The top stop for museum hoppers is the Maritime Museum (10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Memorial Day–Oct., with some weeks open daily in summer, donations) at the east end of Jackson Harbor Road, opposite the ferry landing. The museum retains a significant presence—what little remains of Washington Island ’s commercial fishing industry operates out of secluded Jackson Harbor. You’ll find a reconstructed fish shed, a couple of ice houses, an old fisherman’s house, some outdoor displays (a Kahlenberg engine, an old Coast Guard boat, and remnants of a wreck), and the site itself, housed inside two fishing shacks.
The Jacobsen Museum (920/847-2213, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily Memorial Day weekend–mid-Oct., donations) is housed in a vertical log building owned by early settler Jens Jacobsen, on the south shore of Little Lake. The packrat progenitor collected a huge number of natural history artifacts, mostly Native American arrowheads and beads. Also inside you’ll find Danish scrollwork, maps, models of shipwrecks, fossils, and tools. There’s also a whole bunch of weird stuff lying out front, such as an ancient leviathan rudder from the steamer Louisiana, which ran aground in 1913; ice cutters; and huge capstans for raising anchors.
The smallest of all is the Farm Museum (920/847-2577, hours vary, June–Oct., free), a spread of pioneer structures off Airport Road along Jackson Harbor Road. A pioneer log home, a double log barn and shed with a collection of hand tools, 15 pieces of horse-drawn machinery, a forge and blacksmith shop, a reconstructed stone building, and a popular petting zoo are on the grounds. Regularly scheduled kids’ and families’ farm activities starting on Wednesdays after July 5 and running through mid-August are a hoot.