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Outer Island Colony
Outer Island Colony
To say the colony was remote would be an understatement, at the end of the Apostle islands in Wisconsin its 16 from the nearest land and anything even resembling a town. this was the rural end of the state and the islands were even further out.
In order to get to the colony to conduct my interview i had to take a boat from Duluth Minnesota, we tied up on a small crudely built dock at outer island. and then we took a mile long hike through dense woods until we broke out into a clearing and to my surprise i felt like i was back in colonial days, there were people working and tending fields outside what could pass as an original blockhouse fort from the frontier days. butter was being churned. women were tending chickens and i could hear men in the forest chopping trees. As i sat across from the "mayor" i had to observe that he couldn't be older then 40. we sat in a 19th century style log cabin. it had a simple dirt floor, a earthen fireplace in the back a mattress in the rafters made out of bear pelts.The mayor is a man name Kenny Schlegel and he was the islands original citizen
Who woulda though i could be a mayor? eh. I was in Duluth when the great panic hit, i was working at a Raytheon Plant nearby. Making new radars, i had done my 6 in the navy and decided to get out while i still had a life, damn good thing too, i heard the sailors in san diego where i was stationed had it rough*
**The pacific fleet was under siege at san diego for 1 month before the government finally let them put to sea**
When i started hearing about the zombies and everyone heading west i got it in my head that maybe i shouldn't be following everyone else because thats where the zombies would go too.
I got in my car and went to a walmart that was already being knocked off, stupid people were stealing TVs and jelwrey. i was the only one in the camping section. i grabbed a camping pack and just started filling it, i got a tent, fishing pole, bait , lures, axe, hatchet. knifes, rope,saw. Walrmart hunting rifle,ammo. i got water purifiers, medicine of all kinds and plenty of dehydrated food and Books. god i needed books
He gestures to a hand make book self crammed with books, old frontier novels, camping books, hunting books, fishing guides, history books
I didn't get those all at once, but god knows i coulda used them early on, i didn't know anything. i took all my stuff and drove to a marina in Duluth, i swiped a sailboat, thank god i took those sailing lessons back in the navy. i sailed outa Duluth into lake superior. i hugged the coastline at first, but then when i got to Wisconsin's apostle islands i had to dart from island to island, making camp every night . when i got to outer island all i saw was open water, i was too afraid to try for Canada so i beached my boat and headed inland. This town is actually built on the spot on my original camp.
You said you stole tents, but where did these cabins come from?
We built them of course. well i built the first one, that tiny looking one in the back of the town. shes a nice little cabin, i still cant believe i did it, it most of been my second week out here and i got bored, i was still the only one here and i was still living off fish and dehydrated food and i had nothing to do. so i used my axe and chopped down a tree. i picked a medium sized one, i didn't want to so thick and heavy i couldn't move it, it was a pine, probably about 10" diameter. pine is a nice light wood, i chopped in down into 15ft sections and dragged them over to my clear spot. the bottom logs were easy. i cut notches into the ends and layed them across each other. i felt like a little kid playing with Lincoln logs.
It got harder after the cabin got taller. i used my rope and had to use other logs as ramps to roll the top logs up into place, it took me a couple days worth of brainstorming but i finally got it. the fireplace was added later near winter. thats when they all showed up
The other survivors?
It was November. there was a huge storm on the lake, apparently this lake is famous for her fall and winter storms. i was in my cabin hunkered down by my fire, apparently they stole a passenger ferry outa Duluth. they were a buncha business men and their families, and a couple normal people who saw them getting the boat ready and bummed a ride. Apparently they were gonna try to head to Canada. stupid idiots didn't even know how much fuel they had, they made it past my island chain just before they ran outa gas. the storm ran them aground on the north end on the island, which is probably why we didn't meet for at least a couple days. they stumbled onto my cabin while scouting the island, it scared the shit outa me. i thought they were gonna rob me for my food and cabin, surprisingly they were good natured. At first my only contact with them was the scouting party, only about 10 guys, but then they told me they had about 100 people.
How did you become "mayor" didnt the group already have existing leadership figures?
Yes they did, but these were upper and middle class business men. In order to be a leader people need to have confidence in you. apparently the scouting party told everyone that i was some kind of outdoor survival guru. By the time they found out other wise we already had a couple cabins up and they just kept letting me make choices. i was a thinker so i had alot of ideas. Not all our cabins were as modest as mine. one of our citizens was a architect, he said after building skyscrapers log cabins would be easy. he designed some decent ones for the families, i wouldn't take one since i lived alone.
Then we started having food problems. i ran outa dehydrated food, and all the canned food the smart ones brought was getting low,
we had a town meeting and decided that we need to scout the mainland, so me and some of the men took off toward the mainland in my sailboat. we found this little fishing town called Bayfield, it was a nice little town, and whats better the whole population left, so there was nothing there to even draw zack up here. this was the most rural part of Wisconsin, not only were there so few potentials for infection but they was no motivation for zack to come up here, there were plently of things to distract him before he got this far north. when he pulled into bayfield it was like our dream come true, the first thing we saw were a family of deer standing in some houses garden. we took them down and put them in the boat. we searched the town for useful stuff. and we found alot. there were camping stores up the ying yang here. we grabbed cold weather sleeping bags, dehydrated food, more saws axes and hatchets. there was a woodworkers shop in down. we grabbed all sorts of tools.
we had these two girls in our colony that were hippies in the prewar, they told us to grab seeds so we could grow food. so that led us to knock of a farm equitment store. im telling you, for a small Wisconsin town it had everything. we got hand tillers, hoes. seeds. not just tomatoes and crap, but actually crops like wheat and corn. hell we had to steal 2 more boats to get it all back. when we got back to the camp after a couple of days it was near Christmas. and our people saw us on the horizon. as we beached our boats they started signing "I saw three ships come sailing in".it was some old christmas song about the jamestown colony.
thats how you became a self sustaining colony?
your damn right it is, we didn't have to steal food anymore, we could grow it. by the next fall we had wheat, corn,squash, barley,beans. we learns how to grind wheat to make flour, we stole huge things of salt from mainland grocery store to make bread with and to preserve meat and fish. we found a farm and brought some goats pigs and chickens and sheep back. now we had eggs, pork, milk, hell you got milk you got everything, you could have cheese, butter. of course we had to learn how to do all that. our most valuable cache was the local library in bayfield, we learned so much from those books, thats how we were able to survive. our women learned how to sew, how to cook. how to turn flour into bread. how to take goats milk and make butter and cheese. our men all learned how to hunt fish and clean what they killed.
It was after about a year that the walls went up, we wernt without our bad luck, we had a 20 zack encounter, total freak accident, they were lake wanderers. but after that people needed peace of mind so we cleared out more trees and put up the fort around the town, they wanted to call it fort schlegel, but i wouldnt let them. actually the credit goes to some old CEO that used to love frontier novels as a kid, he got us to build this wooden wall and put block houses at each corner. it took 3 months to make but this fort still impresses me. it was simple in theory take logs and drive them into the ground, all you need is a gate and the blockhouses as firing ports. now every night we had a safe place to sleep. we built the fort around the houses. we left the fields outside, but the animal pens were on the inside. it was only meant to be a temporary hold out till we beat back any zack, we definitely didnt want a siege. it was easy at night we get everyone inside and close the gates. there would be a few night watchmen. and during the day we had patrols just in case.
so thats how you became the most succesful non government assisted civilian enclave?
Well i wouldn't go that far but thats what they tell us. by the 3rd year we didn't even need to raid anymore. we just went into bayfield to do our annual hunting, deer, bear ect.
Hell we got to the point where we didn't care who won the war, this island was our world, we didnt need any help at all
we didn't even know the war was over till we went on our summer hunting trip to the mainland. we were shocked to find army troops in bayfield instead of deer and bear. at first they thought we were a joke, we had ditched most of our old clothes for stuff made out of hides and sheeps wool.the war had been over for almost a year and we didn't even know about it
well once the US put us on the map alot of the original residents left, they come back for the summers now like a vacation, its just me and a couple of the old die hards who stay here year round now.
Ha, The IRS even tried to tax us,do i looking like i make an income?
he gestures to his plain cabin and his animal hide clothes
we sent them a nice bear skin rug, ever since that i heard we got off on some loophole for being a historical community.
hell, everyone gives us credit for having it rough, i think we had it the easiest, we never starved or faced constant attacks, we didnt have any ADS or whatever the hell you call it, some times we could almost forget that zombies were out there. we had some stumble onto our island every now and then, put we took care of them all pretty quick.
yes sir, id say outer colony had it pretty easy. the hardest thing was going modern again, i couldnt do it, not after all i had learned and all the work i put into this place. ill stay here until im the only year round resident left, then ill get the park service or someone take over to make it a historical site or something, i gusse then ill have to go back to the mainland
he scowls at the thought
Example of a block house fort
with one of these at each corner
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