Summer Island is an island in Lake Michigan. It is located 2.5 miles (4 km) miles off the southern tip of the Garden Peninsula in the state of Michigan. The island can easily be seen from Fairport, on the southern end of Delta County Road 483, the locally maintained extension of M-183, but the island is not accessible to the general public.
The island is part of the Niagara Escarpment archipelago in northwestern Lake Michigan. The highest point in Summer Island is 710 feet (217 m) above sea level, and 129 feet (40 m) above the level of the lake. One of the most prominent shoreline features of Summer Island is Gravel Point, a northern headland that stretches toward the Garden Peninsula mainland. More than one-half of the island is owned by the state of Michigan and is administered as part of Lake Superior State Forest.
Summer Island Site
On the island's northeast side, two shallow points protect Summer Harbor, a small maritime shelter and site of a former settlement. Summer Harbor is adjacent to the location of an archeological landmark that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Summer Island Site. Pottery recovered here indicate that the island may have been inhabited since the Middle Woodland period (circa 1 CE - 500 CE).
During the 19th century, Summer Harbor was a fishing station for the harvesting of lake trout and whitefish, and also served as a place to live for a small corps of loggers that harvested the island's timber. In the early 20th century, Summer Harbor was again abandoned.
- "Summer Island Collection", Wayne State University Museum of Anthropology, accessed August 1, 2007.