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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 93, August 20, 1853

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Identifier: DX04115082

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 93, August 20, 1853

Description: Describes sailing past islands on Lake Superior in the steamboat, Sam Ward.


to the right, seen in a long blue line, partly hidden by intervening Islets is Isle Royal. Before us, and t which we are rapidly nearing is Pie Island. Not ill-named, for at first view it bears a resemblance to a Brobdignagian blanc-mange, placed on an elongated dish. As we approach it’s majesty and beauty are more plainly descried. Thick-leaved, tall forest trees hiding its base even from the lake’s margin; and rising in a bold beautiful onwardly-curving sweep, one vast monstrous mass of trap-rock so soars up to a height of 700 850 feet, all forest crowned on its summit. Inaccessible to human foot as it seems it has been scaled, and a spacious lake discovered in its summit. The bare, brown rock surface, summit and base verdure hidden is confusedly seen, the Sun’s rays darting down from above hotly on the dancing waves of the lake. A mightly line of rocks, indented, curving, or boldly projecting along the Canadian shore of the mainland; and before us looming up Thunder Mountain and Cape, 1360 feet above the water level! Right well named, for it lay on the horizon like a vast jagged edged thunder cloud. We plash on; and soon the vast giant promontory is before us, the wild waves raging and surging for ever at its base, now as when this continent had not upheaved its monster bulk from primeval waves, and in pre-adamite cycle of time. ‘Twas not inaptly compared, as to shape, by Massachusetts born [Frank] Hillard to a Titanic Crusader’s effigy on a tomb, with [word crossed out] clasped hands, heaven pointing, casque on head and recumbent figure. Rocks and precipitous shore all behind us. Pie Island, eastwardly seen, has another mighty-mountain range, partly foliage hidden, partly bare or

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-08-20

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Great Lakes (North America)
Superior, Lake
Isle Royale (Mich.)


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