Canada's Southernmost Point, Middle Island in Lake Erie

Located at roughly 41.7 degrees north latitude, Middle Island is the southernmost land point in all of Canada, about 164 yards from the Lake Erie Maritime border with the US State of Ohio. 

1955 photo of the Lighthouse on Middle Island. Ronnie Beatty, courtesy Bruce Beatty

On a clear day, it, along with many of the other islands in the Lake Erie archipelago in both the US and Canada (especially Pelee Island), can be seen from the top of Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point

It's nearly impossible to see in the POV, I suggest go visiting it yourself! 

Middle Island's latitude means that it is slightly farther south than many parts of the US, and a majority of US States (27/50) have territory above 41.7 degrees north, including California, Nevada, and Utah, which end at the 42nd parallel. It's also slightly farther south than Downtown Chicago, and the entire State of Michigan.

While the island is uninhabited today, archaeological study of the island indicates human habituation for about 1,000 years, and contact for at least 10,000 years. 

An airstrip once operated on the island that was defunct before 1950's, which may have aided smugglers in bringing alcohol into the United States during the Prohibition Era. 

"The island gained infamy during the Prohibition Era, when it became a trans­fer point and haven for rumrunners. Until alcohol was legalized in the United States in 1933, the archipelago's links were critical to the small boats smug­gling Canadian liquor and beer to Ohio. A Prohibition gangster, Joe Roscoe, pur­chased a share of Middle Island and built the hotel that became the center for much of the rumrunning activity. The comfortable seven-bedroom "club­house" had electricity, cozy fireplaces, and large screened-in verandas afford­ing marvelous views of the lake. The basement, which had been carved from solid bedrock, held a casino, complete with gambling wheel." (Middle Bass Island)

I believe the airstrip was at where the blue dot is today. This is from our abandoned airports map.

Sadly, it doesn't appear any pictures of the hotel exist, at least in digital form.

Despite being in the middle of a Great Lake, and just over 46 acres in size, Middle Island is another reminder that there is a ton of history in even the most remote locations across the world, and enough geographical oddities that warrant discussion for quite some time.

Thanks as always for reading!


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