Thank you so much for the kind comments we’ve received these past several days, especially from students who were enrolled in June classes. Many of them carry the same messages, including, “I totally understand”…”I support your decision”…”It is wise and necessary at this time”…”Be safe and well”…”Thinking of you”…”I’ll miss you”… and “Hope the Island is safe…”.
Since you’ve asked and we’ve often shared Washington Island happenings at the beginning of the season, today we bring you a snapshot of life on Washington Island.
Within the next few weeks, the Washington Island Ferry Line will add a new ferry, the Madonna, to their fleet. Built in Sturgeon Bay, the construction process has been chronicled in the Ferry Cabin News since August 2019. Named after a schooner that plied Washington Island harbors in the late 1800’s, the present-day Madonna will also have the ability to serve as a winter ferry. According to the Ferry Cabin News, this newest addition may not be put in service immediately. Due to decreased travel by residents and visitors, the W.I. Ferry Line has currently altered its regular late-spring schedule of 11 round trips a day to four.
In our own neighborhood, Froghollow Farm Bed & Breakfast has very recently sold to Dan and Dawn Nelson. Dan and Dawn were past owners of the W.I. Campground and are returning to live here and welcome guests to Froghollow. Our understanding is that all of the Island’s lodging places are currently taking reservations for this summer with one exception. The Hotel Washington will not be offering lodging in 2020. However, they are looking at options for carry-out meals.
Restaurants and bars which are open now have been offering carry-out, curbside or delivery service of breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or baked goods. Others plan to open later under the same guidelines.
Washington Island essentials are open, including Mann’s grocery store. Like your area, some items have limits imposed on them including paper products, sanitizers, bottled water and yeast. All the essential businesses that are open have changed procedures by asking for appointments instead of having their doors open to walk in. The school, library and Rec Center remain closed. Churches have online worship services only. Meetings, clubs and groups are on hold. A number of events that would have already taken place or were scheduled in May and June have been cancelled. The W.I. Music Festival has been cancelled for 2020 and the Trueblood Performing Arts Center is delaying its first performance in this uncertain time. Many of the businesses that would have already opened are in a wait-and-see mode.
Most doors to public buildings are filled with signs about protecting yourself and others. For anyone who arrives on Washington Island or has been to the mainland and returned, a quarantine of 14 days is required before making public contact. The Washington Island Community Health Program has been coordinating resources and services for those in quarantine or who wish to minimize contact.
These days are bringing views of increasingly high water. Because of that, the Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum is closed for the 2020 season.
Extra Washington Island news, interviews and more can be found on the Washington Island Observer’s Facebook page.
Our annual woodland spray of daffodils behind the Sophie Studio is brightening our days. Next time (and very soon) we’ll share more about Washington Island and other good things!