Godfrey Vodrey

Chippewa Harbor / Vodrey Harbor


odfrey Vodrey first came to Isle Royale in the 1870's to perform work for one of the mining operations on the island. He began fishing the waters of Isle Royale in the 1880's within the Chippewa Harbor area and reportedly overwintered at the site of the Johnson Fishery. Vodrey would later operate his own fish camp in a small cove, now known as Vodrey Harbor, in the early 1900s. At the time, Vodrey Harbor was one of the few remaining locations along the south shore of Isle Royale not already claimed by other fishermen. Since larger boats were unable to navigate into this harbor, Vodrey likely had to meet the boats off-shore, or at other fish camps, to pick up supplies and ship his catches. It is not known whether Vodrey maintained an icehouse, but he likely limited his catch to salt herring over lake trout to minimize travel. Vodrey is the only known fisherman to have used the site as a fish camp. After abandoning his camp, Vodrey worked as a fish inspector for the Booth company. The harbor was later used by fishermen and their families as a picnic area. Today, no evidence remains of Vodrey's use of the area as a fish camp.


Help Tell The Story

Are you related to this family? Would you be willing to share stories or photos associated with related events? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the Cultural Resource Manager at Isle Royale National Park. Or write to:

Isle Royale National Park
800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896


  1. Gale, Thomas P, and Kendra L. Gale. Isle Royale: A Photographic History. Houghton, Mich: Isle Royale Natural History Association, 1995. Print.

  2. Toupal, Rebecca S., Richard W. Stoffie, and M. Nieves Zedeno. The Isle Royale Folkefiskerisamfunn: Familier som levde av fiske: An Ethnohistory of the Scandinavian Folk Fishermen of Isle Royale National Park. Report for the National Park Service, Midwest Regional Office. Tucson: Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona, 2002.