Area: Washington Island

  • 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 […]

  • Obituary: James Lee Goodwin

    James (Jim) Lee Goodwin of Jackson Harbor, WI died Thursday, Dec. 5 at the age of 76. Born July 11, 1943, Jim grew up in Beloit, WI, attended Beloit Catholic High School (class of 1961), and graduated from Milton College. He served in the National Guard. Professionally, Jim worked in pharmaceutical sales for several decades […]

  • Community Voices: Writing Your Memories on Washington Island

    Earlier this fall, Write On, Door County sponsored the Writing Your Memories program for senior citizens at the Washington Island Community Health Program. Ann Martin-Fornaciari led the program on Wednesday afternoons at Trinity Lutheran Church, where 25 people gathered to share memories of the people and places that had been important to them so far […]

  • Obituary: Rhea Gaynelle Sikes

    June 14, 1922 – Nov. 5, 2019  Rhea Gaynelle Sikes, 97, died Nov. 5, 2019. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, she graduated from Greensboro High School (now Grimsley) and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in art, with a minor in drama. She earned her master’s degree from Syracuse University in a […]

  • Man Killed in Washington Island Crash

    A one-vehicle crash killed a Washington Island man Saturday, Nov. 9. Roark Scott Kraft Davidson was killed early Saturday morning when he lost control of the 1993 Cadillac Deville he was driving southbound on Main Road at 2:25 am. The vehicle crossed the northbound lane and struck a large tree on the east side of […]

  • Obituary: Robert Joseph Nikolai

    Aug. 28, 1935 – Oct. 20, 2019 Robert Joseph Nikolai, 84, of Washington Island died at home. He was born in Kenosha, the son of Richard August and Roselyn Mary (Wyk) Nikolai. Bob graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Kenosha with the Class of 1953.  He then went on to study at Marquette University, where he […]

  • Obituary: Merwin Carl Nelson

    March 15, 1932 – Oct. 8, 2019 Merwin Carl Nelson, 87, of Algoma and formerly of Washington Island, died at Autumn’s Journey CBRF in Algoma with his wife, Hazel, at his side. He was born on Washington Island, the son of Lester and Mildred (Boyce) Nelson. Mer graduated from Washington Island High School. He served on the USS Segundo […]

  • Authors at Washington Island Literary Festival Deliver Powerful Stories

    by Karen Yancey, Co-Chair of the Washington Island Literary Festival Committee “A story is a vessel shaped to hold and preserve human experience,” said Scott Russell Sanders, world-renowned essayist and novelist. By that definition, the Washington Island Literary Festival 2019 held hundreds of these narrative vessels this past weekend, Sept. 19-22. Jane Hamilton had the […]

  • Obituary: Ross William Meader

    Aug. 6, 1950 – Aug. 22, 2019  Ross Meader, 69, died peacefully at his home on Washington Island. Ross was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the son of Daniel and Clarice (Hagen) Meader. He was a graduate of William Horlick High School, Class of 1969, and graduated from Carthage College with a BA in physical education. Ross began […]

  • Questions & Artists: Rodger Bechtold

    Starting his art career in the world of commercial-art illustration, Rodger Bechtold has spent the past 30-plus years painting landscapes as a full-time artist. His paintings capture the exuberance and wildness of the natural world.  “Caught up in an ever-hyper-busy world, we seem to be drifting away from something very precious, a bond with the […]

  • 5 Washington Island Gems

    The atmosphere on Washington Island in August feels like all the best parts of a black-and-white photograph, complete with sticky hands from melting ice cream, sandy toes, cruising with the windows down, sunburned shoulders and freckles. Full of hidden gems and time-tested favorites, Washington Island is the best place to while away the last, golden […]

  • Dinner in the Vineyard to Feature Matt Poole

    Matt Poole of Hotel Washington will prepare the entrée this year for this year’s five-course Dinner in the Vineyard, Aug. 29 on Washington Island. “I don’t always get to be there with guests while they are enjoying their meal,” he said. “I’m excited to be able to share a meal, especially at Gathering Ground, which […]

  • Few Seats Available for Washington Island’s Dinner in the Vineyard

    Only a few seats remain for the Aug. 29 Dinner in the Vineyard on Washington Island. This benefit for the Gathering Ground farm – an innovative, nonprofit farm founded in 2016 to gather people together to celebrate, learn about and practice regenerative agriculture – gathers top chefs from the island and peninsula for a magical night among […]

  • Chef Heidi Gilbertson Featured at Dinner in the Vineyard

    Heidi Gilbertson of Island Cafe is among the chefs who will be featured at this year’s Dinner in the Vineyard on Washington Island on Thursday, Aug. 29, 4 pm. When asked why she was looking forward to participating again, she said, “I believe in the mission of the vineyard. I want to help; I don’t […]

  • 8th Annual Death’s Door BBQ

    Some of the nation’s best professional barbeque teams will compete in the eighth annual Death’s Door BBQ, a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS)-sanctioned event, on Aug. 24 at the Washington Island Airport. The event is open to the public 10 am – 5 pm.  This year’s event features $18,000 in prize money, and competitors include […]

  • Obituary: Ronald M. Overdahl

    March 27, 1945 – July 31, 2019  Ronald M. Overdahl, 74, died at his home on Washington Island. Ronald was born in Milwaukee, the only child of Martin and Vera (Wilcox) Overdahl. He graduated from Custer High School and later earned his dual degree in political science/mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. On June 19, 1965, […]