Category: History

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.

  • “Edmund Fitzgerald” Exhibit Open Daily at Maritime Museum

    The Door County Maritime Museum’s exhibit marking the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald can again be viewed daily at the museum in Sturgeon Bay. The wreck, made famous for the mysterious conditions under which the 729-ft. freighter sank and further elevated in the public’s conscience by Gordon Lightfoot’s hit song, remains […]

  • Door County History, Mad Hatter’s Ball, A Cappella & More Weekend Plans

    If ever there were a time for Door County history buffs to brave the cold in favor of interesting historical presentations, this weekend is definitely it. Learn about the historic girls’ camp that once stood in Peninsula State Park and hear about one of the county’s most interesting men, Hjalmar Holand, from another of the […]

  • Door County History in Photos: Baileys Harbor, 1973

    This photo from a soggy day in June 1973 shows a very different Baileys Harbor from today. The Anderson Laundry is now the headquarters of the Peninsula Pulse and Door County Living. The Texaco station is now the marina. Charlotte Lukes, whose husband Roy took the photo, said that June was full of heavy rains […]

  • Door County History in Pictures: Horse-Drawn Mower, 1955

    Marilyn Peterson sent in this photo that she took while vacationing in Door County in July 1955. “I was quite taken by the mower at Gibraltar Schools as I’d never seen it done by a horse-drawn apparatus. I have no idea the identity of the gentleman, but the house in the background is still there. […]

  • Remembering Peninsula State Park’s Olden Days With Janet and Alvin “Itsie” Krause

    Itsie and Janet, married for 67 years, are two of the few remaining people who remember the park in its simpler days

  • Door County History in Pictures: Pearl Pelletier

    Rick Gordon sent in this undated photo of his mother, Pearl Pelletier, at the Fish Creek beach “when it had the stone fence near or in the water, depending on water depth, which at one time put the water about maybe 50 feet from the road,” Rick said. “The background would be looking at the […]

  • Door County History in Pictures: Rick Gordon in Fish Creek

    Rick Gordon, circa 1944, standing in front of the C&C Club holding a fish. The C&C Club was once owned by Gordon’s grandfather, Henry Pelletier. He used to store fish nets in the building that is now The Summertime Restaurant. Memories of old Fish Creek were brought back to Gordon after reading “How Fish Creek […]

  • Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

    Hanging above a desk at the Door County Land Trust is a bumper sticker that reads “Great Minds Think A Hike.” In 1990, by presidential decree, November was declared Native American Heritage Month and taking a hike is a fitting way to note and appreciate an important, less visible and often forgotten chapter in Door […]

  • Eagle Bluff Memories: Lemburgs Reminisce about the Lighthouse

    Like so many people, Ruby and Wayne Lemburg were drawn to Door County by their love for the water and boating. They were also interested in lighthouses. “It was a big thing,” Wayne says. “You could hardly pick up a magazine without seeing a lighthouse story.” So, on their first trip to the peninsula, years […]

  • How Jacksonport Got Its Name

    The Town of Jacksonport might just as easily have been known as Harrisport or Reynoldsport, according to the venerable Door County historian Hjalmar R. Holand.

  • The Early Days of the Washington Island Ferry

    When you live on an island that requires traversing a stretch of water known as Death’s Door, it’s a balm to the mind to know there is a “lifeline” to get you back and forth safely. The word “lifeline” was invoked several times by speakers at a fall ceremony to honor the Washington Island Ferry […]

  • A Lost Icon: The Omnibus

    If you spend enough offseason happy hours at the Bayside or AC Tap, or work enough shifts at Husby’s or the Bowl, you’ll hear a lot of stories about the old days of Northern Door, and those old days will almost always be better than today. You’ll hear about a time before people realized that […]

  • George Evenson to Present “87 Years in the Town of Sevastopol” Nov. 12

    The next historical program in Sevastopol will feature George Evenson in a presentation called “87 Years in the Town of Sevastopol.” The event will be held Nov. 12, 7 pm, at Sevastopol Town Hall, 4528 Hwy. 57.  

  • Remembering the ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’

    During the last half of the 1980s I was a reporter on the island of Maui. One day while driving my 1966 Pontiac Bonneville to an assignment, which was only equipped with an AM radio, I was listening to an AM station when Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” came on. At the […]

  • Shakespeare Shake Up: Door Shakespeare Responds to Translation Project

    2016 promises to be a very important and exciting year for William Shakespeare. 2016 is the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s passing and four centuries later, his brilliant legacy lives on stages across the globe, in textbooks from high school and college classrooms, and remains honored in many pieces of art including opera, musical theater, […]

  • The Education of Elva Killa

    A friend passed along a snippet of a story a few weeks ago about a woman from my hometown, Elva Killa, about to celebrate her 100th birthday. I couldn’t get home to Egg Harbor to talk to her, but Giz and Linda Herbst did earlier this month. Their conversation served as a base for this […]

  • Digging History: Artifacts Point to a 2,000-Year-Old Settlement at Ida Bay Preserve

    Both Randy Dickson and Willy Kemps of Midwest Archeological Consultants were children when they first caught the archeology bug – Dickson in Des Moines, Iowa, and Kemps in Kiel, Wis. Dickson was five when he and his brother were watching the excavation for a retirement home. “They were pulling artifacts out. I still remember that […]

  • door county bookmobile

    New Life Sharing Old Stories: County Bookmobile Awaits Third Restoration

    The Door County bookmobile, that kept generations of children and adults connected to worlds beyond their own for nearly half of the last century, is experiencing a third lifesaving rescue. It came to the county in 1950 as part of a three-year demo project funded by the state that also included Kewaunee County. When the […]

  • Mabel Peterson

    Mabel Peterson Shares Door County, Life History in New Book

    When Mabel Peterson was invited by her neighbor, Gretchen Maring, to join her in Barbara Larson’s writing class at The Clearing, the first two sessions convinced her she wasn’t a writer. A chance meeting with Larson at the Piggly Wiggly encouraged her to return. That was in 1998. Sometime after that, Mabel became excited about […]

  • Water Street Hot Shots, Pumpkin Fest, Iron Pour and More Weekend Plans

    Visit Door County in all its autumn glory and enjoy what local business and organizations have to offer, from evening tours of a historic lighthouse to a red hot iron pour and of course, Egg Harbor’s annual Pumpkin Patch. Friday, October 9 Evening Tours of Eagle Bluff Lighthouse For two weekends in October, the Eagle […]