Clay Camp

North Shore

Clay Main Cottage, 1935: Wolbrink [Sheet 051, Photo D], ISRO Archives.


red Schofield sold, what would become known as Clay Island to Dr. Frank H. Clay of St. Charles Minnesota. Clay did not favor the establishment of Isle Royale National Park and presumably did not agree to the terms of a life lease. He sold his property to the U.S. government on November 16, 1938, for a total sum of $2,722.71. Seeing Dr. Clay as a potential asset at the new Park, NPS administrator and 1st Superintendent George Baggley requested that he consider relocating to the Rock Harbor area so as to provide medical advice and/or services should it be deemed necessary. Dr. Clay saw this as a way to remain connected with the island and he accepted Baggley's request, spending a number of years at the large cabin on Davidson Island.

The nine structures on the island at the time of sale included three cottages, a pumphouse and water tank, boat/oil storehouse, woodhouse, toolhouse, privy, and dock. The NPS removed all structures from the island in the years following purchase.

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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. Clay Purchase Records. Isle Royale National Park. Houghton, MI.