Area: Washington Island

  • Campground Altercation Results in Two Wounded, Two Charged

    Two men were charged with felony battery following a July 4 altercation at a group campground on Washington Island. Artur Buts, 31, and Roman Malychkovych, 31, both from Chicago, were each taken into custody and charged with felony substantial battery with intentional bodily harm. Malychkovych was also charged with disorderly conduct. Door County Sheriff’s Office […]

  • An Authentic Adventure on Washington Island

    Paddling around beneath arches of intricate masonry, I imagined that I could hear the clink of glass and the rustle of people coming from the boathouse above me. Which sparkling socialites once mingled in the large room above my head? According to our tour guide Matt Lapp, when Icelandic inventor Chester Thodardson bought Rock Island […]

  • Washington Island Ferry Line Resumes Regular Schedule

    The Washington Island Ferry Line resumed its regular summer schedule June 26. After months of uncertainty, Hoyt Purinton, president and general manager, said the decision came down to demand. “I think people really miss the island,” he said. “We’re seeing an uptick in demand to get to the island, whether it’s people visiting family who […]

  • Len Villano

    DNR Closes Rock Island State Park for the Season

    There won’t be any grand adventures to Rock Island State Park this season: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced June 29 that the park would be closed for the season. Mike Bergum, East Central District superintendent, said several factors contributed to the closure. “We’ve closed it for all of our staff, in part because […]

  • ‘Madonna’ Joins Washington Island Ferry Fleet

    With a whack of a bottle of bubbly against the upper-floor passenger deck by Washington Island resident Karen Jess, the Madonna was christened as Washington Island’s fifth vessel. The christening of the newest member of the fleet took place Monday morning before a crowd of guests and employees spread across the shipyard’s tarmac. Speakers for […]

  • Gathering Ground to Publish Pruning Videos

    On an April day, Casey Dahl of Washington Island’s Folk Tree Farm shared his pruning knowledge with some neighbors in their old apple orchard. The trees had not been pruned in years, and they wanted to learn more about how to care for them. During a time of self-isolation, pruning old apple trees is a […]

  • Washington Island Ferry Limited to Essential Traffic Only as Islanders Hunker Down

    It was only natural that Washington Island residents would raise the question: Should we stop running the ferries? Communities around the country have taken once-unthinkable measures to keep the novel coronavirus at arm’s length. Shutting down bars and restaurants once seemed drastic. Two weeks later, places such as Key West and North Carolina’s Outer Banks […]

  • Obituary: Jill J. Jessen Jorgenson

    Dec. 28, 1948 – March 25, 2020 Jill J. Jessen Jorgenson, 71, of Washington Island died March 25, 2020. She was born on Washington Island to Karly and Evelyn Jessen. Jill graduated from Washington Island High School in 1967. Following three years of college, she returned to the Island and married the love of her life, Kermit […]

  • Server of the Week: Diego Anderson at The Granary on Washington Island

    How long have you worked at The Granary, and what’s your favorite part about working there? I have worked at The Granary for 10 months. I would say my favorite part is how fun and close the staff is. It really feels like family there. What brought you to Door County? I have been coming […]

  • A Winter Day on Washington Island

    Last summer, I wrote up a few tips on how to spend a summer day on Washington Island. After a glorious day of driving around with the windows down, getting ice cream and going on hikes, I had to see whether winter would hold charms of its own. Well, I almost didn’t find out because […]

  • New Memoir from Washington Island Author

    Washington Island author Robert Mazibuko has released a memoir called In Pursuit of Meaning to Riddles ( or in which he finds the patterns that run through his life. If the inner principle of one’s life is in contradiction to one’s outer behavior, the individual faces difficult life patterns that tend to create dire […]

  • Washington Islands Birding Festival, May 14-17

    For the third year, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the Art and Nature Center and the Washington Island Ferry Line are sponsoring the Washington Islands Birding Festival, May 14-17. Washington, Plum and Rock Islands are located along a flyway used by thousands of migrating birds. Experienced guides will lead small groups of birders to […]

  • Jim Robinson Retiring from Teaching Snowmobile Washington Island Classes

    After 30 years of teaching DNR snowmobile-safety courses, Jim Robinson has taught his last class – on Washington Island – and is retiring from teaching them.  Over the years, the Washington Island Ferry, Washington Island Fire Station, Washington Island Police and numerous Island residents have volunteered to help make these snowmobile-safety courses a reality. Two of the […]

  • Washington Island Foundation Meets Fundraising Goal

    The Washington Island Foundation and Rec Center have met their goal through their recent $25,000 matching-challenge fundraiser for Rec Center operations. Many generous donors continue to provide for the facility, programs, classes and events for all ages.  With more than 15,000 sign-ins each year, more than half a million visits have been made to the […]

  • Register for the Washington Islands Birding Festival, May 14-17

    The Washington Islands Birding Festival will take place May 14-17, when a limit of 60 participants will visit Washington, Plum and Rock Islands.  Registrants should make their Washington Island lodging reservations early. A list of open hotels, motels, inns, campgrounds and more is available at The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have bird […]

  • Obituary: Orville “Butch” Conrad Jess

    Oct. 18, 1942 – Jan. 7, 2020 Orville “Butch” Conrad Jess, 77, of Washington Island died surrounded by his family. He was born on Washington Island to Orville R. and Florence (Haas) Jess. After graduating from Washington Island High School with the Class of 1960, he moved to Milwaukee to complete his diesel-mechanic apprenticeship. Butch started his […]

  • SLIDESHOW: New Washington Island Ferry Construction on Track

    The newest addition to the Washington Island Ferry Line fleet is on track for May delivery. Work on the Madonna hit a crucial point last week, as the forward hull section was transported from Building 311 to the former Palmer Johnson construction shed at Second and Kentucky. Bird’s eye view of the Madonna forward half […]

  • Peter Nehlsen’s Double-Keyboard Piano: A Piano Built with Passion

    Back on his family’s farm in southern Wisconsin during his freshman year of college, Peter Nehlsen had been milking a cow when a cat ran underneath and spooked the cow. The cow kicked him in the jaw, and that’s when he knew he wouldn’t be able to have a career playing trombone. At the time, […]

  • DCMC Welcomes Robyn Weilbaker to its Washington Island Clinic

    Robyn Weilbaker, family nurse practitioner, serves as a full-time provider at Door County Medical Center’s (DCMC) Washington Island Clinic, alternating weeks with Dr. Beth Lux. Weilbaker’s role at the clinic is to help keep the community healthy with regular well visits and screenings, visits for acute illnesses, and injuries such as sprains and lacerations. Weilbaker […]