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.

  • Dancing, Pantomimes and Historic Costumes at Next “Gibraltar Talks” Program

    Ladies and gentleman, there will be dancing, pantomimes and historic costumes from hoops to hobble skirts during “Good Night Ladies” – a panorama of women’s history from 1870 to 1915. Karen Cowan, Carol Jones and Vivian Tomlinson will unveil the age-old secrets of “feminine mystique.” The gala will be held Sept. 24 at 7 pm at […]

  • Wisconsin Agriculture book Jerry apps

    Jerry Apps Details the Facts and Figures of Farming in New Book

    Discover the rich and diverse history of farming in Wisconsin – from the story of cranberry growers and Christmas tree farmers to the harvesters of honey and hops – with celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps in his new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Wisconsin has been a farming state from its […]

  • Baileys harbor town cemetery

    Baileys Harbor Town Cemetery: Many Plots, Many More Stories

    Susie Bauldry has deep roots in Baileys Harbor. Her great-grandfather, Karl Peil, planted the avenue of trees leading out of town on County Road F. Her grandmother, Hedwig Peil, was the mail-order bride from Germany who worked with Winifred Boynton to plant the wonderful gardens at Björklunden. And Susie’s dad, Rollie Peil, was for years […]

  • Historic Ownership Maps for Sale at Liberty Grove’s Vintage Market

    Historic Ownership Maps of Door County will be on sale at Liberty Grove Historical Society’s final 2015 Vintage Market Day on Sept. 12. As usual, the market will open at Century Farm barn atop the Grand View grade in Ellison Bay at 10 am. Liberty Grove historian Karen Moran will be on hand to help […]

  • grapeshot dive survey

    Tamara Thomsen Surveys Plum Island Shipwreck

    Wisconsin Historical Society underwater archaeologist Tamara Thomsen was on Plum Island Aug. 22 with a dive team to survey and document the wreck of the Grape Shot, an 1855 schooner that sank in 1867 just off Plum Island’s north shore. Thomsen’s visit aboard the Sea Grant Institute’s research vessel Dawn Treader was arranged in large […]

  • Door County’s Original Historian: Hjalmar R. Holand

    Few, if any, individuals who have called Door County home have led more interesting lives than Hjalmar R. Holand. His interactions with famous people, his world travels, and his prolific writings combine to form a remarkable life. And though he called America home for most of his 90 years, his Norwegian ancestry defined a large […]

  • Harvey Haen Cherry Picker

    Harvey Haen, Much More Than Egg Harbor’s Mr. Fix-it

    In the days when tourism was only a sidelight in Egg Harbor, when the community was a workingman’s town of cherry pickers, farmers and shipyard workers, nobody was more necessary – or more admired – than the man they called Mr. Fix-it. “If it ran, floated, or towed, Harv could fix it,” Art Witalison wrote […]

  • Helen Schreiber: Preserving Fish Creek’s History

    When Helen Schreiber Allen was born in 1922, her parents, Lester and Amanda Schreiber, owned and operated the Fish Creek General Store on Main Street, a mainstay in the village. With a twinkle in her blue eyes, Helen’s memories flow like water over the smooth stones in the creek of her hometown. And it is […]

  • Institute Saloon

    How A Tavern Makes A Town: Door County’s Iconic Watering Holes

    Editor’s Note:  In the Autumn issue of Door County Living magazine, writers Jim Lundstrom, Myles Dannhausen, and Jackson Parr set out to tell the story of the role that watering holes play in our peninsula’s communities. To do so they profiled eight of the county’s iconic bars in brief. The Institute Saloon – Keeping the Locals […]

  • Historic Door County Summer Camps

    Happy campers…Door County was full of them in the 1920s. Its forests, fields and bays reverberated with Reveille at dawn and Taps at dusk. From the Mabel Katherine Pearse modern dance camp on Washington Island to the rustic Adventure Island Camp off the shores of Ephraim to Camp Meenahga in Peninsula State Park, Door County […]

  • The Toft Family and The Places They Called Home

    Most people in Door County are likely familiar with the name Emma Toft. Some of them probably know that the Baileys Harbor house associated with her was, until recently, occupied by the Red Geranium Gift Shop. But Emma, “Wisconsin’s first lady of conservation,” has been gone for 33 years, and memories fade. Many may not […]

  • Hank Eckert: Door County’s Member of ‘The Greatest Generation’

    Tom Brokaw described them as “the Greatest Generation, who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II.

  • Getting Connected: Unlikely Group Brought Internet to Northern Door County

    In the early 1990s an unlikely group joined heads to expand Internet access in Door County and put the peninsula at the forefront of technology.

  • Exhibit Celebrates the Culture, History of Peninsula School of Art

    “The times they are a­changin,’” sang Bob Dylan in 1964, referring to the controversies surrounding Vietnam, civil rights, and even entertainment. More than one Volkswagen beetle sported the bumper sticker “Make love not war.” During this maelstrom of social change, something exciting was happening in Fish Creek: the birth of an art school. What began […]

  • Ahnapee-Western Railway Subject of Historical Society Meeting

    The Door County Historical Society will host its monthly dinner meeting featuring a presentation on the Ahnapee-Western Railway on April 27. The catered dinner meeting will be at 6 pm at Prince of Peace Church, 1756 Michigan St.

  • George Evenson retires as historical society president

    The Door County Historical Society was founded in 1926, and George Evenson came along just three years later. He’s a walking encyclopedia of the history of the county where he’s spent all his life and has been an active member of the Door County Historical Society (DCHS) for about 20 years.

  • 50 Years of Icelandic Horses

    Two Icelandic immigrations came to Washington Island, one human and one animal. The most celebrated immigration began in 1870 when four young Icelandic men found work on Washington Island. They encouraged countrymen to follow, soon making this an Icelandic settlement. Nearly 50 years ago, in 1964, a group of friends gathered at the home of […]

  • Thordarson’s Rock Island Boathouse: A Door County Treasure

    Patty Williamson takes us through history and inside the stunning walls of Rock Island’s majestic Thordarson boat house.

  • Icelandic Emigration to Washington Island

    In his role as a bookseller, my father was often asked to give talks about Door County books and authors to various groups and organizations. In those days, most Door County literature was either memoir or history, so my father often began his talks with:  “Never has so much been written about a place where […]

  • Emma Husby’s Legend Lives On

    Fourscore and several years ago, a man named Engebreth Husby and his wife began to lease L. Lerner’s general store, in a place we would barely recognize today as downtown Sister Bay. Engebreth, who was, understandably, better known by his middle name, Martin, had recently closed down his Cherryland Cheese Company and returned to farming […]