Washburn, South Live Cam

Anchored on the shores of beautiful Chequamegon Bay


Hosted by:
  • Washburn Marina
  • 1 Marina Drive - Washburn
  • Wisconsin 54891 - United States
  • 715-373-5050
  • [email protected]
  • http://www.washburnmarina.com/

An Area Rich in History

The Chequamegon Bay area has a long and colorful history that started well before the settlement of Bayfield. Before the time of written records, Ojibway (Chippewa) legends have placed this group and others, including the Huron, Ottawa, and Sioux, here sometime prior to European discovery.

Recorded history of this area began when the first French explorers and missionaries paddled into Chequamegon Bay. One such explorer, Etienne Brule, visited Madeline Island, one of the twenty-two Apostle Islands, about the same time as the Pilgrims were landing at Plymouth Rock. Brule was searching for the elusive passage to the Orient. About 1660 two explorer-fur traders, the Sieur des Groseileers and his brother-in-law, the Sieur Radisson, made their way to Madeline Island and on to Lake Owen and the Namekagon River. Five years later, Jesuit Father Claude Allouez appeared, followed by Father Marquette. A mission was soon established at LaPointe, Madeline Island.

For the next 150 years, the region was exploited by the French, followed by the British and Americans. LaPointe served as the meeeting point for both whites and Indians. With the fall of French political power in 1763, the British established their trading post at LaPointe and after the War of 1812, American John Jacob Astor organized a post for his American Fur Company.

As an agent for the American Fur company some years before, Rice had come to know the Chequamegon Bay region. Rice saw the potential of a great shipping and industrial port on a point of land across from LaPointe. Its natural deep harbor protected by the Apostle Islands, was a likely terminus for St. Paul grain.

From all of us in Bayfield, and our neighbors in Red Cliff, Russell, LaPointe, and the town of Bayfield. We are pleased that our little community has caught your interest. Bayfield, Lake Superior, and the Apostle Islands have captured the imagination of tourists for over 300 years.

Bayfield has a proud heritage. We truly try to maintain our small town atmosphere and our high quality of life. Please support us in keeping this pristine character by accepting us for what we are and have to offer. Relax, unwind and enjoy our slower-paced lifestyle.

We treasure our natural assets and don't want to lose them. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have avoided fast food, amusement parks, billboards, traffic lights and the fast lane. Consider returning during our quiet time (late October to early May) and you will find peacefulness that is hard to achieve in today's world.

This is the Bayfield that awaits you; the one that calls to you. Enjoy our hospitality, our forests, the beautiful Apostle Islands and the greatest of all of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior.

Island Tours - During the summer, National Park Rangers at Little Sand Bay on the mainland, Raspberry Island Lighthouse, Manitou Island Fish Camp and Stockton Island offer tours, walks and evening programs.

Hike, Bike or Stroll - The RR Trail begins at Manypenny Ave and 3rd Street in downtown Bayfield. Walk or bike along the shore to Port Superior, 3 miles south. Beaches and rock cliffs define this fourney. Begin the Iron Bridge Trail at the parking area on Washington at Broad Street. meander along the Creek up a deep, wooded ravine which is spanned by the historic Iron Bridge. The Orchard Circle forms a loop in the hills. Serious bikers enjoy Hwy 13 north to Cornucopia, then County C through forests to Washburn and Highway 13 north to Bayfield. Ski hill cross country trails are open for hikers (sorry, no bikes here) all year.

Fourth of July - A grand display of fireworks begins at dusk every July 4th on Bayfield's lakefront. The best viewing is from Memorial Park or on a boat leisurely sailing in the harbor. The Fourth is a great day for families: strawgberry shortcake provided by the Civic League at Rebekah Hall, cruise trips to the Apostle Islands and a pig roast. You'll love Madeline Island's very original Independence Day Parade (starts at 10:00 am) and, back in Bayfield in the evening, a lakeside fireworks extravanganza!

Red Cliff Pow-Wow - Join in this celebration of community. Dancing opens ceremonially with the Grand Entrance. Men's, women's and inter-tribal dances are performed by singers, dancers and drummers of all ages, from the midwest and Canada. Feast on fry bread, wild rice, whitefish, venison and trout. Enjoy beautiful handmade costumes and crafts as traditional woodland Indian songs resonate over Lake Superior. Everyone is welcome.

Walking Tour - Bayfield visitors often ask about the architecture. A wonderful book, "Brownstone and Bargeboard: A Guide to Bayfield's Historic Architecture" desctribes 25 points of interest, including the Iron Bridge. along with pen and ink drawings. A map traces a leisurely walk which passes by these sites. You can purchase the book at many businesses in town or at the Chamber of Commerce and schedule a tour that fits into your day's plans. For those of you who have an avid interest in history, consider a visit during the Christmas holidays and enjoy an annual home tour where you can meet owners and see many home interiors.

Schooner Days - Need a warm-up for Apple Fest? Better yet, come for Schooner Days over the last weekend in September and stay for Apple Fest the next weekend. Enjoy schooner races, auctions, bagpipes and rogue pirates. Anything can, and does, happen during Schooner Days. Our mayor gives new meaning to public service when he walks the plank during this event. The Honorable, Mayor MacDonald pictured at left (pre plank walk).

A Superior Challenge: Golf - Golfers may test their skills on two top-notch courses. The Apostle Highlands course is a challenging par 72 course. Just "up the hill" from Bayfield, the Highlands boasts spectacular, panoramic views of the Islands. Bring your camera! The avid golfer might travel from the Highlands to the Robert Trent Jones course (established in the mid 1970's) on Madeline Island and play two courses in one day. It is just down the hill and across on the ferry. What a way to spend the day!

History in Song - Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua performances start summer evenings at 8:15 pm under an all-canvas, 750 capacity tent ("It's Big, It's Blue!"). Famous for heartwarming, original shows telling the story of the lake and its people in song, the Big Top has also hosted Kathy Mattea, Leon Redbone, Myron Floren, Arlo Guthrie and hundreds of other acts. Its calendar of events begins in May and continues into September. This theatre under the stars is also home to Tent Show Radio, a weekly program heard on Wisconsin Public Radio and across the country. Chautauqua is located at the foot of Mt. Ashwabay, just a few miles south of Bayfield. You'll see the signs.

You Can Bet On It - The Isle Vista Casino, north a few miles on Hwy 13, has live music every weekend and karaoke on Thursday evenings. Don't miss the wall mural depicting traditional Ojibwe lifestyle and culture in the casino. There is a marina and campground nearby on the lake. The annual 4th of July Pow Wow is held near the Casino.

Around the Archipelago - June, July and August offer guest lectures at the National Park Visitor Center in Bayfield. If you are interested in local history and adventures, you will love these discussions. 1996 programs featured Native American folk music, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, plantscapes of the Apostles, camp Stella (a former resort on Sand Island) and the seasons of Lake Superior.

Sunsets On The Water - Tour boats and charter sailboats offer sunset cruises. Bring your own dinner and beverages. Ask about special historic lighthouse boat tours.

Big & Beautiful!

Lake Superior is an inland sea, the largest body of fresh water in the world. Longfellow's Hiawatha called the lake "Gitchie Gumee," meaning "Shining Big Sea Water." It is a beautiful site with wooded shores that can vary from pure sand to rugged rock outcroppings. Each day can change your view of the lake and its beauty. Imagine rainbows floating above the dark blue lake, blazing red sunsets that linger forever and Northern Lights that dance and flash across the night sky. She is beautiful, yet demands respect from all those that sail upon her waters. Her unparalled beauty and our Apostle Islands make this a favorite boating area.

Lake Superior has a surface of 31,800 square miles, a length of 350 miles, and a width of 160 miles. It is 1,332 feet deep at a location about 45 miles northeast of Marquette, Michigan. Hydrologists have determined that one-eighth of all the fresh water in the world is found in Lake Superior. The average annual temperature of the water is less than 40 degrees, though waters in bays and shallows are often warmer. Thirty feet below the surface of the lake, water temperatures will seldom vary more than 8 degrees year around.

A combination of the lake's characteristics create the "lake effect," climatological differences which are sometimes drastic and abrupt. The cold water and the cool air above this water often react with the flow of warm inland air. These temperature differences result in a variety of contrasting weather conditions: fog, high winds, cool breezes and violent storms. If you intend to be boating, make sure that you continually monitor weather conditions, for they can change rapidly. For more information on boating on Lake Superior consult the local Coast Guard Station in Bayfield.

"the island"

Madeline Island ("the island") is the destination of a 20 minute ferry ride. It is the traditional home of the Ojibwe who arrived in the late 1400's. European fur trade and religious missions were established during the 17th - 18th centuries. Around the turn of the century it became a resort location and today has approximately 150 inhabitants during the winter and as many as 2,500 each summer! Many summer residents have maintained homes here for generations.

While touring, visitors may browse in gift shops, bask on sunny beaches or discover relics of the past in the Madeline Island Historical Museum. Beautiful Ojibwe art and momentos of settlers represent the lives of Native Americans, fishermen, loggers, early visitors, trappers, and missionaries. A multi-media show illustrates this rich history.

Many Islands Beckon

Bayfield is the gateway to the Apostles. Each island offers unique charms. Eagle has seagull, cormorant and great blue heron rookeries. Sand, once populated with a year-round population and schoolhouse, has a beautiful and very popular lighthouse plus hiking trails. Other lighthouses are on Devils, Raspberry and Outer Islands and are staffed by volunteers who maintain the grounds and assist visitors. An unforgettable Park tour and trip back in time to 1923 is at Raspberry Lighthouse. It stars Toots as keeper. There's much more!

"The Last One In..."

Contrary to popular belief, the water is not always too cold for swimming. Swimmers dive in during the hot days of July and August and frequently, the water remains comfortable through early autumn. There are two swimming beaches in Bayfield. One is between the Cooperage and the Ferry landing, at the end of Washington Avenue. The other, Reiten Beach, is located next to Bodin's Fisheries. You are also welcome to visit our community center which has an outstanding Olympic swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness room and racquetball court at 140 S Broad Street.

Dive Into History

Preserved in the cold, fresh waters of Superior are schooners, barges and ore carriers, now explored by scuba divers. A 1905 storm brought one, the Sevona down onto Sand Island Shoal. Seven men tried to raft to safety on hatch covers but never reached shore. The Sevona rests at 22' today. Another, the schooner Lucerne, sunk near Long Island, was lost in 1886 during a violent and unexpected storm. The sun rose that morning to find sailors lashed to the masts, covered with ice and frozen to death. There are many more shipwrecks. Dives in National Lakeshore waters need to be registered with rangers.

Old-Fashioned Christmas

Under the cover of freshly fallen snow, Bayfield's historic district is softly lit as merchants open their doors for Christmas weekends. Seasonal events begin with caroling and a tree lighting ceremony and continue with boutiques, home tours, wassail dinners at the Rittenhouse and a holiday dance. Christmas weekends begin November.

The Most Famous Visitor

Even during his busiest time of year, Santa can't stay away from Bayfield. While his reindeer rest on Madeline Island, Santa comes to Bayfield on the Ferry. Eager to meet him are a parade of children dressed as elves, presents or angels, who have paraded down the street from the Old Rittenhouse Inn to reach the landing just as Santa arrives. Looking for even more? We have it!

Official Ice Road

In January, the ferry ends trips from Bayfield to LaPointe and the windsled (part boat, part plane) takes over transporting passengers, school children and mail until the ice is thick enough to drive on. Recycled Christmas trees line the route which is an official County H Road. " Arnie Nelson of Madeline Island replied, "Oh, it's always there, your just can't always see it." Use County H - when posted - to access skiing and snowshoeing in Big Bay State Park.

Cabin Fever

A February visit to Bayfield and its winter action is a sure cure for cabin fever. A key winter event is the Run on Water, a five mile ice run on the lake to Madeline Island and back to Bayfield. Hosted the second Saturday in February, this crazy event is a refreshing experience indeed! Families and individuals run, snowshoe or walk the tree-lined ice road and are rewarded with hot chocolate, treats and awards.

Mid-Winter Glamour

The popular Blue Moon Ball, billed as a prom for adults, is sure to lift your spirits if winter seems too long by mid-February! Billed originally as a "wannabe" ball, here is a chance for the ladies to don a prom dress of vintage origin and (finally!) become Queen of the Ball! Traditionally, the Blue Moon Ball has an enormous swing style orchestra and guests come from across the midwest. Dress for fun. Purchase tickets at Maggie's, Morty's Pub or the Chamber of Commerce. It's a popular event so get your tickets early.