Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy
Preserving and interpreting historic structures and cultural landscapes throughout the Apostle Islands region of northern Wisconsin.
An essential element of the Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy mission is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the rich history of the Apostle Islands region, the connection of that history to the present-day community, and the importance of preserving this heritage for future generations.
One of the distinguishing and enduring features of our region’s history is the tradition of sharing and cooperation. The Conservancy’s public preservation program is built upon that tradition and serves as a means where by yesterday’s stories can be shared with the community of today to serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for tomorrow.
Among the ways we accomplish this is through grants to other nonprofit and community organizations such as the Bayfield Heritage Association, the Bayfield Maritime Museum, the Washburn Historical Society, the Washburn Heritage Association, and the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. We are proud to support the historic preservation program of the Red Cliff Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the continuing work of Wilderness Inquiry, Inc. to introduce diverse populations to our region’s natural and cultural heritage.
Information on grants and an application form is available here.
Header photo: AIHPC grant recipient Warren Nelson shares tales of the Apostle Islands at the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua,
Programs and Presentations by Conservancy Members
• July 2008 – Chairman Bob Nelson presents a lecture on commercial fishing on the Apostle Islands.
• August 2008 – Conservancy volunteer and former National Park Service Historian Bob Mackreth presents a lecture on the West Bay Club and Sand Island resident Gertrude Wellisch.
• February 2009 – Dahl family members, including Conservancy Vice-Chair Bob Dahl, present a program about year-round life on Sand Island. July 2009 – Historian Bob Mackreth presents a program on shipwrecks on Lake Superior.
• August 2009 – Historian Bob Mackreth presents a program on Apostle Islands lighthouses.
• January 2010 – Historian Bob Mackreth provides the City of Washburn with historic documentation of the Memorial Park Kitchen.
• February 2010 – Chairman Bob Nelson presents a lecture on fish camps of the Apostle Islands.
• July 2010 – Historian Bob Mackreth makes a presentation on the Washburn Memorial Park at the Washburn Homecoming.
• July 2011 – Chairman Bob Nelson presents a lecture on Apostle Islanders: A Trip on the C.W. Turner. July 201l – Chairman Bob Nelson publishes the book Apostle Islanders: The People and Culture.
• August 2011 – Historian Bob Mackreth presents a program on Sand Island Pioneer Gertrude Wellisch.
• August 2012 – Historian Bob Mackreth and Chairman Bob Nelson present programs on regional history as part of the Tony Woiak Memorial History Festival.
• March 2013 – Conservancy member Bob Nelson presents a program entitled “A Trip on the S.B. Barker” about the vessels in the trade, transportation, and excursion business. Sponsored by Friends of the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.
• February 2014 – Kristin and James Edwards present “Gentleman Jacob Johnson- Bayfield’s Pioneer Herring King.” This review is a history of the Olaf Edwards-Jacob Johnson-Sand Island connection to Bayfield while delving into the massive Herring fishing industry of the late 1890’s to 1910. Associated with the John Mathew Black Program Series and sponsored by the Conservancy.
• March 2014 – Bob Nelson slide show from “Ashland to Sand Island and back to Bayfield on Governor Sam Fifield’s elegant little tug, the Stella.” Associated with the John Mathew Black Program Series and sponsored by the Conservancy.
Ongoing – Conservancy member Jeff Peters founds (2008) and publishes The ECHO newspaper, dedicated to regional history. Numerous Conservancy members have contributed articles to The ECHO, which is published bi-monthly.
Ongoing – Sponsored annually a Big Top Chautauqua performance of Riding the Wind, a performing arts rendition of regional history.
2009 – Awards a grant to Bayfield Heritage Association to support lectures on the Frank Belanger Settlement, History of the Ojibwe People, Lake Superior Shipwrecks, Apostle Islands Lighthouses, and Apostle Island Region Cemeteries.
2009 – Conservancy and Bayfield Heritage Association assist the City of Bayfield in achieving designation by the federal government as a Preserve America community, qualifying it for federal grants to promote heritage tourism and education.
2010 – Awards a grant to the Bayfield Heritage Association to support lectures on Ojibwe Missionaries, Fish Camps of Rocky Island, and The House That Sank.
2011 – Awards a grant to Bayfield Heritage Association to support lectures on the Treaty of 1854, the C.W. Turner, and Gertrude Wellisch.
2012-2013 – Tony Woiak Memorial History Festival. Produced in cooperation with the Washburn Historical Society and the Washburn Heritage Association, the festival presented a series of lectures on the history of Washburn and the surrounding region. Funding for the festival was contributed by the AIHPC, and three out of the four presenters were AIHPC representatives. Proceeds from ticket sales went to the two Washburn organizations.
2012-2013 – Awards a grant and provides assistance to the Bayfield Heritage Association for the development of an exhibition about the history of Sand Island and its people. Consevancy members are actively participating in the development of the exhibit
Education and Training
2009 – Board members participate in interviews with, and provided access to historic records to, sociology students from Northland College studying community relationships among Apostle Islands residents.
2009-2010 – Provided funds annually to the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians for student scholarships to participate in the Tribe’s Archaeological Paraprofessional Training Certification Program.
2011 – Awards a grant to Northland College to support student research and writing on regional history.
2011 – Awards a grant to support publication and distribution to educational institutions of the book Apostle Islanders: The People and Culture by Chairman Bob Nelson.
2011-2012 – Provided funds to sponsor kayak trips in the Apostle Islands for at-need students through the Wilderness Inquiry non-profit organization.
2012 – In association with Northland College, sponsored a program by Dr. James Feldman on his book A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding of the Apostle Islands as part of the Hulings Lecture series.
2012 – Sponsored a program by Dennis Hale on the sinking of the iron ore freighter Daniel J. Morrell.
2013 – Sponsored a youth group from the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa for training in the restoration of historic buildings at the West Bay Club.
2014 – AIHPC donates funds to the Town of Bell to maintain access road to the Ice Caves, an integral part of the historical and cultural landscape of the Apostle Islands region.