Chambers Island

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Chambers Island across frozen Green Bay
Chambers Island from Fish Creek.
Chambers Island and lighthouse

Chambers Island, named in honor of Col. Talbot Chambers, is a 2,834 acre (4.428 sq. mi.) island in Green Bay, about 7 miles (11 km) off the coast of the Door Peninsula, near Gibraltar, Wisconsin. It is part of the Town of Gibraltar in Door County.

Land description[edit]

Approximately 1/8 (12.3%) of the island's area is taken up by shallow 348.73-acre (1.4113 km2) Mackaysee Lake, in the northeastern part of the island. There is a smaller lake to the west of Mackaysee Lake called Mud Lake. There are two islands in Mackaysee Lake. The land area is 10.04 km² (3.8765 sq mi, or 2,481 acres). Since 1867, the island has been home to the Chambers Island lighthouse, which has been deactivated since 1961. The lighthouse has been the maintained at the 40-acre (160,000 m2) Chambers Island County Park since its commissioning in 1976.

The highest elevation on the island is approximately 55' above the lakeshore. In the southeast, Chambers Island narrows to a spit, called Hanover Shoal, which extends toward the shoreline of the Door Peninsula, from which it is approximately 5-mile (8.0 km) distant. The island has a small number of cabins.

Private island[edit]

Other than the Chambers Island Lighthouse Park and 2 dirt roads, the entire island is privately owned, and landing at any other area is considered trespassing under Wisconsin law. No permanent population was reported in the 2000 census.

For more than 60 years, through 2013, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay maintained a seasonal retreat house on Chambers Island, called the Holy Name Retreat House, on a 70-acre former resort property located on the ithsmus between Green Bay and Mackaysee Lake on the east shore of the island. The house opened in the middle of 1951 after being gifted to the diocese by George Baudhuim.[1] The retreat house typically attracted thousands of people per year to reflect for several days or a week between the months of May and September.[1] On January 15, 2014, the Diocese announced that it would cease to offer retreats at the property.[2] The diocese cited that 758 retreatants had visited the island in 2013, a number that made maintaining the island unsustainable.[1] Guests were charged $210 to attend a retreat and it cost the diocese $409 per person for transportation, food, and administration.[1] Another concern cited was potential medical emergencies on the isolated island.[1] Over 62,000 people had attended a retreat in 62 years.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lucero, Sam (January 24, 2014). "Holy Name Retreat House closes". The Compass. 
  2. ^ Catholic Diocese of Green Bay (15 January 2014). "Press release". Retrieved January 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°10′56″N 87°21′19″W / 45.18222°N 87.35528°W / 45.18222; -87.35528