La Pointe, WI Real Estate News

By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
We don't know yet if we're going to get an ice road between Madeline Island and Bayfield this season.  But it's likely that we'll get at least enough ice to shut the Madeline Island Ferry Line down for awhile. Photo above: Aft view of the windsled "Ice Angel IV" at Madeline Island   When the lake freezes, Windsled Transportation, Inc. takes over.  And now that we're well into the month of January, customers, clients and fellow Madeline Island enthusiasts are asking me where they can obtain reliable windsled and ice road information.  So here it is: Call 715-747-5400 for recorded windsled and ice road information, twenty-four hours a day. I plan to post a Windsled schedule once service starts up.  In the meantime, please use the number above to obtain scheduled windsled times and ice roa...
Comments 4
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
The prospect of a nice long ice road season for Madeline Island residents isn't very good this year.  Warm weather has kept the Madeline Island Ferry running and forecasters expect more of the same.  Madeline Island residents and visitors are watching the weather.  The ten-day LaPointe forecast through the middle of January calls for daytime temperatures mostly in the mid and upper 30s.  Today, the forecast is for partly sunny skies and a high of around 36. There's not much, if any, ice in Chequamegon Bay right now, exept for Ashland and part of Washburn harbor.  The ferry passage between Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island is open water.  And there isn't even much shoreline ice on the beach in front of our Madeline Island real estate office. In order for an ice road to form, severa...
Comments 14
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
EcoWood has become much more than the "Island sawmill".  It is a company dedicated to producing finished wood products, such as flooring, cabinetry, trim and decorative panels, in a sustainable manner.   The company adheres to an eco-friendly mode of operation that is unique in the Apostle Islands region of Lake Superior and northwestern Wisconsin. EcoWood uses only bio-diesel fuel to power its vehicles, sawmills and other machinery.  All buildings and kilns are heated with scrap wood, burned in a high-efficiency boiler.  Only wood harvested sustainably is used.  EcoWood does not clear-cut any forested areas in the process of obtaining its raw material.  And best of all, these beautifully-finished wood products are 100% native to Madeline Island. In addition to their regular product lin...
Comments 7
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Life doesn't come to a halt on Madeline Island, even in December.  Here's a list of events for the month: From December 13 through 15, there will be "The Art of Celebration Boutique" at the Boutin-Mahan Ferry Terminal in Bayfield.  The Boutique is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. On December 15, meet Santa (and Mrs. Claus) at the Bayfield Pavillion, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Santa will arrive by ferry from the Island!  I hope he doesn't have to pay extra for the sleigh and all those reindeer.. On December 15 at 7 p.m., there will be a Christmas Choir Concert and Pageant at Saint John's United Church of Christ. December 15-16 is the Eckels Pottery Open House in Bayfield.  All bowls purchased will be filled with candy and holiday treats, with ten per cent of the weekend's sale...
Comments 2
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
2008 Wisconsin State Park vehicle stickers may now be purchased on Madeline Island.  The 2008 sticker is now available at Big Bay State Park, at any Wisconsin DNR service center or online at www.dnr.state.wi.us. The cost for Wisconsin residents is $25 and for non-residents it's $35.  Owners of a second vehicle in the same household (vehicle must be registered at the same address) may obtain an additional vehicle sticker for half price. Wisconsin State Park vehicle stickers allow unlimited visits to over sixty State parks, State forests and designated recreational areas.  Both cross-country and downhill skiing condition reports may be viewed at http;//www.travelashlandcounty.com/files/rskiingfr.html      
Comments 2
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Here's a fabulous gift idea for someone who enjoys berry picking and making preserves..The Great Lakes Berry Book (by Bob Krumm) is a complete guide to finding and enjoying wild berries found in the Great Lakes region. This book is a must for berry-pickers!  It includes identifying photos to assist in finding a particular berry.  [NOTE: There's also a very useful section on what berries NOT to pick!] My favorite berry in the book is, of course, the Thimbleberry, which is native to Madeline Island, the Michigan Upper Peninsula and a few areas in extreme northeastern Minnesota and bordering Ontario.  If you haven't tried thimbleberries, you should!  The fruit is slightly paler than a raspberry, with soft cells that are plump and large.  The fruit is a bit more tart than raspberries, but t...
Comments 4
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
When Colonel Frederick Woods and family, of Lincoln Nebraska, built a row of summer homes just north of what is now downtown LaPointe, their actions established the emergence of Madeline Island as a summer vacation destination. Actually, summer visitors began trickling onto the Island in the mid 1800s.  Among the early visitors to Madeline Island were Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln and her son Robert, in 1868.  By 1895, the O'Brien and Grassie families had already begun constructing cottages along the shore.  Early visitors were drawn to the area as a haven for hay fever sufferers.  And the growth of railroads contributed to the ease with which families from the Midwest could make their way to the Island. Colonel Woods built homes for himself and several family members.  Woods was an avid yacht...
Comments 8
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Tourists and Madeline Island visitors know Grant's Point for its fine estate homes and small public beach.  Some of the Island's most prized homes occupy the Point, which is located at the southern end of Madeline Island, next to the town of LaPointe, the Madeline Island Marina and Indian Cemetery.  But it should also be noted that Grant's Point holds an important place in the history and growth of white settlements in North America. The Ojibway named the Island "Moningwunakauing", meaning "home of the Golden-breasted woodpecker".  Pierre Le Sueur established the first French fort on the Island in 1693, about sixty years after explorer Jean Nicolet first arrived in Wisconsin.  A succession of newer forts ensued and control of the Island eventually changed to the British and later to the...
Comments 0
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  The Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce, in LaPointe, Wisconsin, has released their preliminary Event Schedule for 2008. February 2-4 brings the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race to Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The race runs Saturday and Sunday, with two main races, plus a Sportsmen's Race and a Family Race over the weekend. On February 23, the LaPointe Volunteer Fire Department sponsors its "Big Ice Golf IV" in downtown LaPointe.  Proceeds benefit the Fire Department operating fund.  The golf tournament (on frozen Lake Superior) takes place just off the beach across from Middle Road and next door to the Madeline Island Realty office downtown. March 1 is the "Manypenny Madness Winter Carnival & Run on Water", sponsored by the Bayfield Recreation Center.  The event will be held "ice & weather per...
Comments 4
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Here is a sampling of Madeline Island events and happenings for the rest of 2007: Tonight, November 18, is the annual "Hunter's Feast" at the Bell Street Tavern.  The event features a raffle and potluck supper. On November 24, there will be an "Island Boutique" at the Madeline Island Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring retailers from the Island, Bayfield and Washburn. Also on November 24, Lotta's Lakeside Cafe will be hosting a wine tasting and wine sale, with additional items offered including cheeses, chocolate and nuts. On December 1, the Madeline Island Ferry Line will be putting the "Madeline" in winter storage.  If you require transport of large construction loads, please schedule these before the end of November.  Call 715-747-2051 to schedule these special trips. On Decembe...
Comments 4
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Those searching for historical information about Madeline Island and the Apostle Islands won't exactly find a huge number of books on the subject that remain in print.  Fortunately, one exception is the book "La Pointe, Village Outpost" by Hamilton Nelson Ross. The book, first published in 1960 has now been republished by The Society Press and now may be found in Madeline Island tourist shops or ordered by mail.  Ross' book is perhaps the best available detailed history of Madeline Island, going back over three centuries in its scope.  There is extensive information about the early explorations of Brule and Grenolle, the diaries of Radisson and Grosseilliers and the succession of French commanders who oversaw the fort at LaPointe from the 1690s well into the late 1700s. Ross' scholarly ...
Comments 1
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
My friend Charles R. Nelson has written a book about the history of windsled transportation in winter between Madeline Island and Bayfield, Wisconsin.  His book, "On Thin Ice" is a fascinating look at the evolution of the windsled over many decades and the challenges Islanders have faced in the pursuit of safe winter transportation across the ice. In the early to mid-1900s, moving passengers, food and medical supplies across two miles of Lake Superior ice was a hazardous enterprise.  A number of Island pioneers lost their lives dealing with the hazards of treacherous ice and open water. Chuck's father, Elmer Nelson, is one of a handful of windsled pioneers whose work is highlighted in the book.  Part of Chuck's goals in conjunction with this fine book is the future creation of a windsl...
Comments 5
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
The Madeline Island Radio Hour is the recent creation of local entertainer and producer Ric Gillman, who is well-known for his musical appearances at Big Top Chautauqua and other performing venues in the Apostle Islands.  The show has drawn an impressive and loyal following in its brief time on the air. Gillman draws from local area talent to put together his radio production.  The show offers up great live music, humor and lively conversation about Madeline Island events, news and history.  Announcer Carl Brooks (known as "The Voice") introduces and closes each show.  Featured columnist "Donna Askme" delivers a hilarious spoof of those talk radio call-in folks.  Donna replies to fictitious "tourist FAQs" and delivers her own satirical running commentary about what's happening on the Is...
Comments 0
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Autumn is here and winter's on the way!  But the Mission Hill Coffee House remains open daily during the winter months to help jump-start the morning routine of LaPointe residents and visitors alike. Proprietress Marie Noha presides over the counter each morning, greeting guests, taking orders and generally directing traffic.  Mission Hill offers the usual repertoire of cappuccino, espresso and lattes, plus various teas, fruit smoothies and more.  You can even request a caramel shot or a splash of vanilla in your coffee!  There are also baked goods and a few pastry items for sale.  You can order almost anything here that you'd find at Starbuck's or Caribou Coffee, but the added value is in the social experience!  Mission Hill is the place where the locals hang out early in the morning...
Comments 0
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Visit the Apostle Islands region of northwestern Wisconsin at almost any time of year and you'll become aware of the variety of well-preserved historic lighthouses on several of the islands. All of the six Apostle Islands lighthouses are on the National Register of Historic Places.  The United States National Park Service currently maintains these lighthouses and tourists are welcome to visit. When the lock at Sault Sainte Marie first opened in 1855, Great Lakes commercial shipping received a tremendous boost.  But along with the increased shipping traffic came risk.  The establishment of these lighthouses was an effort to reduce navigation hazards and provide greater safety for vessels traveling across Lake Superior. The older of the two Michigan Island lighthouses (photo above) pred...
Comments 8
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Each summer, Tom's Burned Down Café on Madeline Island sponsors an event called "Sculptors Wrestle Steel".  This is an art exhibition which runs for two weeks and invites the participation of many talented area metal sculptors who exhibit their creations to the public. Tom Nelson, the proprietor of the Burned Down Café, provides participating artisans with an assortment of "junk" metal to work with.  Participants also bring their own components and it's possible to observe artists welding and working with their metal sculpture creations on a lot across the street from Tom's establishment. At the conclusion of the exhibition, awards are given to the best and most creative of these works.  Many are offered for sale to the public.  I've noticed that some owners of fine summer homes on the...
Comments 2
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  The Madeline Island Ferry Line is, as usual, winding down it's daily ferry schedule. As of October 28, there are now ten daily trips (weekdays) to Madeline Island from Bayfield and ten departures from LaPointe to the mainland.  The last boat each day to the Island is currently at 7 p.m. and after the Thanksgiving holiday the last trip will be at 5:30 each weekday. The Friday night schedule still offers a 10 p.m. boat to the Island and on Saturday nights, there is also a 10 p.m. boat to the Island.  After December 7th, the extended schedule on Friday and Saturday will disappear, with only eight trips a day each way. The 2007 Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day schedule adds an extra trip to the Island at 8 p.m., and there will be six trips per day each way on Christmas Day and New Ye...
Comments 11
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Visit http://www.manytrees.com/ and you'll discover a wealth of information about Madeline Island!  The site was originally created by Madeline Island Realty as a marketing portal for the North Shore Heights development on Madeline Island, but has recently evolved into a community site with a wide variety of useful Island information. Here's just some of what you'll find on the Many Trees Community Website: Current weather and extended forecast Aviation weather and airport information Ferry schedule Winter road conditions (seasonal) Ice road information and windsled schedule (seasonal) Ashland and Bayfield County zoning information Foreign language translation service Site counter and visitor location identifier Links to Island recreation and LaPointe, Wisconsin businesses Property tax ...
Comments 0
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
I often tell prospective buyers visiting northwestern Wisconsin and the Apostle Islands area that the very reason why they wish to buy here can also become a source of frustration.  A remote area can be pristine and peaceful, but the inability to phone for fire, police or ambulance service can be annoying or even dangerous at times. As with other parts of the country where population density is low, parts of Douglas, Ashland and Bayfield counties suffer from poor cellphone reception. The Mobiledia website offers a section devoted to cellular coverage "deadspots" across the country, organized by state.  You'll read reports and reviews by consumers who have personally experienced problems with cell reception.  The Mobiledia site requests that contributors specify their service provider, l...
Comments 4
By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
The typical visitor to Madeline Island is in a hurry to get here.  That's no problem, but next time you visit, consider taking your time and choosing an alternative to freeways and traffic.  Your trip may take a bit longer, but you'll enjoy some fabulous scenery and learn something about rural Wisconsin at the same time. Many of our customers and clients drive here from Minneapolis-Saint Paul or from Madison or Chicago or Milwaukee.  The customary route is either Interstate 35 (from the Twin Cities) to Highway 2 in Superior, Wisconsin, to Highway 13.  Or visitors from southeastern Wisconsin will take I-90/94 to I-39 and then Highway 51 to Highway 2. Here are a few tips that will make your trip memorable and fun: Try taking Highway 63 north instead of I-35.   Wisconsin Highway 63 takes ...
Comments 0