Preservation Articles

Our Work – Articles about Friends’ work regarding preservation.

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

It begins with a faint glimmer, just a hint of brightness on the northern horizon, then builds, rising like an aria. Soon, the night sky is glowing green and red, dancing with light, shimmering like diamonds. The aurora is out. The northern lights are gleaming above the Apostle Islands. Aurora over Honeymoon Rock - Jeff Rennicke photo“To watch the white sail of a full moon gliding across the stars or see the brushstroke of the Milky Way or the flicker of northern lights painting the night sky is to witness one of true the wonders of the world, a gift of nature,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive...

NPS craftsman Dave Brunsvold hangs up his tool belt

NPS craftsman Dave Brunsvold hangs up his tool belt

The rich history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore lives on through the historic buildings and artifacts you'll discover throughout the park. The man you are about to meet is one of the talented craftspeople dedicated to restoring, preserving and presenting these treasures to teach and inspire generations of park visitors. Dave Brunsvold devoted 23 years to that effort, before transitioning into retirement on October 19, 2023. Friends board member Neil Howk sat down Dave, saying it's important to give him a tiny bit of the recognition he deserves for the marvelous work that he...

Restoration of historic dock completed at Little Sand Bay

Restoration of historic dock completed at Little Sand Bay

The fabled gales of November couldn't stop reconstruction of the historic Hokenson Brothers Fishery dock at Little Sand Bay in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Battered by storms for decades, the dock and related buildings are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and are the focus of a $1.4 million preservation and restoration effort by the National Park Service.This summer, construction crews from Pearl Beach Construction Company of Michigan used heavy equipment and a barge to rebuild the dock as historically accurately as possible, using wooden pilings and...

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Imagine tending something that is 112 years old. Three volunteers (limited due to COVID safety protocols) recently joined two National Park Service rangers with shovels and watering cans to tend the gardens at Michigan Island.Flowers bloom in front of the old Michigan Island Lighthouse – Erica Peterson photo“We are the keepers of the light” is a tune often sung at Big Top Chautauqua. Michigan Light was first built in 1856. Lighthouse families there kept gardens to supplement both their food and leisure life. Volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore helped the park...

Replica lighthouse skiff now on display at Raspberry Island Light Station

Replica lighthouse skiff now on display at Raspberry Island Light Station

The Lightkeeper’s Tender “Don A” is now on display in the Fog Signal Building at the Raspberry island Light Station. Over many years, volunteers at the Bayfield Maritime Museum poured countless hours of work into building the 16-foot-long wooden boat. The Don A bears the name of former museum president Don Albrecht, who came up with the idea of building the replica skiff. In late June, volunteer rowers completed a ceremonial maiden voyage between the mainland and Raspberry Island. Watch a music video featuring images from that journey below.The National Park Service recently transported the...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Susan Larsen and Sophie Howk

Lakeshore Logbook – Susan Larsen and Sophie Howk

Ranger Susan Larsen at age 23 Sophie and an old white pine on the trail to Sand Island Light As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 34rd in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Susan Larsen worked as a seasonal...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Warren Bielenberg

Lakeshore Logbook – Warren Bielenberg

Warren Bielenberg serving as a volunteer-in-park at Great Smoky Mountains National Park As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 33rd in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Warren Bielenberg was the park's first  first...

History comes to life in the Apostle Islands: The maiden voyage of the Don A

History comes to life in the Apostle Islands: The maiden voyage of the Don A

Visitors who made the trip to Raspberry Island Lighthouse at noon on Friday, July 30th may be excused for thinking they had journeyed back in time. That’s when the 16 foot lighthouse skiff “Don A” pulled up to the Raspberry Island dock on its maiden voyage in the Apostle Islands. The Don A is a replica of the skiffs historically used by the lighthouse keepers in the Apostle Islands. The brainchild of former Bayfield Maritime Museum president Don Albrecht, the skiff was constructed by museum volunteers. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and other donors supported the project...

Lakeshore Logbook – Diane Chalfant

Lakeshore Logbook – Diane Chalfant

Diane Chalfant As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 22nd in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Diane Chalfant worked in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore from the spring of 1984 to the fall of 1990. She served...

History Mystery: Who is considered the “father of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore?”

History Mystery: Who is considered the “father of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore?”

A Legacy of stewardship.  Gaylord Nelson was born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin on June 4, 1919.  Nelson was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1948 and held that office for a decade before becoming the Governor of the state. After two terms as Governor, he was elected to the US Senate in 1962 where he served until 1981. Gaylord NelsonIn 1969, then US Senator from Wisconsin, Nelson formulated one of the most powerful ideas of the century.  On April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was a resounding success, celebrated by 20 million people across the US who came together in their communities to...