No boom no bust

The bustling summer season is a memory in Door County as year-round residents transition from brilliant autumn to the muted, quiet winter. Off the tip of the county, Washington Island is a place where life has always moved a few beats slower. The island is a lively community of 700 full-time residents and devoted visitors, but isolation has long challenged people who try to make a living there. The recession and housing crunch added new pressure, rippling out to this dot on the map in Lake Michigan. Jane Hampden talked with islanders whose fortunes rely on the ebb and flow…

The bustling summer season is a memory in Door County as year-round residents transition from brilliant autumn to the muted, quiet winter. Off the tip of the county, Washington Island is a place where life has always moved a few beats slower. The island is a lively community of 700 full-time residents and devoted visitors, but isolation has long challenged people who try to make a living there. The recession and housing crunch added new pressure, rippling out to this dot on the map in Lake Michigan. Jane Hampden talked with islanders whose fortunes rely on the ebb and flow of the Midwest economy, and the rhythms of the ferry line.

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Schoolhouse Beach is located on a sheltered cove. It got its name
from a school built there in 1850.
 
Butch and Lorel Gordon have operated Gordon’s North Star Realty
for 17 years.

 

 
Washington Island is home to a number of rustic inns. Island guests
have stayed at the Sunset Resort since 1902.
 
Bob and Molly Graziano of suburban Chicago discuss island property
with Gloria Small of Re/Max Island Homes.

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