Area: Washington Island

  • Len Villano

    Washington & Rock Island

    What is a potential visitor’s perception of Washington Island? This is a question I often ask myself, especially when trying to come up with marketing ads for radio or print media for the Washington Island Ferry Line, my employer of the past 40 years. There is the ferry ride, of course, pleasant enough most days, […]

  • Door County’s Islands

    Door County, this spit of the Niagara Escarpment, is truly a dynamic bit of land – in history, in culture, in nature. I’ve spent a large chunk of my life traversing and exploring this peninsula, noticing here and there the dots of land on the horizon:  Adventure Island, Horseshoe Island, Detroit Island. I might stop […]

  • Len Villano

    The Island Hub: Reopening the Dairy

    When Door County’s population rises and falls with the changing seasons, buildings go from jam-packed to near empty. On Washington Island, Scott Sonoc said that trend is even more exaggerated, with six busy weeks followed by almost a year of quiet island solitude. That’s why every island building has to wear many hats. “Many buildings […]

  • A Shot of History, Hauntings and Bitters at Nelsen’s Hall and Bitters Pub

    Ask for a shot of bitters anywhere but Door County and you may be met with a queer expression. ‘Excuse me?’ the bartender might ask, trying to shake an ounce of the deep red liquid from the plastic dropper top.

  • Plum Island to Open to the Public

    It may be next summer or the one after that, but someday Plum Island will be open for visitors. “We recently completed our comprehensive conservation plan for the island which finalized the process we had to go through to open the refuge to public use,” said Sadie O’Dell, biologist for the U.

  • Katie Sikora.

    Savoring Lawyers

    The Friday night fish special holds a somewhat legendary status in Wisconsin. A good fish and chips fix – washed down with a cold microbrew – marks the end of the workweek and beginning of a weekend. Now, there’s a new fish on the scene. The lawyer fish, also known as burbot or freshwater cod, […]

  • Death’s Door Distillery’s Sustainable Focus

    When Brian Ellison cut the ribbon on Death’s Door Distillery’s new Middleton, Wis. facility June 4, he stepped the craft distillery deeper into the sustainable ethic at the heart of the company.

  • The Next Generation of Apples: Honeycrisp and SweeTango

    Frequents of local fruit stands may have tasted the crisp, clean flavor of a Honeycrisp apple or the sweet-tart blend of a SweeTango apple, but their little-known histories provide a new look into an age-old industry. Developed at the University of Minnesota in 1960, the Honeycrisp apple brought new life into the struggling apple-growing industry. With […]

  • Door County League Pitchers of the Year

    1964: “Fritz” Suchy, West Jacksonport 1965: – 1966: – 1967: – 1968: – 1969: Paul Woerfel, Sister Bay 1970: – 1971: Al Tanck 1972: Lee Petrina 1973:

  • Devotion: Washington Island baseball fans have no peers

    It’s amateur baseball played by aging sluggers, some of whom fit a little too snugly into a less-than-flattering uniform. Fans don’t turn out in droves for rec league volleyball, winter league basketball, or bowling, so why do so many people care so much about Door County League baseball? “It’s good baseball,” says Jeff Pfeifer, who played for 10 years and frequents Sister Bay Bays games.

  • Winter on Washington Island

    Join me, if you will, on a winter’s day on Washington Island. It happens to be a Tuesday morning in mid-January. It is early, barely daylight, and the town’s plow just made its first pass on Main Road. Snow wasn’t heavy last night, only three or four inches, but the island plows will clear the […]

  • Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Tim Sweet.

    A Prize Worth the Journey: Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island

    Imagine, if you can, a time nearly 200 years ago when Green Bay and Prairie du Chien were the only two major towns in Wisconsin. When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, the already thriving shipping trade between Green Bay and cities on the eastern Great Lakes increased dramatically. Troubled by the number of […]

  • So That’s Where It Stands On That Front, Anyway

    There’s always a good reason to go to Washington Island:  an afternoon at Schoolhouse Beach, a bike ride on the back roads, the ferry ride itself – travelling through Porte des Morts and crossing that magical buffer between real life and island life. But the best reason I’ve had lately is to enjoy breakfast with […]

  • The Man Behind the Jacobsen Museum

    ens Jacobsen was only 14 when Washington Island became his new home in the summer of 1881. Born on Als Island in Denmark, his parents decided to move the family to America so that their children would not be forced to serve in the Prussian Army. Jens was bilingual in Danish and German when he […]

  • Island Running: The Island Clipper

    Name-dropping takes on a whole new meaning in Door County. Names that mean something on the northern portion of our peninsula don’t have much to do with the “Branjolinas” of the world. Names like Johnson, Weborg and Nelson are much more apt to command attention and respect. One name that is synonymous with our local […]

  • “Handshake and Trust”: Washington Island and the Cultivation of Island Wheat Beer

    “People love the story of the beer,” Kirby Nelson says simply. “They love the fact that the ingredients are close to home, and that it’s made by a Wisconsin brewery.” For people who are in love with the way Door County “used to be,” it certainly doesn’t get better than Washington Island. The island, located […]

  • Unwinding on the Island: Deer Run Golf Course

    For many visitors to Door County a vacation would not be complete without spending a bit of time on the golf course. As a personal challenge or a way to unwind, the game provides an exciting diversion while in the county. While there are many challenging and beautiful courses to be found, only one can […]

  • Night Skies Over Washington Island

    Visitors to Washington Island often remark how different the sky is here. Imagine if you will, a sea of stars or a light show of Northern Lights for your night’s entertainment. No?“curtain call” to make, no black tie – just you and the night sky. Why is the night sky over Washington Island so different […]

  • Island Resources Equal Sustainable Saveur: Washington Island Hotel and Restaurant

    A ship’s captain could take comfort while guiding his vessel through Death’s Door, knowing a nourishing meal and a peaceful night’s sleep awaited him on Washington Island. The Washington Hotel and its kitchen, established by seafarer Captain Ben Johnson in 1904, existed to provide those at helm with reprieve from the ship’s hold. A century […]