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Michigan Island lightkeeper's log book found half century later
12 years of lost history were recovered after the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore received the Michigan Island's lighthouse log book. Brad Phenow reports.
It had been gathering dust on a shelf since 1956.
Jacklan Brant of Potosi in southeastern Wisconsin, was reading the newspaper when she ran across an article about the restoration of the Michigan Island lighthouse. That jogged her memory about a promise she made several years ago. After Jacklan's father died in 1972, her mother passed on the log book.
"She gave me this books and said itís your job to get this book back there someday for your dad, and so that's what motivated me to get that book back."
Jacklan's father, Robert Muller found the lighthouse keeper's log book during a hunting trip to Michigan Island in 1956. He decided to take it with him to keep it from being destroyed by nature's elements.
"We've been through there and I would never remember to bring the book, it just didn't register in my mind to get it back up there until I saw that article in the paper, and we were going to Grand Marais anyway, and so I said that's got to go, that's got to go back now"
The log book is in excellent condition, and holds 12 years of history of lighthouse keeper Edward J. Lane from 1914-1926. The only other known log book from Michigan Island covered 1926-1936. Edward Lane was the lighthouse keeper from 1902-1939.
Apostle Islands Assistant Education Chief Neil Howk says they usually talked about things like the weather, boats that would stop, and daily chores. Occasionally there were unusual occurrences like people who were in distress.
"There was one entry in the log book that related to a time back in November of 1924 where one of the assistant keepers from the Raspberry Island lighthouse took the station boat all the way up to Michigan to notify the keepers that the head keepers at Raspberry had passed away. This had been a close friend of Mr. Lane. His wife wanted Mr. Lane to be sure to get the news so that he could attend his friends funeral the following day in Bayfield."
Howk says they will display the book, and will also use the information for the series of exhibits of the old Michigan Lighthouse.
"What we want to tell out there is the story of what was going on at the time when the light house was built, why was the lighthouse built at that location, what were some of the challenges about living on the island. The information from this log book will give us a clearer picture of what life was like for the lighthouse keepers."
Jacklan says she plans on visiting the exhibits once restoration is completed. She wants to see the book, where is belongs.Previous KUWS Articles:
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