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La Pointe: Village Outpost on Madeline Island

La Pointe: Village Outpost on Madeline Island
La Pointe: Village Outpost on Madeline Island
Hardcover: $34.95
200 pp, illustrated, maps
ISBN: 9780870203206

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale
Price: $34.95
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Product Details
By Hamilton Nelson Ross

The Society Press has republished a long-out-of-print classic of Wisconsin history, La Pointe: Village Outpost, by Hamilton Nelson Ross (1889-1957). The book, which first appeared in 1960, provides a 300-year history of La Pointe, a community on Madeline Island, one of Lake Superior's Apostle Islands.

With flair, humor, and solid scholarship, Ross tells the story of the region's evolution. Madeline Island served initially as a refuge for the local Ojibway from their enemy the Sioux before the arrival of French explorers in 1659, then an epicenter of the fur-trade era in the eighteenth century, and finally a summer vacation spot for businessmen and industrialists. Today the island attracts thousands of summer tourists who vastly outnumber the 200 or so year-round residents.

Ross first visited Madeline Island from his native Beloit as an eight-year-old, returning again and again over his lifetime to the Ross family cabin in La Pointe. His years of careful study and observation served him well. Ross told the region's story so eloquently that his book helped persuade Congress and the President in 1970 to preserve the islands in perpetuity as the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.


Hamilton Nelson Ross, a native of Beloit, became acquainted with the village of La Point in 1894 when he first visited Madeline Island as a boy. In the years that followed, he explored the Apostles, his curiosity piqued by stories he heard about the history of the region, and began his lifelong search of the historical truth that lay beyond folklore and legend. Better than anyone before or since, he came to know the islanders and their lives intimately.