The Island

Last June, I got married.  One month later, we bought a small island in the Rock River in Illinois.  We both love camping, boating, fishing and the outdoors so this little property seemed like a perfect fit for us. And it is so nice to get out of the city on the weekends.  This island is only a 2-2.5 hour drive from home.  The island is long and skinny, but has 7.5 acres.  🙂  Tom wants to name the island Elizabeth Anne Island (after me) which is fitting.  The island next door is Margret Fuller Island.

The south end of the island overlooks the dam.  What a great view.

The north end of the island is shallow and you can walk across to another island that is owned by the state.  There is also a fallen tree and a  beaver dam between the two islands.

Here is the secret back entrance to the beaver’s house.


The island has lots of trees, but only silver maple and black walnut.

Most of the trees have holes in them….I love that.  I want to add little doors!


And a lot of the island is just mud or stinging needles where ever there is shade ….that plant seems to thrive on the island  😦  Those plants are MEAN…you brush against them and you are suddenly So itchy!!!

The west side of the island gets a little more sun, so there there was a lot of plants and bushes (and stinging needles) that were over 4 feet tall.  So I cut a path so you can now walk the whole island.

The island has been left to nature for about 40 years from what we were told, so the trees are huge and there is a lot of garbage and sticks that have washed up onto the island over the years.

There was a shed of some kind on the island once, the remains of it were still there. A tree fell on it!

The island does have some raccoons, we have seen the tracks.  They seem to be digging up some clams. to eat and they leave the shells laying around.


An island does pose certain challenges. There is not power or bathroom (yet).  We also know that there must have been power of some mind on the island once, because there are two old refrigerators still on the island near the shed remains.  We were also told the island floods every spring, so building any cabin is also a problem.  But we have so many ideas for this place.

So last year, we built a dock using these plans



and a picnic table from a kit

and we started clearing some of the old garbage and sticks and planted some grass that can survive in deep shade. We are really hoping the grass may take over a little an push out some of the stinging needles.  At least on the area we tent in!  We also added a solar power motion detection light by the dock.  It comes on as soon as you walk out on to the dock at night.

This year we are planting some different types of trees an adding some shade friendly plants like hostas.  For construction, we want to  build an outhouse, an outdoor shower and either a yurt or a tree house.


I think we are leaning toward the tree house so it would be up high and out of the flood plain. Tom found some building plans for little houses/cabins that are made out of pallets.  The site shows these can be completed in a few days!  So far I think this is our favorite of all the cabin ideas.  Build a platform in the trees like any tree house, then use pallets to build the tree house up quickly.



Here are some more great pictures from the island form last year.


  1. Cerulean Moon said,

    March 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    How very cool that you have an island to call your very own! I, too, think you should name it “Elizabeth Anne” (my name, too…spelling and all). 🙂

    • ElizabethL42 said,

      March 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I know….what a sweet thought that he wants to name the island after me! 🙂

      • Cerulean Moon said,

        March 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        So sweet! 🙂

  2. sklnewyork said,

    March 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    how amazing… enjoy every minute of it – as it seems that you do 🙂

  3. Tonya said,

    March 8, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Wow… it’s beautiful! I think Elizabeth Anne Island sounds almost regal. 🙂

  4. J M Naszady said,

    April 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    This is very cool! Thanks for visiting my site.

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