Chippewa County

Photo above - Vermilion Coast Guard Station March 1941 - contributed by Paul Petosky

Frank F. Petosky 1919

His first U.S. Coast Guard uniform. His first duty station was at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Marquette, MI, where he was stationed for eight years, and off and on at this station over his 28 year career. He was Keeper-In-Charge at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Vermilion, MI from 1939-1941. He was in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1919-1947, and retired at the rank of Chief Boatswains Mate. The highest in the enlisted ranks in those days.

Contributed by his son, Paul Petosky

Captains Quarters, Vermilion Coast Guard Station.

This is where Paul Petosky stayed when he was a baby.

His father Frank F. Petosky, at the time was Keeper-In-Charge, along with his mother, Hazel P. (McMullen) Petosky.

When WWII broke out his father was transferred.

Paul Petosky

Captain's Quarters July 25, 2000

Has now been restored

Western Union Telegram

To Captain Samuel F. Bernier,

Keeper-In-Charge at Vermilion Point Life-Saving Station,

dated December 4, 1897 from Thompson Tug Lines.

Contributed by Paul Petosky

Vermilion was named for the red ochre that the Indians used for paint It was a naturaI stopping point along the Lake Superior shore and had been used by the voyageurs as well as Henry Schoolcraft when he was conducting business with the Indians throughout his assigned territory. It became a life-saving station. Those duties were eventually taken over by the Coast Guard but at the time that it was an active station, life was hard. Families were isolated in the winter with mail delivery by dog sled the only contact with the outside world.

William H. Clarke was named the first postmaster in May of 1896. Kate Carpenter was postmaster in 1905 and William Clarke again in 1909. In 1905 the population was listed as 25. John Clarke, Alex Barclay, and Fred Weatherhog were involved in growing cranberries. A. Laford and A.H. Lamitzke were barbers. Philip Eby was a taxidermist and C. Shipley was a painter. J.A. Carpenter was keeper of the life-saving station. By 1915 little had changed except W.J. McGraw was postmaster and barber. John Anderson was a boat builder. Albert James was a cooper making barrels for the shipping of fish and cranberries and John Clarke and Fred Weatherhog were still growing cranberries. The settlement was abandoned in 1943.
Source - Chippewa Genealogical Society

Vermilion, MI Post Office was originally established and spelled Vermillion (with two l's) on May 23, 1896 with William H. Clarke as its first postmaster. He was the son of John & Priscilla Clarke, who owned the Centennial Cranberry Farm at Whitefish Point. He is also my great cousin. Spelling changed to Vermilion (one l) on June 27, 1896.

Postmasters that served at the Vermilion, MI Post Office are listed as follows:
William H. Clarke..............May 23, 1896
Kate Carpenter.................June 15, 1904
William H. Clarke..............October 7, 1905
William J. McGaw.............August 7, 1914
Jennie Williamson............January 13, 1917
Eva M. Wood.....................February 6, 1920
Sarah A. Masse.................December 17, 1921 to October 31, 1922 the date it discontinued operation; with mail service to Whitefish Point.
Contributed by Paul Petosky

U.S. Coast Guard Station, Vermilion.

This photo was taken after it was abandonded.

Contributed by Paul Petosky

Photo contributed by Paul Petosky - This was the residence (March 1941) at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Vermilion, MI where Paul and his family stayed until WWII broke out, then his father (Frank F. Petosky) who took this photo was transferred. At the time he was Keeper-In-Charge at Vermilion. The residence had 19 rooms and 22 windows.

See Article on S.I. Kimball
General Superintendent Vermilion Station 1896-97