According to historians, early pioneer Peter Rowley, seeking seclusion from civilization, followed the Green Bay shoreline of Door County to its extreme northern point in 1835. While floating from his canoe in what became known as Death’s Door passage, he spotted a lone fisherman’s craft – out from Washington Island, five miles away.
He continued around the point and discovered a sizeable, uninhabited bay at the mouth of a fertile river estuary. There he built and settled in a cabin with two women companions. He hunted, fished and cut logs in the surrounding woods. It has been said that there he lived and died contently and in solitude. His name has been preserved for all times as the discoverer of Rowley’s Bay.