Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Byway follows the southern shoreline of Lake Superior along the Bayfield peninsula and is a snapshot of the geological, historical, cultural, ecological and recreational diversity of the region. We envision a well maintained northern Wisconsin byway of 70 miles featuring breathtaking scenic views of forests, pristine sandy beaches, and the sparkling blue waters of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area. The Byway is a unique route featuring quaint harbor towns, historic fishing villages and small farms. The beauty of the Byway is experienced through the stories and scenery that embrace the majesty of Lake Superior.
Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Byway (WLSB) begins its journey at the junction of US Highway 2 and State Highway 13 in the Town of Barksdale in Bayfield County, approximately 2 miles west of the Ashland city limits. The Byway continues for 70 miles on State Highway 13 around the Bayfield Peninsula and ends at the intersection of County Highway H and State Highway 13 in the Town of Cloverland in Douglas County.
The corridor provides very different geographical and cultural opportunities to travelers as they wind their way North up one side of the peninsula along the Chequamegon Bay around the top of Wisconsin and then West along the South Shore of Lake Superior. Formal designation of this portion of STH 13 as a Scenic Byway will allow for the ability to better and more fully share the unique geographical, natural and cultural assets with both visitors and residents.
Newly Designated National Historic District in Washburn
The City of Washburn East Third Street Historic District has been approved for inclusion in the State Register of Historic Places and is awaiting the announcement of its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in America. The residential neighborhood includes 32 structures that encompass a variety of architectural styles. More importantly, the district captures the unique personality of Washburn. The concentration of single-family homes and duplexes have remained intact since many were built between 1915 through 1920 by the DuPont Corporation to house employees. Known locally as “DuPont Row,” the historic district becomes one of 84 nationally recognized districts in the State of Wisconsin.
The mature neighborhood’s oldest architectural style is Queen Anne. But the mixture of styles, including American Craftsman, Dutch Colonial Revival, American Foursquare, Bungalow, Prairie School and Colonial Revival, is what gives the new historic district its character. An impressive collection of Bungalow single-family houses and duplexes is the most dominant style of architecture within the district.
The process began in August of 2008, when the City of Washburn’s Historic Preservation Commission undertook a survey of historically and architecturally significant resources. This initial study identified 147 different structures within the City that had potential historic importance. A second, more intensive survey was completed in July of 2009. In addition to creating a comprehensive database of information about Washburn’s historic resources, the survey identified specific buildings that were potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in America. In addition, the East Third Street Historic District was identified as eligible. A grant from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin funded the nomination of the district in October of 2012.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, historic districts bring economic value to a city. Historic districts typically have higher home values and promote a sense of community. They also can attract stable businesses, promote tourism, and bring more tax dollars into a community, allowing for greater public investment in infrastructure and services.
The East Third Street Historic District will be included in a historic trolley tour during Washburn’s Brownstone Days on Saturday, July 26, 2014. The Washburn Heritage Association, who facilitated the creation of the historic district, sponsors the tour.
State Highway 13 on the Bayfield Peninsula Receives Scenic Byway Designation
April 22, 2013 (Washburn, WI) Bayfield County already has an impressive list of state and national designations that exemplify the truly special place that it is. Now added to that list is a 70-mile segment of State Hwy 13 that has been designated a Wisconsin Scenic Byway, the fourth in the state.
The Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway is located along the southern shore of Lake Superior. The majesty of Lake Superior unfolds along the Byway with sweeping views of the “big lake.” The Byway follows the shoreline of the Bayfield Peninsula, passing through quaint harbor towns and historic fishing villages, near dozens of orchards and fruit farms, along miles of sand beach and the home of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Densely forested lands provide a spectacular backdrop to the year ‘round recreational opportunities that abound, with hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, snowmobile, ATV and cross-county ski trails.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area is easily accessible from the Byway and has the largest collection of lighthouses in North America. Guided boat excursions are available. Local museums and historic architecture tell the stories of Native Americans and immigrants who made this land their home. Artists are drawn to this area and you’ll find many galleries displaying their work. Enjoy seasonal performances at the Big Top Chautauqua with musicals based on the history of the area as well as performances by national artists or enjoy local theater and regional music all year long at Stagenorth in Washburn and Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff.
The rich geological, historical, cultural, ecological and recreational assets of the Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway provide a traveling experience that will not be forgotten.
A group consisting of representatives from all of the municipalities along the Byway has put in many hours working on the necessary assessments to obtain the designation, which will bring attention to the incredible natural resources and cultural history of the area. The designation will also allow the adjacent cities and towns access to federal funds designated to help promote the Byway, develop signage, and improve the visitor experience along the route.
The Wisconsin Scenic Byway program is an official program of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Other Scenic Byways in Wisconsin include: The Great River Road, State Hwy 60 and the Door County Coastal Byway.