• All Things Lavender

    Fragrant Isle is celebrating summer with the return of All Things Lavender. All events will take place at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm & Shop, 1350 Airport Road on Washington Island. Guests can enjoy massages, tours of the lavender fields, wine tastings, small-plate dinners and yoga in the lavender fields. Reservations are required. All features are […]

  • Obituary: Thomas “Barry” McNulty

    Sept. 3, 1930 – June 5, 2019  Thomas Barry McNulty — “Barry” to all who knew him — 88, of Washington Island, died at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. He was born in Chicago, the son of William Philip McNulty and Jean (Mackenzie) McNulty. Barry graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, in […]

  • Mosling Rec Center Receives Grant for New Windows

    The Washington Island Foundation has received a Raibrook Foundation grant to increase the energy efficiency of the island’s Mosling Recreation Center by replacing many of its original windows. Donations and fundraising will provide the additional funds needed for the project. The center is a community fitness, wellness and social center for all ages that hosts […]

  • Dinner in the Vineyard Returns Aug. 29, 2019

    Top Door County chefs are reuniting for the second Dinner in the Vineyard: a five-course meal at Gathering Ground’s vineyard on Washington Island on Aug. 29. The evening will include a cocktail hour with passed appetizers and libations from local breweries and wineries; a vineyard tour; and a big-table, family-style dinner featuring fresh, local ingredients. […]

  • “It’s Whimbrel, not Willet!”

    by Tim Sweet People with a passion are inspirational to me. Bird-watching enthusiasts are some of the most dyed-in-the-wool folks I have ever met. And a few of them, it seems, are downright crazy. For the second consecutive year, I attended the Washington Islands Birding Festival May 17-19, sponsored by the U.S Fish and Wildlife […]

  • A Theatre Welcome from the Washington Island School District

    by Mary King, Assistant Managing Director, TPAC; and Michelle Kanipes, Principal, Washington Island School District The fine arts are alive and well on Washington Island. The Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC) shares its stage with the Washington Island Players theatre group and the Washington Island Schools. This year the school’s principal, Michelle Kanipes, wrote the […]

  • Sievers Marks 40 Years in Fiber Arts

    Starting May 28, Sievers School of Fiber Arts will mark its 40th year of teaching classes in weaving, knitting, spinning, quilting, basketry, surface design, beadwork, book and paper arts, dyeing, wearables and more. Sievers welcomes all levels of adult students to spend uninterrupted time learning from knowledgeable and encouraging instructors, in a tranquil setting, through […]

  • Sievers Shop Features Teachers’ and Students’ Fiber Art

    The shop at the Sievers School of Fiber Arts features handmade, original fiber art and fine crafts made by more than 80 of its teachers and students. The selection includes jewelry, wearables, baskets, handwovens and distinctive gifts, plus a wide range of knitting and weaving yarns, needles, patterns, notions, craft and gift books, and all […]

  • Jane Hamilton Headlines 2019 Washington Island Lit Fest

    One of Wisconsin’s most heralded authors, Jane Hamilton, will be the keynote speaker at the Washington Island Literary Festival, Sept. 19-22, at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center. Hamilton is the author of The Excellent Lombards; The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction; and A Map of the World, a New […]

  • State Superintendent of Schools Visits Washington Island

    One of the biggest names in education – Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor – visited the smallest district in Wisconsin, Washington Island School District, on May 21 with Scott Jones, her chief of staff. She spent the day visiting classrooms to meet with administrators, teachers and students. “We want to hear […]

  • Fincantieri to Build New Washington Island Ferry

    Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Washington Island Ferry Line have signed an agreement to construct a new, year-round passenger/vehicle ferry for service across Death’s Door. Named Madonna, the new ferry will measure 124 feet long, with a 40-foot beam and a 10-foot-eight-inch draft. It will have capacity for as many as 28 vehicles and 150 passengers […]

  • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to Build New Ferry for Washington Island Fleet

    Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Washington Island Ferry Line have signed an agreement to construct a new, year-round passenger/vehicle ferry for service across Wisconsin’s Death’s Door Passage. The new ferry will be named Madonna, measuring 124-feet long, 40-foot beam and 10-foot 8 in. draft. It will have capacity for as many as 28 vehicles and 150 […]

  • Washington Islands Birding Festival May 16-19

    The Washington Islands Birding Festival, May 16-19, still has some spots open to visit Washington, Plum and Rock Islands. The festival is limited to 60 registrants, and they should make their own lodging reservations. U.S. Fish & Wildlife will have bird netting and banding on all three islands, and an evening program will be presented […]

  • Hotel Washington Welcomes New Chef Matt Poole

    “When I boarded the ferry in the middle of January … and fell in love with the island in the dead of winter, I knew it was for real,” said Matt Poole, who’s the new chef for Washington Island’s Hotel Washington ( The Midwest native didn’t always mean to be a chef, so his first […]

  • Obituary: Rick Ellefson

    March 18, 1952 – April 4, 2019  Rick Ellefson, 67, of Washington Island died at his home. He was born in Kenosha, son of the late Richard and Barbara (Aaron) Ellefson. After graduating from high school, Rick worked for L&M Meats and St. Catherine’s Hospital in Kenosha before moving to Washington Island in 1994. He then worked as […]

  • Washington Island, Sturgeon Bay Facing Referenda April 2

    The school districts of Washington Island and Sturgeon Bay will both ask voters to approve non-recurring operational referenda on April 2. Washington Island will ask voters to approve a $595,500 revenue-limit override for the 2019-20 school year and $635,000 for the 2020-21 school year. Sturgeon Bay’s three-year, non-recurring referendum seeks overrides of $2.9 million for […]

  • Washington Island Fire Department Delivers Aid to Madeline Island

    by Robb Carr, Assistant Fire Chief, Washington Island; Public Information Officer, Washington Island Fire Rescue, Inc. On Wednesday, March 6, at approximately 2:30 am, the Madeline Island Town of La Pointe fire station suffered an explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed all of its fire and emergency-service capabilities. The station was burned to the ground. […]

  • Jake Ellefson and the Big Fish Story that Got Away

    By Brett Kosmider There’s a lot that I love about living and working in Door County and right at the top of that list is hearing all of the great stories from those that have lived and worked here long before I was ever around.  Door County has some great history and it lives on […]

  • Washington Island Ferry 2018 Report

    The Door County Facilities & Parks Committee received the annual report of the Washington Island Ferry Line for commercial activity in 2018. Traffic Summary Round trips:  4,745 Passengers:  291,384 Vehicles:  106,297 Medical evacuations:  15 Inbound Freight Propane:  374,926 gallons Gasoline:  221,287 gallons Fuel oil/diesel:  133,498 Miscellaneous freight:  4,270 tons Outbound Freight Refuse:  634 tons Logs: […]

  • Obituary: Jacob B. Ellefson

    Aug. 29, 1926 – Feb. 25, 2019  Jacob Benjamin Ellefson came into the world with a broken collarbone at the family home in Jackson Harbor on Washington Island, his nearly 11-pound birth weight having necessitated the procedure. He died Feb. 25, surrounded by loved ones, including his beloved wife of 29 years, Shirley, at their Townline Road home […]