La Pointe, Wisconsin

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This article is about the unicorporated community. For the Town in which the community is located, see La Pointe (town), Wisconsin.
La Pointe, Wisconsin
Unincorporated community
La Pointe 12.jpg
Location of La Pointe, Wisconsin
Location of La Pointe, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 46°49.0′N 90°41.8′W / 46.8167°N 90.6967°W / 46.8167; -90.6967
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Ashland
Area
 • Total 78.0 sq mi (201.9 km2)
 • Land 77.6 sq mi (200.9 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 774 ft (236 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 246
 • Density 3.2/sq mi (1.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-42562[2]
GNIS feature ID 1583529[1]
Website Official website
The Madeline Island Museum documents the island's history, and is located near the ferry dock.

La Pointe is an unincorporated community located in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. This community, (the populated area of the La Pointe Township), is located on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands. La Pointe has a post office with ZIP code 54850.[3]

While the area encompassing the Town of La Pointe is made up of the entire Apostle Islands archipelago, the residents of the community live almost exclusively on Madeline Island, because Madeline is the only Apostle Island that is open to commercial development.[4] There are 247 year-round residents in the unincorporated community, according to the 2000 census.[5]

The community is located along the western shore of the island. The downtown area is located adjacent to the Madeline Island Ferry dock.

History[edit]

La Pointe was originally the site of a fortified French trading post from 1693–1698, and 1718-1759. The current city developed as an American Fur Company outpost, beginning in the late 18th century under the leadership of Michel Cadotte.[6]

According to William Whipple Warren's History of the Ojibway People (18xx), 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 leader born at La Pointe in 1759. Recognized as the principal chief of the Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwa)[7] 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 the Chippewa and in securing permanent reservations for his people near Lake Superior.

Today, the town's history is preserved at Madeline Island Historical Museum.[8]

Tourism[edit]

Tourism makes up a large part of the local economy. La Pointe, as well as Bayfield (on the mainland) have become a very popular tourist destination during the summertime, when many local events are scheduled.[9]

Downtown La Pointe offers many bars, restaurants, and other amenities. Camping, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor recreational activities are abundant and popular on the island.[10]

Travel[edit]

Photograph of a Madeline Island Ferry Boat.
Passengers on the Madeline Island Ferry boat, awaiting their arrival to the Island.

Madeline Island and the town of La Pointe are accessible by using the Madeline Island Ferry line.[11] The ferry line's steel-hulled car/passenger ferries depart from Bayfield 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.

There is also a public boat marina, located near the ferry dock.[12]

Ground transportation to the island during the winter (late December through February) is by way of an ice road, which is open when ice levels are safe enough for vehicles to pass.[13]

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.[14]

Geography[edit]

Madeline Island is located in the Chequamegon Bay area of Lake Superior.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, 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[edit]

The Madeline Island Post Office. The historic building used to be part of the Old Mission, which was the first Protestant mission on the island.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 246 people, 125 households, and 66 families residing in the town. The population density 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, 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 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 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.

Coordinates: 46°46.8′N 90°47.2′W / 46.7800°N 90.7867°W / 46.7800; -90.7867

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ ZIP Code Lookup
  4. ^ Madelineisland.com
  5. ^ Madelineisland.com
  6. ^ Madelineisland.com
  7. ^ Although the original term Ojibwe as "Ojibwa" is now preferred to its English corruption "Chippewa," Chippewa has historically been the dominant English usage, was used in treaties with the United States, and remains part of the official name of many tribal groups: Lake Superior Chippewa, Red Cliff Chippewa, etc.
  8. ^ State Historical Society
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ [6]
  15. ^ [7]

External links[edit]