Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Part III: The "Water Lily"

Here is a picture of the Water Lily, Kauppi's first ferry boat sailing between Copper Harbor and Isle Royale. He began his charter service in 1930 and it proved to be successful. Of course before that there were several ways to get to the island: from Houghton on boats or seaplane; by one or more passenger vessels which sailed around Lake Superior and other Great Lakes; and from Grand Portage, Minnesota, and probably Port Arthur on Thunder Bay, Canada. In fact, I once saw an ad for a round trip from Buffalo, Ohio, to Isle Royale for $29.00.

The picture you see here was taken after Kauppi sold the vessel to Ed Olson (he is the one with a cap on leaning out of the window). The others in the picture are my Uncle Jack Kilpela and his two sons, Lawrence and Howard. There may have been other owners after Olson but I am aware of only one, John Fallon, of Hancock, Michigan. My youngest son, Capt. John, is betrothed to John Fallon's youngest daughter, Stefanie. Before he passed away in 2006, Fallon told me that he was the last owner and after that the boat was demolished probably by burning it. He kept the sidelights for a souvenir.

Ed Olson told me that for a few years he ran fishing charters to Isle Royale with the Water Lily out of Eagle Harbor, it being an attractive spot to embark for the island because it was the nearest Michigan port to the island, only 48 statute miles. I suspect the picture was taken at Olson's dock in Eagle Harbor.


Unknown said...


Just hit your blog on this dreary but mild, lazy sunday morning. You've done a wonderful job as usual. I only had to look up a single word, avocation. Perfect use according to Websters.

I miss you. And I love you.....


patschmid said...

pCapt. Don,

Very complete and infomative blog. I very much enjoyed reading it. What a wonderful tool the internet can be.

Thanks for your effort in constructing it.