Whitefish Point
In
Chippewa County
Michigan

The town of Whitefish Point was originally an Indian settlement as early as 1744. It isn't until the late 1800's that Whitefish Point was listed in any business directories.

The Whitefish Post Office was established in Whitesfish Point at the Centennial Cranberry Farm on 24 September 1877 with Sylvester P. Mason as the first postmaster. He also owned a hotel and was a dealer in pine lands. E.M Baker had a general store. Wllliam Branding, Charles Endress & Son. Post-Jones & Co. and S. G. Teeple were involved in fishing. George Brown dealt in furs and game.

The lighthouse keeper was Charles. J. Kinke and the assistant keeper was Nicholas Oangrew.

John Clarke was the postmaster at the Whitefish Point Post Office from 1883-1893.

By 1905 the population was 200. The first school was built in the late 1800's. It burned down and was replaced only to have another fire in 1919. The third school was built in 1920 and by 1939 the children were transported to Paradise for schooling. Today little remains of a once busy location that shipped fish to major ports on the lakes.

Jennie (Grough) House was postmaster of Whitefish Point from 1907-1916 and Abigail (Phelps) Clarke from 1916-1918. The Whitefish Point Post Office discontinued operation on February 15, 1974, along with zip code 49798;

Source: Paul Petosky as well as the Chippewa Genelaogical Society
Photo fromLights of Lake Superior


LIST OF POSTMASTERS WHO SERVED AT THE WHITEFISH POINT, MI POST OFFICE

Sylvester P. Mason...........September 24, 1877
Charles W. Endress...........September 15, 1879
Ezekiel M. Baker................November 22, 1880
Charles J. Linke.................October 10, 1881
John Clarke.........................May 2, 1883
John M. Greig......................January 25, 1893
Jennie House......................March 2, 1907
Abigail Clarke......................April 1, 1916
Mrs. Lula Guenther.............June 17, 1918
Frank P. Pickett...................April 21, 1936
Mrs. Esther O. Pickett.........January 4, 1940
Thomas W. Brown...............February 24, 1942
Mrs. Rena E. Morris.............August 5, 1942
Joseph B. Kingsbury...........March 17, 1949
Albert Gillingham.................January 15, 1955
Roy Dutcher..........................September 9, 1958 to February 15, 1974
The date the post office discontinued operation, along with zip code 49798;
mail service to Paradise, MI.
Contributed by Paul Petosky


Whitefish Point Historical Sign
Photo by Ben Musielak March 21, 2006.

This Post Office opened just six years after Whitefish Point was settled in 1871 as a landing for the then abundant lumber supplies and as a commercial fishery. Permanent residents received their mail from Sault Ste. Marie. During the summer months mail was delivered by boat three times a week. In severe winter weather dog teams hauled the mail twice a month. In service for nearly a century this post office provides a link with days before lumbermen cut down long stands of pine trees. The office here ceased operation in 1973. (Should read 1974). Contributed by Paul Petosky.




Whitefish Point

Lighthouse Sign

Contributed by Paul Petosky




Great Lakes Shipwrecks Muesum -

Whitefish Point MI

Contributed by Paul Petosky
Photo taken July 2000


Whitefish Point has been called the gravaeyard of Lake Superior. Since navigation began on Lake Superior there has been approximately 550 wrecks. More vessels were lost in the Whitefish Point area than any other part of Lake Superior. There are three major reasons for the high loss of ships in the Whitefish Point area. First the eastern end of the lake is very congested. Where the lake narrows down like a funnel and up and down bound ship traffic must pass. Poor visibility in this congested area from fog, forest fires and snow has caused numerous collisions and groundings. Finally the nature of the largest lake itself with the great expanse of over 200 miles of open water can build up terrific seas during a Superior "Northwestern" storm. Collisions were more common in earlier times because their were more vessels. In the 1880's over 3100 commercial vessels were on the lakes compared to less than 200 today. Since the first know shipwreck of a commercial vessel, the "Invincible" in November 1816 to the Edmund Fitzgerald on Novemter 10, 1975, approximately 321 lives have been lost in over 300 shipwrecks and accidents in the area known as the graveyard of the Great Lakes. ( Contributed by Paul Petosky)



Whitefish Point, MI (Coast Guard Station) (1936) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

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