Hello! The Isle Royale Families and Friends Association is a registered non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the cultural history at Isle Royale National Park and advocating the role a historically significant group of families that built homes on the island have played in creating, maintaining and curating that cultural history.

Grant Merritt’s life embodied the spirit and cultural fabric of Isle Royale.

IRFFA lost a founding member and core part of Isle Royale’s history in May. Grant Merritt passed on May 18, 2022. He was a tireless advocate for Lake Superior and especially Isle Royale.

Grant followed a familiar path of the Merritt family, who first came to Isle Royale in the 1860s and returned, again and again, across generations, in a cyclical life pattern of going to and from the island. Ultimately, the family built a wilderness camp in the sheltered waters of Tobin’s Harbor where they gathered with a community of fisherfolk, cottagers and island-goers. Grant’s appreciation for humans as caretakers of wild and historical places emerged from spending childhood summers on Isle Royale and led to a lifetime of environmental activism and advocacy for historical preservation. When on “island time” one could often find Grant pondering “the reality of the absolute”, a favorite quote, sitting on the dock in his grandfather’s  rocking chair while listening to the lap of the big lake.

We fellow islanders will carry Grant’s deep laugh, disposition, and devotion to Isle Royale within us. But mostly, Grant’s spirit will continue to carry us across those waters that bind us together, sharing a history, a place, and this moment in time.


Support IRFFA with a 2022 calendar!

This year’s theme is “Ingenuity” and features photos of all of the wonderful and varied Isle Royale creations made by our members.  Buy your copy now!

To order the calendar, please go to Lulu.com/shop and search for “Ingenuity 2022 Isle Royale Families and Friends Calendar”.  A link to the calendar will come up, click on the calendar, add it to your shopping cart and continue to purchase as you would on any other online retailer by filling in the shipping address and payment information: https://www.lulu.com/shop