Virtual Exhibit

Lost Formations of the Apostle Islands

This virtual exhibit is a video that features postcard images of brownstone formations in the Apostle Islands circa 1900 that have since been lost to the waves of time. These postcards are not on display in the museum and can only be viewed here.

The narrative accompanying this exhibit is taken from an 1895 newspaper article written by the Editor of the Ashland Press, Sam Fifield, entitled “Beautiful Isles of the Chequamegon.” Lt. Governor Sam Fifield was a Wisconsin politician and influential newspaper businessman. He diligently promoted business ventures and tourism interests in the greater Chequamegon Bay and Apostle Islands area. 

If you venture out into the Islands today, you will see different features as Lake Superior continues to carve and reshape its shoreline. We released this exhibit in the summer of 2020 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apostle Islands’ dedication as a National Park, celebrating our unique local history and natural resources.

See the Learn More section below the video for the complete text of Sam Fifield’s narrative, additional information about his life and death and two bonus videos released as a part of this exhibit.

Learn More



Here are two short videos that were part of the original release of this exhibit.

Lost Formations – Part 2

Learn about some more contemporary lost formations (last 10-15 years) in the Apostle Islands from retired National Park Service ranger, Neil Howk, and Bayfield historian, Bob Nelson. (5:00)

Pirates of the Apostles

Part of the Lost Formations of the Apostle Islands virtual exhibit: hear colorful tales of pirates on Oak Island. (3:00)