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Traditional Geocache

Island Bound

A cache by SailDoe Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/7/2012
In Wisconsin, United States
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Enjoy watching the ferrys as they transport people and cars between Bayfield and Madeline Island while looking for this cache. In the summer this is a busy place, so please search for and replace the cache carefully.

To start this cache we've put in 2 trackables:
1) TheWinterTrio Wooden Nickel
2) Purzel and Black Cat from Sachsen, Germany

and $1 for FTF

Although travel by water routes was once the predominant method of area transportation, today only one route is still maintained by ferry boat connections. Ferries have transported people and freight between La Pointe on Madeline Island and Bayfield on the mainland on a regular basis for nearly 150 years.

An early settlement on Chequamegon Bay, La Pointe was established as a result of fur trade and missionary activity in the region. European explorers, like Native American inhabitants before them, found the island to be a convenient site to locate during this era when the lakes and rivers of North America were the major routes of travel.

An influx of settlers and entrepreneurs to the area in the mid-1800′s, gave rise to several town sites around the shores of Chequamegon Bay. Travel between the old settlement at La Pointe, and Bayfield, on the adjacent mainland, was frequent after the latter was founded in 1856. La Pointe, then the county seat, was the center of business and port of call for ships traveling up and down the lake. People crossed for supplies, to carry mail, register deeds, and even to go dancing. Sailboats crossed between the sites almost every hour in the day.

Bayfield’s steamship docks soon stole La Pointe’s lake traffic and business. La Pointe residents began to cross to Bayfield for supplies and services. The establishment of commercial transportation service between these points was immediate.

By the 1890′s, the Chequamegon Bay and Apostle Islands region had become a popular summer vacation destination. And although La Pointe was no longer the center of government, commerce and shipping that it had been half a century earlier, people were travelling to it in ever-increasing numbers. In 1898, Edward P. Salmon renovated the buildings of the old Protestant Mission, and opened a retreat for congregational ministers and their families. The “Old Mission” eventually became a popular resort. Cottages were built, and visitors stayed for the entire summer. Historic Treaty Hall was opened as a restaurant, catering to the “summer people.”

It was during these years that Madeline Island served as the location for some spectacular picnics and outings, and area ferry boats were out in force to transport the crowds to and from the island.

By 1903 an Ashland businessman could actually visit his vacationing family on the island every evening by taking the Omaha train to Bayfield and then cross on Captain Russell’s launch. Not every crossing was an easy one. While en route to the Old Mission in 1913, the Corsair was struck by a northeast gale and driven into Pike’s Bay, nearly hitting the rocks. Six passengers fainted; but otherwise there was no harm done.

Ferry routes began to disappear, until by 1940, only Bayfield and Madeline Island were linked by ferry service.

Through the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s two ferry lines ran services between Bayfield and Madeline Island. In 1970 the merger of Nelson’s Nichevo Ferry Line and the Russell’s Apostle Island Ferry Service, was negotiated by an island attorney and friend of both parties resulting in the Madeline Island Ferry Line

Today, the Madeline Island Ferry Line Corporation operates 3 car ferries and employs approximately 30 people. Its boats make nearly 6,000 crossings on the Bayfield to La Pointe route each year.

This story would not be complete without mentioning the “Ice Road”. Not far from the location of this cache is the entrance to the “ice road”. Today in the residents of Bayfield and LaPointe put their Christmas trees out on the ice to mark the location of the “road” during those months when the ice is thick enough to withstand car traffic. The trees are moved as the ice moves to keep the cars safe. During those times when the ice is too thin but ice is too think for the ferry to run safely, the windsled provides scheduled winter ferry service

(for more detail see: (visit link) )

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gnxr gvzr gb fzryy gur sybjref ...

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



286 Logged Visits

Found it 271     Didn't find it 7     Write note 4     Temporarily Disable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Update Coordinates 2     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 14 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 6/5/2015 7:26:01 PM Pacific Daylight Time (2:26 AM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum