One of the first side trails off the West Side Road is the one to French Bay.  This island bay received its name from Dan Boyle's fishing camp that was located here.  Dan bought the land in 1886.  Back then this bay had a fine harbor but according to history the harbor was destroyed by two gigantic ice shoves just before the turn of the century.



In the 1930's Nels LaFreniere had a lumber camp here and he used the buildings that Dan Boyle had erected.  Along the shore was "the powder house" which was evidently used for the storage of blasting powder.  One day while poking around at a keg of unfamiliar powder that they'd come upon, Dan Martin lit it and died in the resulting explosion.  For many years traces of the blast could still be seen on the rocks.



Jim and Donna Stambaugh made the hike down to French Bay and generously agreed to take photos for me.  They reported that the tornado that hit the island two years ago had almost obliterated the beginning of the trail.  Once they climbed over and under the fallen trees, they were able to navigate to the beach.



Home ] Up ] Miller's Marsh ]


                                      Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005    Beaver Island Virtual Tour  All rights reserved.