Museum Overview

Museum Overview
Local relics document every chapter of Madeline Island's long and storied history

Picturesque and historic Madeline Island first cast its spell on Leo Capser in 1903. In 1958, the love he felt for the island manifested itself into the Madeline Island Museum.

The Madeline Island Museum comprises the original museum and a modern expansion. The original museum is four historic log structures that have been relocated and connected together. It includes the only remaining building of the American Fur Company complex built at La Pointe in 1835, making it the oldest structure on Madeline Island. That building is adjoined to an old barn, the former La Pointe town jail, and the Old Sailor's Home, which had been built as a memorial to a drowned sailor. In 1991 the museum expanded by adding the Capser Center and, in 1995, the connecting Walkway Gallery.

On the front lawn a pair of fog horns and a bell from nearby Long Island greet your arrival. Anchors from the schooner-barge Pretoria and a propeller from the tug Ashland pay tribute to the area's maritime history. These large and impressive artifacts have been a favorite for island visitors — and a great setting for memorable family photographs.

Come explore the storied past of Madeline Island and one of the richest collections of Wisconsin history.