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Karfi Has New Owner


The ferry that shuttles passengers from Washington Island to Rock Island is under new ownership.

Washington Island Ferry Line president Hoyt Purinton says the Ferry Line completed the purchase of the 36-foot Karfi Wednesday evening.

Purinton says they're excited about acquiring the passenger ferry and the prospects of bringing more attention to Rock Island State Park.

The Karfi has been operated by members of the Cornell family for the past 45 years.

"We purchased it from Jeff Cornell who purchased it from his father Jack Cornell, who purchased it from his father Jim Cornell, so this is a three generation business," says Purinton.

Purinton says they're exploring the idea of offering combination tickets on the mainland for both the Washington Island and Rock Island ferries.

He says they'll also try to work with people on tight schedules who are getting off the Washington Island ferry at Detroit Harbor and traveling the 10 miles or so to the northeast to get to Jackson Harbor where the Karfi loads. 

Purinton says they're looking forward to working with the state to bring more attention to an often overlooked but very special state park.

"Coming to Washington Island is truly unique and Rock Island is yet another truly unique experience over and above that that needs to be seen to be believed," says Purinton. "There are a lot of really neat things going on over there, not the least of which is the Pottawatomie Lighthouse, which has been fairly recently restored, the Thordarson boathouse, many miles of hiking trails -- it really has a lot to offer." 

Photos courtesy of the Washington Island Ferry


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