The Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) is pleased to announce that the tugboat John Purves in Sturgeon Bay, the Death’ Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock, and the Cana Island Lighthouse in Baileys Harbor are all open for the 2019 season as of Wednesday, May 1st.
Built in 1919 as the Butterfield, the John Purves has been painstakingly restored and outfitted to take visitors back to the days when she was dressed in Roen Steamship Company colors. The Purves is open for daily 45-minute tours (with docent availability) through the end of October. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Purves, the Museum is also offering a limited number of special Nuts & Bolts tours of the tugboat throughout the 2019 season. These smaller group tours will last approximately 90 minutes and will give guests a chance to learn greater detail about life aboard the tug and see some areas of the historic tugboat not seen on standard tours.
The Death’s Door Maritime Museum celebrates the area’s commercial fishing tradition. Located in the village of Gills Rock at the tip of the Door County peninsula on the shores of Porte des Mortes (Death’s Door), the museum features a shipwreck and scuba diving exhibit, including artifacts brought up from the bottom of Lake Michigan. It also boasts the wooden fishing tug Hope. Visitors will also see the bronze sculpture unveiled in 2018, a tribute to commercial fishing in Northern Door.
Cana Island is Door County’s most iconic lighthouse, celebrating 150 years of standing watch on the shore of Lake Michigan in 2019. Ride a haywagon over the causeway to explore the island, including the 89-foot-tall light tower, oil storage house and lighthouse keeper’s home. The highlight of any Cana Island visit is climbing the 97 steps of the tower’s spiral staircase to reach the gallery deck, which delivers a sweeping view of Lake Michigan and the Door County peninsula. On Wednesday, August 7th – National Lighthouse Day – the Door County Maritime Museum will recognize the 150th of the Cana Island Lighthouse with a celebration to feature the invited descendants of past lighthouse keepers, live music and refreshments.