Great Lakes fishing history has led to a segment of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore being named to the National Register of Historic Places.
Listing of the Rocky Island Historic District recognizes the historic significance of the island's fish camp, as well as the stories it tells of the area’s commercial fishing heritage. The Historic District encompasses a complex of publicly-owned dwellings and other structures along the eastern shoreline of Rocky Island. Significant from 1931-1958, the District is comprised of the Hadland; Benson; Edwards; Nelson; and Erickson Fish Camps.
According to Apostle Islands officials, "the structures and landscape features of the historic district reflect an economic and cultural system that once was a dominant factor, not only in the Apostle Islands archipelago, but in much of the Lake Superior region; small-scale commercial fishing operation practiced by Northern European immigrants and their extended families. The majority of the Rocky Island fishermen were Scandinavian immigrants, primarily from Norway, and the district retains many characteristics of this ethnic heritage."
"I'm delighted that the historic fishing village at Rocky Island has now been officially listed on the National Register” says Apostle Islands Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “It's a testament to the hardy fishermen that struggled to make a living on Lake Superior in all kinds of weather, and how one can't tell the story of this national park without including both nature and people, and how they've changed each other."
While portions of the Rocky Island Historic District remain under life estates negotiated when the properties were purchased to establish the park, strategies for the long-term management of the district in the public interest will be determined by the park's General Management Plan. The plan is expected to be released for public comment in the summer of 2009.