Built in 1916, The Historic Island Dairy was the heart of the Island’s dairy industry for over 50 years. At its peak in the 1950’s, the Washington Island Dairy produced milk, butter, cream and several varieties of cheese. The Dairy closed in 1969 and the building stood dormant for 40 years.
From 2009 through 2012, The Historic Island Dairy was thoughtfully and extensively renovated into a central gathering space for the Island. The entry lobby features a history exhibit, a timeline of key events in the Island’s past and a 45-minute narrated video of historic Island photographs. The first floor contains an art gallery featuring Island artists. The Island’s first elevator opens onto the second floor which features a comfortable open space suitable for large gatherings such as wedding receptions, business conferences, banquets and classes. The second floor outdoor deck is an ideal spot for enjoying spectacular panoramic views and sunsets.
Commercially-licensed kitchen facilities are available for rental on an hourly or daily basis, serving as a community business incubator. The Dairy is surrounded by fields which have been planted with nearly 5,000 lavender plants, transforming this location into one of the largest lavender farms in Wisconsin. The Shops at Fragrant Isle open in May 2013 selling lavender and lavender related products. The Historic Island Dairy is open from 10am-6pm everyday from Memorial Day through Labor Day; call for Spring and Fall hours.