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La Pointe is an unincorporated community in the town of La Pointe, Ashland County, Wisconsin, United States. It is on the western shore of Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands. Downtown La Pointe is adjacent to the Madeline Island Ferry dock. La Pointe has a post office with ZIP code 54850.While the area encompassing the Town of La Pointe is made up of the entire Apostle Islands archipelago, the residents of the community live almost exclusively on Madeline Island because it is the only Apostle Island open to commercial development. There were 261 year-round residents in the unincorporated community at the 2010 census.
Bayfield is a city in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 487 at the 2010 census. This makes it the city with the smallest population in Wisconsin. In fact, for a new city to be incorporated today, state regulations require a population of at least 1,000 residents, so it would have to be incorporated as a village instead.Wisconsin Highway 13 serves as a main route in the community. It is a former county seat, lumbering town, and commercial fishing community, which today is a tourist and resort destination. There are many restaurants, hotels, bed & breakfast establishments, specialty shops, and marine services. This tourism industry is largely built around Bayfield's status as the "gateway to the Apostle Islands" (i.e., the primary passenger ferry port).
Madeline Island is an island in Lake Superior. Now part of Ashland County, Wisconsin, it was long a spiritual center of the Lake Superior Chippewa. Although the largest of the Apostle Islands, it is not included in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is the only island in the Apostle Island chain open to commercial development and private ownership. The community of La Pointe, located on the western edge of the island and established by French colonists as a fur trading post, was one of the earliest European settlements in the area. It has a population of 302, with a higher population during the summer tourist season. The island can be accessed by ferry from nearby Bayfield.