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Bois Blanc Island

Photo-Boise Blanc LighthouseOn August 3, 1795, Chippewa Chief Matchekewis ceded Bois Blanc to the United States as part of the treaty of Greenville. The cession also included most of Ohio, part of Indiana, sixteen strategic sites on Michigan waterways and Mackinac Island. During the War of 1812, U.S. Navy Captain Arthur Sinclair's fleet took shelter at the island while waiting to attack the British at Fort Mackinac. In 1880 the island provided a haven to alleged murderer Henry English who escaped from Pennsylvania authorities before his trial. He was apprehended on Bois Blanc by Pinkerton agents, returned to Pennsylvania and acquitted. During the twentieth century, Bois Blanc's wilderness supported a lucrative lumber industry before giving way to tourism. Although primarily a resort in 1990, the island had forty-five permanent residents.

Bois Blanc Island, known as "Bob-lo" to area residents, is twelve miles long, six miles wide and has six lakes. In 1827 the United States government platted the island. The U.S. Coast Guard established a life-saving station at Walkers Point in 1890. The following year the Pointe Aux Pins Association was formed. In 1908, on behalf of the association, President Walter B. Webb hired the Mason L. Brown Company, a Detroit surveying firm, to plat and record the Point Aux Pins subdivision. Pointe Aux Pins was the first resort community on the island. Much of Bois Blanc Island is state-owned forest land containing White and Norway pines that tower two hundred feet tall. As recently as the 1950s, Bois Blanc provided lumber to Mackinac Island where woodcutting is prohibited.

FEATURED CANOE & KAYAK GUIDES, OUTFITTERS, RENTALS & LIVERIES

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REGULAR CANOE & KAYAK GUIDES, OUTFITTERS, RENTALS & LIVERIES

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