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Beaver Island

4.4
Islands · Specialty Museums · Lighthouses
Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and part of the Beaver Island archipelago. Once home to a unique American religious monarchy, the island is now a popular tourist and vacation destination.Beaver Island lies approximately 32mi from the city of Charlevoix on the mainland, and can only be reached by air or boat. The island has two airports, one public and one private. The ZIP code is 49782. Beaver Island is also the name of an unincorporated community comprising the settled areas of the island.HistoryThe Mormon kingdom on Beaver IslandAlthough Beaver Island is known mostly today for its beaches, forests, recreational harbor, and seclusion, at one time it was the site of a unique Mormon kingdom.The island's association with Mormonism began with the death of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Most Latter Day Saints considered Brigham Young to be Smith's successor, but many others followed James J. Strang. Strang founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), claiming it to be the sole legitimate continuation of the church restored by Joseph Smith. His organization still exists today (though not on Beaver Island), numbering up to 300 adherents. His group initially settled in Voree, Wisconsin, setting up a community there which remains to this day.
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