IRFFA Announces 2008 Summer Meeting in Rock Harbor
Overhead photo of Rock Harbor
Royale Families and Friends Association will hold its summer meeting on July 20th
2008 in Rock Harbor at the Guest House. We will be having a members meeting at
3pm EDT. This will be followed by dinner at 6pm EDT along with an evening
program put on by the family members, all of which will be open to the public
and park staff. More details will follow regarding the evening program.
IRFFA WINTER MEETING IN DULUTH WAS A BIG SUCCESS
Don Stevens speaking to IRFFA
Royale Families and Friends Association met in Duluth on January 19th
at the Inn on Lake Superior. The meeting was an all day affair which consisted
of a morning members meeting and an afternoon public meeting which included Dr.
Don Stevens, National Park Service Historian, and Dr. Phil Scarpino, hired by
NPS to do a context study on the remaining families on Isle Royale. The meeting
was followed by a dinner and program attended by 75 families and friends.
morning meeting IRFFA accepted the resignation of Jim Anderson of Johnson
Island, Isle Royale from the board of directors of IRFFA. Many thanks go out to
Jim for the wise counsel that he gave during his 4 years on the board. Jim was
replaced by Nancy Ousley of Seattle Washington. Nancy has a Masters Degree in
Public Administration along with wide range of experience in the area of
planning and preservation. IRFFA is very pleased to welcome her to our board
and we feel that she will make a valuable contribution to our organization. She
will serve out the remaining two years of Jim Anderson’s term.
meeting was a public event attended by approximately 35 people. Don Stevens and
Phil Scarpino were our featured guests. They were joined by Liz Valencia, Chief
of Cultural Resources and Interpretation at Isle Royale via conference call. Liz
discussed up coming events this summer on the island, which include the 50th
anniversary of the wolf/moose study, and the 50th birthday of the
Ranger III which will be making 5 trips to Windigo. Upcoming projects on the
island include completion of the Windigo dorm, dock work in McCargo Cove, and
Malone Bay, construction of a new rec hall for Rock Harbor Lodge employees and
the awarding of a new contract for the Grand Portage ferry.
projects include the stabilization of the Siefert Cabin, transcription and
indexing oral history tapes, preparation of a cultural landscape report on
Barnum/Washington Island, stabilization of the Johns Hotel and Crystal Cove and
the rehab of the Rock Harbor auditorium.
NPS is planning on correcting Museum Collection Checklist Deficiencies, rehab
the Rock Harbor Visitor Center and develop a Cultural Resources Management Plan
(CRMP). Regarding the CRMP, Liz advised that there are no plans to do an
ethnography of the families. But she indicated that she felt it might be a good
idea. Funding to do the plan is not expected until 2011, but Liz hoped it would
be moved up on the priority list.
Liz’s update a discussion with Don Stevens and the group focused on Cultural
Landscapes on Isle Royale. Don indicated that IRFFA and the families could
possibly be part of the development of the CRMP and the Cultural Landscape plan.
IRFFA looks forward to working with NPS on this.
updated us on his context study. He would like to go back to the island to do
more research. He indicated that a draft of his report will be out soon. IRFFA
asked to review the draft for comment before it comes out officially. Phil
agreed to that. Our meeting wrapped up around 4pm.
The IRFFA dinner was attended by 75, the largest attendance in the 6 events we
have held. After dinner a video tribute by Dave Stokes of Stokes Media House was
given in honor of Enar Strom and John Snell. Enar passed away on
Barnum Island on
August 20th 2007. Todd Strom followed up with a wonderfully personal
tribute from his family to his dad. We were proud to have Betty Strom, Enar’s
wife in attendance along with many others who came to give tribute and honor
Enar. John Snell passed away in October of 2007. He was a fixture in Tobin
Harbor for the last 84 years. Many of his family members were in attendance at
the meeting to honor John. Please see our “In Memoriam”
section to see more information on John and Enar.
RE-RELEASE OF ISLAND FOLK
Island Folk, by Peter Oikarinen
of Minnesota press has re-released an updated version of Peter Oikarinen’s
beloved “Island Folk”. This classic features 3 new characters, Grant Merritt,
Clint Maxwell, and Howard “Buddy” Sivertson. IRFFA plans to invite as many of
the living characters and or their relatives to our summer meeting in Rock
Harbor on July 20th. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy to can do
so via the below link.
GRANT MERRITT GIVES GREAT LAKE CRUISING CLUB
TALK ON ISLE ROYALE FAMILIES
Grant Merritt Speaking to GLCC
was invited to the Lake Superior, Great Lakes Cruising Club, winter meeting to
give the featured presentation on his stories and families history on Isle
Royale. Grant’s talk is part of an effort by IRFFA to get the histories and
stories of Isle Royale out in the public in order that there be a greater
appreciation and understanding of the unique culture that still exists on Isle
The Great Lake
Cruising Club in a boating organization dating back to the 1930’s which is
dedicated to passionate Great Lakes boaters. There are approximately 1800
members from all 5 lakes. Members tend to be the most knowledgeable and well
travelled boaters on the lakes. Every year the club holds two summer
rendezvous’, one wilderness, and the other non-wilderness. In 2007 GLCC held its
second non-wilderness rendezvous on Lake Superior in its nearly 80 year history.
Many of the members that attended in Duluth made it up to Isle Royale last
summer for the first time.
GLCC & IRFFA members
HALCYON II, CRUISER FAMILIAR TO ISLE ROYALE GOES UP IN FLAMES