Latlng: (48.718839, -87.966961)

Other Locations nearby
Thunder Bay District

Bowman Island Fish Camp

Discovered by quiksilver
Created Aug 19 2012
Recent status Abandoned
Category Commercial
City Thunder Bay District, Ontario
Location # 5239

This fishing camp located on Bowman Island was active in the 1880's through to the 1960's when the St. Lawrence seaway was opened up and sea lampreys flooded into the great lakes and decimated the Lake Trout population, the ghost towns of Jackfish and Port Coldwell fell victim to the lamprey also.

At the turn of the century fishermen used gill nets and pound nets to catch whitefish, herring, trout, pickerel, pike and smelt in Lake Superior. Bravely using old row boats, converted lifeboats, as well as tugs for their work. Lifeboats were converted to fishing boats by adding a cabin and a small engine. Often times wooden skiffs were fashioned using local materials and old pleasure crafts were converted into fishing boats.

There are 2 boats on shore here, 1 about 10 feet from the water, named the Shell, looks to me like it was an ore powered former lifeboat, it has that shape that you see in old lifeboats with a really deep hull and being shaped with 2 leading edges to cut the water. the remains of the other boat are almost non-existent and you could probably walk past it if you weren't watching. I can't tell what it would have been but I would have to think that by it's small size it would likely have been a utility boat of some sort maybe for just running around in the bays rather than using the larger boat. The dock house is really rotted out and it will be a miracle every time it makes it through a winter. The old cabin is pretty neat though, it's farily strong despite what some of the pictures show. It looks like people have used the place recently. There is vapor barrier strung up in one of the rooms over the bed and a layer of it is also laid purposely on the bed. Also the stove pipe is fairly new. I would have to say Kayakers would stay in there if their holed up due to weather. Kemp fisheries is still active in Thunder Bay but i'm unable to find out how long they operated out of Bowman Island. There is a grave nearby with a cross that bears the name Thomas Lampshier (I've found that his name is actually Lamphier). Mr. Lamphier was a lighthouse keeper on nearby Talbot island. He ended up here in 1869 when he and his wife decided to spend the winter on the island. Shortly after the fishing and shipping season had come to a close and winter started to settle in on the lake Thomas fell ill and passed away. His wife, unable to bury him due to the fact that Talbot island has little to no organic layer on top of the solid rock that the island is comprised of was forced to wrap him in canvas and place his body in a rocky crevice nearby their home and leave him for the winter. She sat alone, all winter, waiting for spring to come and bring with it people to help her. When the ice began to recede a local Ojibwe tribe was passing nearby and Mrs. Lamphier was able to attract their attention and they helped move her husband to nearby Bowman Island where they dug a grave and laid Mr. Lamphier to rest. Talbot Island was the first Lighthouse on the Canadian side of Lake Superior and unfortunately it no longer remains. There are some ruins laying on the island but I don't know where exactly and when I find out I will go back to get some shots of whats left. I included a link to a book I found while doing some research on the site skip to page 97 and there is some talk about the fishery camp and a good bit about Talbot Island and its hauntingly dark history.

Latlng: (48.718839, -87.966961)


Please log in to leave a comment

avatar of Vintage Architecture
Vintage Architecture It's nice to see that people still enjoy the use of the place and look after it.
Jan 03 2016
avatar of sinkourswim
sinkourswim This is why I need to invest in a boat
Sep 04 2012
avatar of Mydea
Mydea Great find! Thanks for sharing!
Aug 26 2012
avatar of quiksilver
quiksilver it is a great place to explore, funny when you're a kid you complain about not having enough to do.....15 years later, here i am sharing this amazing place with everyone else. I would suggest a boat unless you can get tires big enough to float your truck, in which case let me know cause that would be awesome.
Aug 21 2012
avatar of mobileworks
mobileworks You live in a GREAT area to explore. Good research and write-up. I thinks I am going to need bigger tires for my 4X4 to get here tho,lol.
Aug 21 2012
avatar of kev7716
kev7716 Great find!
Aug 21 2012