Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Winter sunrise, Algoma, Wisconsin

The town of Ahnapee, named for an Indian phrase meaning “land of the great gray wolf,” was a thriving fishing village on the shore of Lake Michigan in northern Wisconsin in the late 1800s. The growing number of commercial fishing vessels forced town leaders to lobby the government for funds to enlarge the harbor and build protective piers.

The government responded. In 1870 and 1871 the Ahnapee River was dredged and piers provided protection to the harbor. By 1879, Ahnapee’s fishing fleet was the largest on Lake Michigan. The town was officially renamed Algoma, another Indian name meaning “park of flowers.”

Lights were installed and put into service on the pier in 1893. The configurations were changed over the years as light structures decayed and were rebuilt. Today a red steel tower houses a fifth order Fresnel lens encased in red glass, sending its intermittent red beam to mark the harbor entrance.

Commercial and sport fishing is still a mainstay of the local economy of Algoma. A number of manufacturers supply jobs for Algoma’s citizens, and a recent revitalization of the historic downtown area strives to draw more tourism.

The photo above was taken an a cold winter morning as the light from the rising sun shimmered on the floes of ice in the harbor.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


Hillary said...

A beautiful photo, as always, James.

It's always amazing to me to see ice on the water. That definitely doesn't happen in my neck of the woods!

I've only ever walked on a frozen lake once, and it was the weirdest sensation.

Beckie said...

Hello James! I just found your blog through Wind Scraps. I love taking pictures and have fallen in love with your gift!

I enjoyed reading your story about Santa Claus too.

Blessings to you brother.