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Death's Door Maritime Museum

12724 W Wisconsin Bay Rd
Gills Rock, WI 54210

Indoor Activities, Educational, Family Friendly, Museums, Museums


The Death’s Door Maritime Museum celebrates the area’s commercial fishing tradition. Located in the village of Gills Rock at the tip of the Door County peninsula on the shores of Porte des Mortes (Death’s Door), the museum features a shipwreck and scuba diving exhibit, including artifacts brought up from the bottom of Lake Michigan. It also boasts the wooden fishing tug Hope. Visitors will also see the bronze sculpture unveiled in 2018, a tribute to commercial fishing in Northern Door. Open daily 10am-5pm, May-October.


10am-5pm, May - October.

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The museum also features a shipwreck and scuba diving exhibit, artifacts brought up from the bottom of Lake Michigan and information on the area’s dangerous passage known as Death’s Door. Visitors can use a Lyle gun to rescue stranded mariners, and browse an area devoted to marine engines – including those built at Kahlenberg Brothers of Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Death’s Door may be famous for having lent its name to both the Door Peninsula and Door County, but this strait of water that passes between Washington Island to the north and the Door Peninsula to the south is rich in history and legend. The exhibit explores the origins of Ports des Morts, as it was referred to by French explorers, all the way back to the native American tribes and the legends associated with them. Some of the many shipwrecks which went down in the treacherous strait are explored as well as thrilling accounts of the hearty fishermen who regularly work its waters.

But there’s even more as our interactive technology, called Augmented Reality, assists in telling our stories. Using a tablet provided by the museum or your own personal smart phone, visitors will experience maritime history in a whole new way.

Download the Google Play Android App at

Visitors to the Death’s Door Maritime Museum can also take a look at our brand new bronze sculpture. The sculpture, a tribute to commercial fishing in Northern Door, was created by Mary Ott Davidson and was unveiled in the summer of 2018. 

Join us on this historic adventure in Gills Rock!

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