WI DOT Road Construction on HWY 13
The Wisconsin DOT plans to replace three culverts on WIS 13 between Cornucopia and Red Cliff. Culverts will be replaced at these locations: Saxine Creek, Saxine Tributary, and Sand River Tributary. The construction may impact your trip to Apostle Islands. More »
There are current closures of areas within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Click for more information and see if these closures will affect your trip. More »
Farming in the Apostles
A four-foot cucumber... a 70-pound squash... potatoes eight inches around!
Early advocates for farming in the Apostle Islands were enthusiastic. The soil of the islands, they said, was suitable for fruits, vegetables, small grains, and dairy farming. Even more important, the moderating effect of Lake Superior upon the islands' climate meant that the growing season in the Apostles was some 40 days longer than nearby locations just a short distance inland.
But the expected agricultural boom never took place, and the last island farm was gone before the end of World War II. With their isolation and limited accessibility, farms on the islands could never compete economically with those on the mainland. Today, all that remains of these farms are ruined buildings, the outlines of fields, and a few hardy fruit trees.
The Early Years
The Farms of Basswood Island
Roswell Pendergast and Michigan Island
The Sand Island Community
Visiting the Farm Sites
Visitors should use extreme caution when visiting abandoned farmsteads. Potential hazards include broken glass, rusting farm equipment, and open wells where long-ago settlers drew their water.
Did You Know?
Snowmobiles may be operated for authorized purposes (i.e. ice fishing, hunting, trapping, and winter camping) on the frozen surface of Lake Superior that surrounds every island from the shoreline out to the authorized boundary (one quarter mile offshore).