- Washington Island, Wisconsin
After my last post and the photos that showed how piers in Detroit Harbor looked a few years ago, I decided it's a good time to go into more detail - as much as possible, that is. A great deal of information has been lost, and as a result we use conjecture to reconstruct the way we thought things were.
This year will be the 75th for the Washington Island Ferry Line, hence the logo with the dates at the top. If nothing else, this provides further excuse for delving into the past, something I always enjoy doing, especially when it involves old photos. And in the case of Island harbor docks and activities, in many cased these photos seem to do more to tell the story than available written information. So, I'll liberally illustrate the way things were in the harbors using photos available. A few of these may look familiar. Either I've already used them in earlier blogs, or they've appeared in Over and Back - A History of Washington Island Transportation (a book published in 1990, in timing with the Ferry Line's 50th Anniversary, and out of print since about 1997).
The pier photo shown in my previous posting was taken by Bob Williams in 1949 (related, I believe, to Dede Rollo, who had a cottage in Jensenville), and it showed the Chris Andersen freighter WISCONSIN, at the location we now know as the Island Outpost dock. I believe that earlier this was the dock developed by J. W. Cornell, where he moored his fishing boats.
Because of the interest expressed, below are several more photos of the WISCONSIN during her earlier days of ferrying cars (most likely the mid-to-late 1920s). The pier location at which she is loading, in my opinion, appears to be near the present day Shipyard Marina. Perhaps the base of this pier was the former Gislason dock, used by the store's owners at the turn of the last century for receiving shipment of goods for their store.
|This early photo showing folks dressed in |
speaks to an early tourism trade.
|Summer fun with a rowboat, taken in front of|
the cottage currently occupied by
Connie Essig. MADONNA remains are
in the background.
BERYLUNE is a fine little boat with classy lines, and if you'd like to see her in a beautifully restored condition, please visit the Gills Rock Maritime Museum where she's a featured display, complete with her 1-cyl. Straubel engine. How this craft wound up in the Gills Rock museum, and what the trail of ownership might have been after the Kokens owned it would be a good research project. (Perhaps a reader may know the answer?)
|BERYLUNE at Bayou dock in Detroit Harbor,|
loaded with bundles of cedar shakes. (photo
taken perhaps late 'teens or early 1920s)
Next time I'll use information from early county newspaper accounts that detailed the efforts of several operators to start an island ferry service, sent to me by Eric Greenfeldt.
- Dick Purinton