Isle Royale Land Corporation
By: Lawrence Rakestraw
ith the closing of these mines the island again remained uninhabited save for seasonal fishermen. The North American Mineral Land Company, aware that it had a bad investment on its hands, sought to dispose of its holdings and hired Jacob Houghton, a brother of Douglass Houghton, to do the job. Jacob Houghton, who ran a shipping line from Hancock to Isle Royale, was a curious mixture of Micawber and Pollyanna whose faith in Isle Royale copper had lasted for forty years. This was a period in which the British were making large investments in American mines, and he finally succeeded in interesting a Liverpool syndicate in his copper dream. They took the name of the Isle Royale Land Corporation and purchased the holding of the North American Mineral Land Company as well as the Minong Interests (about 84,000 acres) for about three dollars an acre. While emphasizing the value of the copper, Houghton also stressed the land itself as an investment. He demonstrated his faith by buying 800 of the 10,000 shares.