Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
It rises out of a clearing, looking for all the world like part of a movie set for the classic 1958 film The Vikings: the simple wooden walls, the pagoda-style roofs, and, most striking of all, the intricately carved dragon heads that watch over the church and the landscape like lookouts on a Viking ship. On a misty fall day, you could stand before it and imagine yourself in 12th-century Norway instead of 21st-century Washington Island.
The stavkirke—literally, “stave church”—is a replica of the Borgund stavkirke, a wooden stave church built near Laerdal, Norway, around 1150. This version was hand-built by congregants from the nearby Trinity Lutheran Church and other Washington Islanders, who constructed the church in homage to their Icelandic and Norwegian heritage.
The church marries past and present, tradition and contemporary culture, through details like the ship model suspended in the nave of the church. Norwegian churches often display a ship like this somewhere, a symbol of the community’s relationship with the sea; this stavkirke’s ship is a replica of a 19th-century Mackinaw schooner. Which is fitting for a church on an island, whose history is inextricably bound up with the seagoing culture of the Great Lakes.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A must do on Washington Island is a visit to Mountain Park. Climb the steps up Washington Island’s “Mountain” and then ascend the tower on the top that gives you the views of the Northern and Eastern Shore of Washington Island also Rock and St. Martins Islands. In total there are 186 steps to the top! After you reach the top of the steps you still have the tower to climb. Here is a view of the "Steps" looking down.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Yes I am back from my latest trip. Those picture and stories will have to wait awhile as I still need to share more images from my Fall Trip. While in Door County we traveled to Washington Island which was one of the earliest immigrant settlements in Wisconsin. The town dates back to 1865. Icelandic and other Scandinavian immigrants made this island their home. Before these times the Island was populated by American Indians. Long known for abundant fish in the waters surrounding the island, it is also well known for some of the most treacherous water conditions on Lake Michigan. Hundreds of wooden shipwrecks are located here and your passage to the island takes you thru port des mortes or Deaths Door. Washington Island is located about seven miles off the tip of Door County peninsula. Geologists say that millions of years ago the island was part of the mainland. It is one of a group of 20 islands that separate Wisconsin and upper Michigan. Many of these islands have interesting histories, but are now isolated. The main way to get to the island is by boat. We took the Washington Island Ferry which is pictured here.