In The News, May 9

Ashland Press, May 9, 1877

Fishing activity: Frank Shaw has moved from LaPointe to Ashland Bay to put in pound nets. O’Malley and Shaw (of LaPointe) will have 2 or 3 nets at Lighthouse Point and 6 or 8 at Sand Island this season. Joseph Sexton will be going to Michigan Island to fish.

Frank Shaw is widely considered to be Sand Island’s first white settler, though there are others with grounds to dispute this claim, depending on one’s definitions. Shaw set up a fishing camp on the island in the 1870s, but maintained residences elsewhere (LaPointe, then Bayfield) for many years, finally taking up full-time residence on the island around 1897. Meanwhile, during the 1880s, at least two fishing families briefly made their homes on the island, those of John Baptiste Justice and fisherman Joseph Neveux. Even lighthouse keeper Charles Lederle lived year-round on the island for at least a part of the decade, and by the mid-1890s, there were several Norwegian immigrant families at East Bay.

Joseph Sexton, meanwhile, decided to put fishing on the back burner, taking a job as Assistant Keeper at Outer Island in 1886, then gaining promotion to Keeper of the LaPointe light three years later, holding the position until 1921. While Keeper, he continued to supplement his income by fishing now and then, and also found time to sire eleven children.

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