The True History of Gull Island

Read about the Gull Island Preserve in the May 2015 issue of Traverse Magazine. This protected conservancy property is off-limits to the public in an effort to preserve fragile gull nesting habitat. It is home to some of the longest running gull research studies in the Great Lakes, including some which played a roll in the banning of DDT.

Get your copy of Traverse Magazine today to read the full story on this little-known island preserve and the gulls that call it home.

In the mean-time you can read more about the true history of Gull Island (or Bellow Island as it is officially named) in Gary L. Miller’s online article Northport’s Gull Island: the True Story.

“I can’t imagine that anyone has ever visited the Northport area at the tip of Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula and not wondered about the little island with the derelict house that sits in the bay south of the harbor. I know that was the case with me. I first laid eyes on the island in 1970. Some friends owned a summer resort on a bluff overlooking Northport Bay that had an unparalleled view of the island and its abandoned twin-chimneyed dwelling. The little island in the bay was like a magnet to me, and when I visited there I could not take my eyes off of it. Questions invariably came flooding to my mind. Who owns the island? Who built the house? What happened to the people? Why was the island house abandoned? What about the gulls?

Egged on by my inner historian, little by little over the ensuing years I collected scraps of information about the island, which I judiciously squirreled away. I read a number of accounts in various publications, all of which pretty much told the same basic story…”     read more

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