Sevona Memorial Cottage

Historic District Status Moves Closer for Sand Island’s Shaw Point

December 20, 2018

The Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy has received notice that the Wisconsin State Historical Society has cleared the proposed creation of a Shaw Point National Historic District for final review.

Shaw Point, on Sand Island within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, is the site of some of the earliest settlement on the island, and contains numerous buildings and features of historic significance. Working in coordination with the National Park Service, the AIHPC has sponsored a three-year research project which led to the completion of the National Historic District proposal.

In a letter dated December 14, 2018, Ian Gort, Historic Preservation Specialist with the state agency, stated, “The nomination packet is considered complete. The nomination is now in the queue to be scheduled for review by the historic preservation review Board at one of its quarterly meetings.” This notification represents an important milestone in the nomination process which has already been reviewed and approved by the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

According to the nomination, the proposed Shaw Point district contains “a variety of buildings, structures, and landscape features that represent the interconnected commercial, agricultural, recreational, and residential development of the islands.” Among them are the Shaw-Hill Farm, established in 1870 as a commercial fishing camp and farm, Camp Stella, one of northern Wisconsin’s earliest tourist resorts, and the Sevona Memorial Cottage, built out of salvaged hatch covers from a steamer that sank off the island in 1905.

National Historic District designation would provide official confirmation of Shaw Point’s historic significance, and add a layer of protection to the district’s historic resources by helping to guide the National Park Service in making decisions for preservation and management of the resources within its boundaries.

Photo: Sevona Memorial Cottage, within the proposed Shaw Point Historic District, built in 1906 from hatch covers salvaged from the steamer that sank the previous year.