MV La Pointe

MV La Pointe, Newest Madeline Island Ferry arriving at the La Pointe Town Dock

Madeline Island Ferry Line was looking at options to expand its fleet when in June of 2017 they became aware of a former State of Texas ferry—the B.L. DeBerry—in a small Chicago shipyard in the preliminary stages of being reconfigured to use as a river cruise boat. The Ferry Line found it to be in excellent condition and when the owner decided to put it up for sale the purchase was concluded. In May 2018 the ferry was moved to Fincantieri Ship Yard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for a complete refurbishing, including an all-new pilot house, passenger accommodations, engines, generators, mechanical equipment, hydraulic ramps and state-of-the-art electronics. The new ferry is double-ended which means that it has an engine, propeller, and rudder on each end and will not need to turn around to depart from a dock. It is 102 feet long, 44 feet wide, and can carry 20-22 vehicles and up to 149 passengers. Its width makes for roomier car lanes, easier loading and more room on deck.  

The B.L. Deberry was renamed MV La Pointe, honoring the important sense of place occupied by the town of La Pointe on Madeline Island—an historical geographical landmark for voyageurs and canoe-borne travelers who ventured into the region, home of the Lake Superior Chippewa. Guided by USCG licensed captains, the MV La Pointe made a 2 1/2-day, nonstop voyage from the shipyard, arriving at the Madeline Island Town Dock at 6:52 p.m. on May 31, 2019. 

Dedication ceremonies for the MV La Pointe were held on Saturday, June 29 on Madeline Island and in Bayfield.

Madeline Island Murals

Learn Madeline Island history while strolling downtown La Pointe.

The Angus Cheese House and Transportation murals are located at the Madeline Island Heritage Center, 273 Colonel Woods Avenue. The Peterson Night mural is located at Island Carvers,  N662 Main Street. The Poppy mural is located behind the Parkside Condominiums, Main Street across from Joni’s Beach.

All murals designed and  painted by Holly Tourdot. The Angus Cheese House, Transportation Mural and Peterson Music Night Murals were supported by a grant from the La Pointe Center for the Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.  Additional funding  for the Peterson Night Mural was provided by Island Carvers.

Bayfield Festival of Arts & Gallery Tour

50 Artists from throughout the Midwest will gather on Saturday, July 20 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, July 21 from 10am to 4pm at Bayfield’s 57th annual Festival of Arts.

This juried arts & crafts show is held in Memorial Park on the scenic shores of Lake Superior in downtown Bayfield. Visitors will find a unique selection of pottery, painting, jewelry, sculpture, glass works, wood carvings, photography and more.

A dozen local galleries and studios open their doors to visitors, offering tours, demonstrations and workshops, featuring multiple mediums and styles, including ceramics, painting, glass blowing and metalworks.

Click here for more information, or call 715-779-3335.

Free and open to the public

Bilingual Sign Project

Gidanamikaagoo Omaa Mooningwanekaaning, that means “welcome to Madeline Island” in Anishinaabe (also called Ojibwe), the native language of the Ojibwe Tribes.

According to Jordyn Flaadda, Ojibwe language translator,

“Madeline Island is often called the spiritual home of the Ojibwe people, who have lived here since hundreds of years before the first arrival of European fur traders and missionaries. Madeline Island is named in English for Madeleine Cadotte (Ikwesewe), a prominent local nineteenth-century Ojibwe woman whose father was the chief Waabajijaak and whose husband was Michel Cadotte (Gichi-miishen), a fur trader of Ojibwe and French ancestry. In Ojibwe the island’s name is Mooningwanekaaning after mooningwaneg, the birds called flickers in English. Many place names in Wisconsin come from the Ojibwe language because of the Ojibwe people’s long history in the area and the use of Ojibwe as a lingua franca during the time of the fur trade. The Ojibwe language signs on Madeline Island today represent traditional place names as well as modern names for places such as the gas station and the city park, a reflection of the history and future of the Ojibwe language here on Mooningwanekaaning.”

While visiting Madeline Island you can explore Ojibwe history at the Madeline Island Museum. The museum’s American Fur Trading room exhibits beaded objects, clothing and tools used in daily life by the Ojibwe people.

Just a short walk or drive from downtown La Pointe and located off Old Fort Road (near the marina) on Chief Buffalo Lane are the Old Indian Cemetery and the Ojibwe National Prayer Pole and Memorial Park. A historical marker commemorates the site of the St. Joseph Mission Cemetery (Old Indian Cemetery). Established in about 1836, it is the burial site of Chief Buffalo and Michel Cadotte.  Please view respectfully from outside the fence. Miigwech (Thank you).  The nearby Ojibwe National Prayer Pole and Memorial Park honors the enduring relationship between Ojibwe people and Madeline Island. Sacred cedar and other trees surround a peaceful pond.

Watch the Native Report episode highlighting the signage project and the island’s Ojibwe heritage.

For more information on the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa Indians, please visit the following website:
Native American Tourism of Wisconsin

Links of Interest:
Museum of Ojibwa Culture & Father Marquette Mission Park (St. Ignance, MI)

Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park – Ojibwe Village (Danbury, WI)
 George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center( Lac du Flambeau, WI)