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Devils Island is one of the twenty-two Apostle Islands of northern Wisconsin, and has also been known as Louisiana Island, Barney and Lamborn's Island, Brownstone Island, and Rabbit Island. The island is located in western Lake Superior off the Bayfield Peninsula, and has a maximum elevation of 652' above sea level. The island rises only 50' above Lake Superior's official elevation of 602'. The island has no human inhabitants other than summer Park Service volunteers. It is managed by the National Park Service as part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The politician and author Samuel Fifield wrote in 1899 that, "The Indians in the early days declared it to be the home of Matchimanitou, the "evil spirit," whom Kitchie-Manitouo, the "great spirit," had imprisoned there. Hence its name, Devils Island." Governor Fifield did not specify his source of information for this claim, and some modern Native scholars question the accuracy of this explanation. When surf on the lake is heavy, the waves thunder and boom in the island's extensive sea caves. The rumbling can be heard even well away from the shoreline. Local residents claim that the Ojibwe (Chippewa) interpreted this noise as the sound of evil spirits. The island is perhaps most visited for the dramatic rock formations and sea caves that wrap around its northern shore. It is popular with kayakers who enjoy meandering in and out of the caves on calm days. The caves were sculpted from the billion year old sandstone bedrock exposed through the island's surface. The red and gold sandstone was deposited over the area by wandering streams from western hills. The undulating of the climate over about a million year period laid a sandstone crust that is about 1800 feet thick. They are colorfully stratified. Similar to ripples on the sandy bottom of a lake or stream caused by wind, waves or current, the ripples on these rocks are from gentle waves that passed 1 billion years ago. The north tip of Devils Island is the northern most tip of Wisconsin. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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