A tour of uninhabited Apple Island on Orchard Lake, is a trip back in time

Uninhabited Apple Island sits in the middle of Orchard Lake in Oakland County, maintaining a wild, unspoiled beauty.

The 35-acre island is home to more than 400 species of plants and is on the National Register of Historic Places. But what do we really know about it? FOX 2's Lori Pinson was the only local reporter invited on a recent exploratory trip.

Historians, nature lovers, schoolteachers, businessmen, and a certain meteorologist, embarked on the environmental quest recently.

There are rare plants and archaeological finds on Apple Island dating back centuries, taking one through history that reaches back thousands of years.

Apple Island sits where the watersheds of the Huron, Clinton, and Rouge rivers come together. It was a meeting place and sanctuary for Native Americans before they relinquished the land in the 1807 Treaty of Detroit.

Under the dense foliage are hints of a previous life. Two wells are uncovered. They provided water for drinking and cooking. Lake water reserved for other uses was brought onto the island by water barrel sights off the North Shore, an ancient maple tree stands sentinel over it all. It is known lovingly, as "Grandmother Maple" which is more than 300 years old.

The tour continued going back in time until reached the site of the 1856 summer retreat of Scottish dry goods merchant Colin Campbell.

At one point, the island supported more than 70 people. Friends and family spent their summer swimming and fishing in the lake. Their method of communication with the mainland was to yell across Orchard Lake toward Commerce Road for transports to pick them up.

For more on Apple Island, watch Lori Pinson's full report above.

To contact the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society, CLICK HERE.