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Rock Island: Door County, Wisconsin’s Ghost City

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Rock Island: Door County, Wisconsin’s Ghost Town
Up to date on September 26, 2012 Don A. Hoglund moreContact Creator I labored at Rock Island, Illinois however I used to be unaware of this Rock Island till I ran throughout it in a ebook Ghost Towns of Wisconsin, by William E. Stark. For the massive half after we think of ghost towns we think of the boomtowns of the gold rush in the western states. These are those which can be promoted essentially the most, however there are ghost towns all through the nation.

Wisconsin’s Door County as described by Stark is a”…rugged seventy-mile lengthy peninsula which juts into the chilly waters of Lake Michigan.” Rock Island is a half-mile from the north shore of Washington Island, which in flip is a forty-minute ferry experience from the tip of the Door County peninsula.

Like most issues, geography has a lot to do with the historical past of this island, which is now a state park. Stark’s ebook describes it as “..an vital stepping stone between Mackinac, Inexperienced Bay and the areas south and west.”

Moon Wisconsin’s Door County (Journey Information) Purchase Now Rock Island Origins
Archeological findings present that Indians lived on Rock Island as early as 600 B.C. In the mid-1600’s Indians from the Huron tribe or Ontario got here to the island and settledthere. Aboutfifty years later the Potawatomi dominated the island and constructed a palisade village, that’s, a village surrounded by stakes driven into the bottom for defense.

Explorers and missionaries from Europe used it as a stop alongside the Grand Traverse route, which was between Higher Michigan and Wisconsin. The first everlasting European settlement within the Door Peninsula was small fishing village on the japanese shore of the island. These settlers later moved to close by Washington Island and abandoned the unique village. There are still some grave markers of a few of the original settlers and Lilac bushes planted by the original settlers still bloom close to what remains of the previous properties.

From the 1830’s till the 1860’s 100 individuals of so lived right here, however earlier than these white fishing villagers there was inhabitants on Rock Island. Frenchman Jean Nicolet went to Canada in 1618 and grew to become an Indian interpreter beneath Samuel de Champlain. He was commissioned by the French government to discover the west in 1634 when he was thirty-six years previous. It’s unknown whether or not he truly visited Rock Island however he was definitely close to it.

In August of that 12 months he, together with a number of Indians, left Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay in a canoe. They handed and presumably stopped at Rock Island on the solution to Inexperienced Bay they landed about ten miles north of the current metropolis of Inexperienced Bay.

There are each archeological and documentary indications that French explorer Cavalier de La Salle’s males spent the winter of 1678 there whereas their ship, which was the first on the good Lakes, was lost. In recent times wooden plank from the unique Potawatomi palisade and a few buttons from a French officer’s military greatcoat and British clay pipes have been discovered lately.

Because the fur commerce grew to become much less essential in Wisconsin in the 19th Century the French had been not there and after the Struggle of 1812 the British left as nicely. There was nonetheless an Indian village on the island in the primary a part of the nineteenth century however not many whites visited or lived on the island. Stone Island Jackets In 1830 the territory had a inhabitants of about forty,000 Indians and about three,000 whites.

Ships, lighthouse and commerce on the nice Lakes
By 1832 thirty totally different owners and captains of vessels on the northern Great Lakes petitioned the United States Congress for a lighthouse on the Isle of Pou or Pottawattamine Island (names for what’s now often called Rock Island) on the entrance of Inexperienced Bay in Lake Michigan.

A government crew came to the island four years later and built a forty-foot gentle tower. A house for the keeper was built as effectively. It was the primary lighthouse in Wisconsin. It was 1836 and Wisconsin grew to become Wisconsin Territory.

When the primary census was taken the one white residents of Rock Island have been Louis Labute and his spouse. With the completion of the lighthouse some summer residents settled there completely. They had been mostly fisherman and a few trappers. Aside from Inexperienced Bay it was the primary settlement in northeastern Wisconsin.

Tensions and decision
In keeping with stark in his e-book, the whites and Indians were getting along Okay if not shut. Then a close to outbreak of hostilities occurred over a children’s squabble.

Some Indian boys have been teasing the son of a widowed nurse about having to peel potatoes. The boy grew to become annoyed on the Indian boys exterior his window and threw a potato at them. Because the potato flew by means of the glass window glass splinters caught the seven-year-old stone island tracksuit bottoms ebay son of a chief within the eyes.

A frontrunner of the colony took the mom of the boy who threw the potato to go to the Indian chief. He defined to the chief what had occurred. The nurse mom helped the Indian boy to relieve ache. The Indian boy did lose sight in that one eye, but a serious confrontation was averted. Relations between the Whites and the Indians actually improved after the incident

Decline of Rock Island
The island was declining in mid-century. The principle components of Door County have been starting to be extra populated. There was a scarcity of excellent harbors and isolation tended to make life on the island less engaging and progressively the settlers went to Washington Island or the mainland.

In 1863 a log schoolhouse was built however it was a bit late as there have been solely seven households left on the Island withthat had college age youngsters. The chief of the community, John Boon, died and the last of the resident fishermen left the island in 1890. For the next decade only the lighthouse keeper was a permanent resident.

Chester Thordarson
An inventor and producer Thordarson and his spouse got here to go to the Icelandic colony of Washington Island, as his father had been an immigrant from Iceland. They have been very impressed with the Green Bay islands and bought all of Rock Island apart from the lighthouse reservation. It was 1910 and they bought about 80 acres for a little bit over $5000.

He had an outdated body home rebuilt within the fishing village, which was now deserted. He additionally had a stone water tower built. A boathouse and great hall price a quarter or 1,000,000 dollars and resembles an historic Viking hall. Twenty masons took three years to build it.

A number of stone cottages and a lodge constructed of logs had been also constructed. Thordarson entertained numerous celebrities on the island.

The University of Wisconsin, in 1929, awarded him an honorary degree in architecture.
Rock Island State Park

The island is now a state park. Tourists can sightsee, hike on trails, swim or stone island tracksuit bottoms ebay visit the lighthouse and boathouse.

For the extra rugged there may be camping accessible but the park is primitive. There are no facilities on the campground akin to showers, flush toilets or stores. No vehicles are allowed so campers should carry their gear about 1/3 mile to the campground from the boathouse landing. Flush toilets are available at the state park places of work at Jackson Harbor.

Carry your own water, food, ice and anything you need. Campfire wood can be bought from the park.

Campsites needs to be reserved either on-line or by cellphone. The state park workplace quantity is 920-847-2235.

Enable time. It is a two-hour drive from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Unless you may have your individual boat the only method to get there may be on the Washington Island Ferry Line.

Rock Island, WI – Rock Island, Washington, WI, USA get directions
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sendingAuthorDon A. Hoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids
anniebetty, thanks for adding your information about Rock Island, Wisconsin. The name attracted my attention because I used to work at Rock Island, Illinois. I hope you proceed to benefit from the island.

anniebetty 4 years ago from Pennsylvania
We spend all of July on Washington Island, Wisconsin, every year and have spent countless hours on Rock Island. It’s funny, I’ve never considered it a ghost town, but I find your HUB interesting. We largely hike on Rock Island, however we now have additionally spent great time on the sandy seaside. Unfortunately, lake ranges are so low now that one can just about walk to Rock Island. We were capable of take our little fishing boat over last July, however I am undecided what this July will convey. Anyway, thanks for this properly organized, acurate and informative HUB!

Ghost towns, I believe, mirror one thing of the tradition and history of a location. As such, they would differ in locations.Typically they had been momentary to start with, equivalent to mining towns. Thanks to your remark.

Anaya M. Baker 5 years in the past from North Carolina
Fascinating history! I used to be able to go to a ghost city in New Mexico a couple of months ago, which was fairly an attention-grabbing expertise, although most likely fairly completely different from the city you describe!

cabmgmnt, thanks for studying my hub and commenting. There are a lot of attention-grabbing issues in our past.
Corey 5 years in the past from Northfield, MA

Very informatiove hub. I cherished the tid bit concerning the boy throwing the potato out the window and his mom serving to the Indian boy. charming hub!

AuthorDon A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids
Hi Peggy,

Thanks for coming back and sharing.
Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Don,
Got here again in order that I may hit the SHARE with my followers so that more people can learn of this island by your writing.

beckyz,
I’m glad I may offer you some data you did not have.Wisconsin is my adopted state although I’ve lived most of my life in neighboring states.

toddwertz,
Thank you for the comment.Sorry I did not answer sooner but I missed the notification. I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

beckyz 6 years ago
Thanks for the attention-grabbing historical past lesson. I’ve labored as a volunteer tour information at the Pottawatomie lighthouse on Rock Island, which was rebuilt in 1858. It’s nice to have more info concerning the Indians and the fishing village. I’m aware that some lighthouse keeper’s wives taught school on the lighthouse, but hadn’t heard a couple of log schoolhouse on the island. Thanks again for an attention-grabbing article.

Door county is a popular place in Wisconsin for visitors.Thanks for commenting.
Carolina 6 years ago from Switzerland

I heard about Rock Island. It was from a e book that i read or a film that i saw. The place have to be very lovely. Thanks for sharing about this Island.

Glad you enjoyed it.Thanks for commenting.
toddwertz 6 years in the past

I am actually loved this hub, thanks for sharing “dahoglund”
Door county is a extremely popular place for visitors. I think you would enjoy it. Thanks for commenting.

sharmanlow 6 years ago
oh, i might like to go to rock island.

I’ve even been in door county many instances with out realizing Rock Island was there.Having worked on another Rock Island for many years I felt compelled to jot down about it. Thanks for reading it, kittythederamer.

Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether
Wow, I had no concept this place even existed! It looks as if a phenomenal place to visit. Voted up and beautiful, dahoglund!

Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment.
Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

a lot to be taught so much to see if one can. thanks for displaying all this to us who can’t. 🙂 hugs to you and yours 🙂

That’s right.Since a person wants time to look around it is best to go early.Thanks for further commenting.

Yes, I would imagine so just because it is an island and doubtless the scheduling again and forth just isn’t that frequent…or is already absolutely booked.

Ironically we now have been up in that area greater than as soon as however time components did not lend themselves to going that far. It does take some scheduling.Thanks for commenting and voting.

Peggy Woods 6 years in the past from Houston, Texas
What an exquisite evaluate concerning the historical past of Rock Island in Wisconsin. Would be a terrific place to go to someday. Voted helpful and up. Thanks!

I recognize the remark.I’m glad you loved it.
prasetio30 6 years in the past from malang-indonesia

This was so stunning hub. I really like one thing about beautiful place. You describe this nicely and also you make it intimately. Complete with the historical past. I bought new data from this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. You bought my VOTE. God bless you!

Prasetio
AuthorDon A. Hoglund 6 years in the past from Wisconsin Rapids

Thanks for studying and commenting. There may be a difference in terminology between the United States and the UK. Rock Island is a state park versus a national park. It’s the state of Wisconsin that that helps and maintains it.

CASE1WORKER 6 years in the past from UNITED KINGDOM

Stone Island Velvet Hat In Chocolate

sounds a tremendous place- after all there are uninhabited islands in Scotland, but for this to be used as a national park is fantastic, particularly with entry by boat.

Thanks for an illuminating historical past and description of the island

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