Navigation

Door County is rich in history, from its most prominent founding citizens to the business leaders who embraced tourism to make it the destination it is today. It’s a history of orchards, farming, and fishermen, but also of potters, artists, and writers. But more than anything, it’s a history told in the lives of the remarkable people who’ve called it home for a spell or a lifetime. Door County Pulse tells them all.

  • The History of Us: Egg Harbor’s Family Histories

    Egg Harbor’s hardscrabble past provides a lesson for today.

  • Valmy Thresheree Celebrates Life on the Farm

    Subtly, over the last quarter of the 20th century, American farming as we had known it disappeared. Pastoral images of the family farmer in the heartland were supplanted by the logos and marketing slogans of corporate agriculture, high science, and maximized yields.

  • Around the World in 11 Years: Jake Kodanko’s life on land and sea

    Some people learn geography studying maps; others, like Jake Kodanko, learn hands on. From 1943 to 1954 he served in the Merchant Marines, “traveling all over the world,” he recalls, “visiting 56 different countries, some several times.”

  • Door County League Pitchers of the Year

    1964: “Fritz” Suchy, West Jacksonport 1965: – 1966: – 1967: – 1968: – 1969: Paul Woerfel, Sister Bay 1970: – 1971: Al Tanck 1972: Lee Petrina 1973:

  • Door County League Baseball’s Unwavering Hold

    Many locals and visitors to Door County know the names of those who established the towns and gave birth to what Door County is today. Those names – Increase Claflin, Alexander Noble, Justice Bailey, John Eliasen and Andreas Iverson, and others – will never be erased.

  • Door County League Baseball Champions

    Year-by-year Door County League Baseball champions.

  • Door County League Batting Champions

    1964: Dick Staver, Sister Bay, .533 1965: Dick Staver, Sister Bay (average not available) 1966: Not available 1967: Dick Staver, Sister Bay, .468 1968: Jim Koessl, Sister Bay, .

  • Chief Roy Oshkosh: Door County’s Unlikely Ambassador

    Sounds of pounding bare feet, drum beats, and the crackling of a bonfire all speak of an era of Door County tradition gone by, but the experience, and the man behind it, are not forgotten. Chief Oshkosh’s powwows in Egg Harbor are one of the most memorable traditions for those who can recall the peninsula […]

  • Sally Treichel Knows Where All the Bodies Are Buried

    When Sally Anderson was growing up in Sturgeon Bay in the 1940s and ‘50s, she used to ice skate at the rink at Market Square, kitty-corner from the Door County Historical Museum. She often shared the ice with Harry Dankoler, the museum’s first curator, but never imagined she would one day follow in his historical […]

  • What Makes a Local a Local in Door County?

    Every town has its “locals.” In some towns they’re called “old-timers,” in others they might be referred to as “the good old boys.” Sometimes they’re called “natives.” Some people use the words interchangeably and toss them about casually, while others reserve the words for a strictly defined subset of the population. But on a peninsula […]

  • Unexpected Memories Found In Probate Files

    When I met with Judy Schneider a couple weeks ago, she was serving her last days as the Door County Register in Probate. After 22 years in the position, she was retiring due to health issues, and I went

  • Early Trade on the Peninsula

    Nearly 200 years before Increase Claflin found his way to Little Sturgeon Bay and Asa Thorp built his sturdy cabin upon the shores of Fish Creek harbor, there were a group of men who visited the rocky shores of the Door Peninsula. Some were explorers bent on finding passage to the Orient and beyond, others […]

  • Even a Big Boat’s Small: Palmer Johnson Craftsman Rusty Lardinois

    Down on Shiloh Road, a few miles outside the city of Sturgeon Bay, there sits an old barn. Non-descript and a bit worse for wear, it’s built snug into a slope behind an old farmhouse, and nothing of its exterior hints that inside is the home workshop of one of the finest carpenters Door County […]

  • Thumb Fun Map

    More Than Fun: Thumb Fun’s Other Impact

    When former restaurateur and now visitor center extraordinaire Digger DeGroot says “Thumb Fun was really good for business in Northern Door,” his sentiment extends beyond the crowds it used

  • Thumb Fun – Door County’s Accidental Icon

    Standing amid the suburban-style condominiums that make up the Northhaven development in Fish Creek, one can’t help but be struck by the contrast between what was and what is. Here, where water sprays into the air from the middle of a pond ringed by 141 condominium units, is the land that was once the site […]

  • John Carmody, Door County’s Last Thresherman

    John had kept it running until 1980, making him the last farmer in Egg Harbor, and possibly all of Door County, using the old machine.

  • Freddie Kodanko, Door County's Polka King.

    The Polka King – A True Door County Character

    The late Freddie Kodanko (or Freddie K, as he is remembered around these parts) was a man who wore many hats:  potato farmer, spider dancer, crate builder, bean farmer, ballpark DJ, cat lover, among others. The hat I’ll always remember was a large, blue, puffy, jewel-studded crown. This crown was also accompanied by a long […]

  • Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Tim Sweet.

    A Prize Worth the Journey: Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island

    Imagine, if you can, a time nearly 200 years ago when Green Bay and Prairie du Chien were the only two major towns in Wisconsin. When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, the already thriving shipping trade between Green Bay and cities on the eastern Great Lakes increased dramatically. Troubled by the number of […]

  • Door County’s Most Significant Architectural Find

    You’ve heard of amazing discoveries – a long-lost Rembrandt revealed beneath an amateur’s landscape or a signed first edition of Hemingway buried in a box of old books from an estate sale. Now Door County has a “find” of its own that is attracting attention statewide and is almost sure to earn a spot on […]

  • Even the Ashes Were Gone: Lessons from the Peshtgo Fire

    “We are burning up. Send help.” This short, dire message to Wisconsin Governor Lucius Fairchild was the first contact sent from the epicenter of America’s deadliest fire ever. It was carried by boat as the lone telegraph line out of Peshtigo, Wisconsin had been burned weeks before. It gave none of the details which were, […]