In 1864, John McDougal Johnston, his wife Justine, and their six children homesteaded this island. His father
was a famous Sault Ste. Marie fur trader and his mother was the daughter of an Ojibwa chief. He served as an interpreter for his brother-in-law, Henry R. Schoolcraft, the Indian agent. After twelve years on Rains Island, John and Justine moved to a farm near the Sault. Two children, Anna Marie, known as Miss Molly, and Howard remained to farm the homestead. In 1892 birch bark cabins were built on this site to house visitors. Miss Molly called the spot O-non-e-gwud, an Indian name for Happy Place. The land was given to the Neebish Pioneer Association in memory of the Bagnall family in 1974 to preserve as the Johnston Conservation Area.
Registered Site L0389
Sailor's Encampment Rains Island
Neebish Island, Chippewa County Topics:Early SettlersHome
Latitude: 46.24946, Longitude: -84.11076