 1847, and 1854. He was also instrumental in resisting the efforts of the United States to remove
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 the Chippewa and in securing permanent reservations
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 for his people near Lake Superior.

Today, the town's history is preserved at Madeline Island Historical Museum
Madeline Island Historical Museum
Madeline Island Historical Museum is a museum operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society in the town of La Pointe, Wisconsin. As the institution's name suggests, it is located upon Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior...

.

Community


Main article: La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
La Pointe is an unincorporated community located in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. This community, , is located on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands...



While the area encompassing the Town of La Pointe is made up of the entire Apostle Islands
Apostle Islands
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. The majority of the islands are located in Ashland County—only Sand, York, Eagle, and Raspberry Islands are located in Bayfield County...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

, the residents of the town live almost exclusively on Madeline Island
Madeline Island
Madeline Island is an island of the U.S. state of Wisconsin located in Lake Superior approximately two miles northeast of Bayfield, Wisconsin, and connected to that town seasonally by a 20 minute ferry ride or an ice road. It is the largest of the Apostle Islands, although it is not included...

, because Madeline is the only Apostle Island that is open to commercial development. This unincorporated community
La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
La Pointe is an unincorporated community located in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. This community, , is located on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands...

 has 247 year-round residents, according to the 2000 census.

The community is located along the western shore of the island. The downtown area is located adjacent to the Madeline Island Ferry dock. There is a local post office on the main street, with a zip code of 54850.

Tourism


Tourism makes up a large part of the local economy. La Pointe, as well as Bayfield
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield is a city in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 611 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Henry Bayfield, a British Royal Topographic Engineer who explored the region in 1822-23....

 (on the mainland) have become a very popular tourist destination during the summertime, when many local events are scheduled.

Downtown La Pointe offers many bars
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

, restaurants, and other amenities. Camping, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor recreational activities
Outdoor recreation
Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity is leisure pursuits engaged in outside, especially in natural or semi-natural settings out of town...

 are abundant and popular on the island.

Travel


Madeline Island and the town of La Pointe are accessible by using the Madeline Island Ferry Line. The ferry line's steel-hulled car/passenger ferries depart from Bayfield
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield is a city in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 611 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Henry Bayfield, a British Royal Topographic Engineer who explored the region in 1822-23....

 on a set schedule. Many attractions on the island are within walking distance of the ferry dock, such as the museum and library. However, it may be necessary to bring a vehicle across on the ferry boat, in order to reach attractions that are further away, such as Big Bay State Park
Big Bay State Park
Big Bay State Park is in the U.S. state of Wisconsin on Madeline Island, the largest of 22 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The park has picturesque sandstone bluffs and caves and a long sand beach. It encloses unique habitat types including lakeside dunes, sphagnum bogs, and old-growth forest...

.

There is also a public boat marina, located near the ferry dock.

Ground transportation to the island during the winter (late December through February) is by way of an ice road
Ice road
Ice roads are frozen, human-made structures on the surface of bays, rivers, lakes, or seas in the far north. They link dry land, frozen waterways, portages and winter roads, and are usually remade each winter. Ice roads allow temporary transport to areas with no permanent road access...

, which is open when ice levels are safe enough for vehicles to pass.

The Madeline Island Airport is a general aviation airport that features a 3,000 foot by 75 foot landing strip, as well as overnight tie downs and an array of other services.

Geography


Madeline Island is located in the Chequamegon Bay area of Lake Superior.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the town has a total area of 78.0 square miles (201.9 km²), of which, 77.6 square miles (200.9 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (0.50%) is water.

Demographics


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 246 people, 125 households, and 66 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 3.2 people per square mile (1.2/km²). There were 692 housing units at an average density of 8.9 per square mile (3.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.72% White, 1.63% Native American, 0.41% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.41% of the population.

There were 125 households out of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.4% were non-families. 40.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.96 and the average family size was 2.64.

In the town the population was spread out with 19.1% under the age of 18, 2.8% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 34.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 119.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 116.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,500, and the median income for a family was $42,708. Males had a median income of $29,583 versus $31,042 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the town was $23,352. None of the families and 4.6% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 2.1% of those over 64.

Notable people

  • Kechewaishke, Native American leader
  • Thomas D. O'Brien
    Thomas D. O'Brien
    Thomas D. O'Brien was an American lawyer, judge, and academic from Minnesota. He was one of the five co-founders of William Mitchell College of Law and a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court....

    , Justice of the Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

     Supreme Court
  • Ozhaguscodaywayquay
    Ozhaguscodaywayquay
    Ozhaguscodaywayquay , also called Neengay or Susan Johnston , was an important figure in the later Great Lakes fur trade. She was born into an Ojibwe family near La Pointe, Wisconsin...

    , noted Native American businesswoman
  • William Whipple Warren
    William Whipple Warren
    William Whipple Warren was a mixed-blood Ojibwe historian, interpreter, and legislator in the Minnesota Territory. He moved from Wisconsin to Crow Wing in the fall of 1845. Warren suffered from lung problems for many years and died as a young man of 28 from tuberculosis on June 1, 1853.-Early life...

    , Minnesota Territory
    Minnesota Territory
    The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

     legislator

See also

  • La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
    La Pointe (community), Wisconsin
    La Pointe is an unincorporated community located in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. This community, , is located on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands...

  • Big Bay State Park
    Big Bay State Park
    Big Bay State Park is in the U.S. state of Wisconsin on Madeline Island, the largest of 22 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The park has picturesque sandstone bluffs and caves and a long sand beach. It encloses unique habitat types including lakeside dunes, sphagnum bogs, and old-growth forest...

  • Islands of the Midwest
    Islands of the Midwest
    This is a partial list of islands of the Midwestern United States. -Illinois:*Bardwell Island*Campbell's Island*Chouteau Island*Dillon Island*Gabaret Island*Goose Island...

  • List of islands of the United States
  • Islands of the Great Lakes
    Islands of the Great Lakes
    The Great Lakes islands consist of 35,000 islands created by uneven glacial activity in the Great Lakes Basin. The largest of these is Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron in Canada's province of Ontario...

  • Wisconsin Tourism

External links