Near Gills Rock in Door County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Pilot Island Site
—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —
J.E. Gilmore · Type: wooden schooner · Built: 1867, Asa Wilcox, · Three Mile Bay, N.Y. · Length: 137.7' · Beam: 25.4' · Propulsion: sail, 2 masted.
Forest · Type: wooden scow-schooner · Built: 1857, David Lester, · Newport, Mich. / rebuilt 1880 · Length: 87.5' / rebuilt 115.6' · Beam: 22.25' / rebuilt 23' · Propulsion: sail, 2 masted / rebuilt 3 masted.
A.P. Nichols · Type: wooden schooner · Built: 1861, Bailey Brothers, · Madison Dock, Ohio · Length: 145' · Beam: 30' · Propulsion: sail, 3 masted.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992
Depth: 20 ~ 50'
Location: NW side of Pilot Island, a seasonal mooring buoy marks the site.
On the night of Oct. 28, 1891, the Forest entered Death's Door en route from Chicago to Nahma, Mich. A gale struck and drove the schooner onto the reef at Pilot Island. The next day, the crew of five rowed to shore and took refuge at the lighthouse. The following fall the dangerous passage wrecked two more ships at the same spot. On Oct. 17, the Gilmore, sailing from Chicago to Elk Rapids, Mich., entered the passage in heavy, shifting winds and was blown onto the reef. The crew waited out the storm on board. On Oct. 28, fierce
The wrath of Death's Door battered the three stranded schooners for several years, scattering pieces in all directions. The tangled wreckage now allows divers to visit three victims of Death's Door in a single dive.
Through the Maritime Trails, the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Sea Grant are working with local communities to preserve our maritime heritage. To learn more, visit www.maririmetrails.org.
Erected 2002 by the Wisconsin Historical Society's Maritime Preservation and Archaeology Program.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
Location. 45° 17.423′ N, 86° 58.654′ W. Marker is near Gills Rock, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker is on State Highway 42 east of South Port des Morts Drive, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at the Northport
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Hotz Estate (approx. 4 miles away); Anderson Dock (approx. 13 miles away); First Permanent Colony in Door County (approx. 13.2 miles away); Steamer Frank O'Connor (approx. 14.4 miles away).
More about this marker. This is a Wisconsin's Maritime Trails marker.
Also see . . .
1. Wisconsin's Maritime Trails. (Submitted on November 23, 2010.)
2. Porte des Morts. "The strait is littered with shipwrecks. Some say it has more shipwrecks than any other section of fresh water in the world." (Submitted on November 23, 2010.)
3. Northport Ferry Dock Web Cam. (Submitted on November 23, 2010.)
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 728 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 3, 4. submitted on , by Bob (peach) Weber of Prescott Valley, Arizona. 5. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 6. submitted on , by Bob (peach) Weber of Prescott Valley, Arizona. 7. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.