The Door County Historical Society will host its monthly dinner program, “History of Chambers Island,” presented by Mary Ann Blahnik on April 24. The dinner and program will be held at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay at 6 pm.
In 1850, Chambers Island was a thriving logging, fishing and shipbuilding community. It was one of the first townships organized in Door County. In 1916 Door County Historical Society founder Hjalmar Holand wrote, “Fifty years ago, Chambers Island was not only a settled community but an organized town where the voters once a year gathered in solemn conclave to discuss the needs of the roads and bridges, distribute political honors, and damn the state tax. It had a full array of town officers with no less than three justices of the peace, town constables, and even a Sealer of Weights and Measure. It had a public school and a post office, farms, orchards, livestock, a sawmill and a shipbuilding plant. It had occasional religious services and a good sewing circle and tea parties met frequently. The distant little island was in all respects a well-ordered community.”
Without public transportation to the island and no permanent residents, the present-day island has become somewhat of a mystery to those who can only view it from afar, merely a green speck on the horizon. Blahnik will share what has happened on the island since those early days.
Joel and Mary Ann Blahnik have been volunteer caretakers of the Chambers Island Lighthouse for more than 40 years. Her love of island history grew from spending summers there.
Al Johnson’s Restaurant will serve Scandinavian bread tray, dinner salad with lingonberry vinaigrette, along with a choice of either a Swedish meatball dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans or vegetarian pasta primavera. The dinner will finish with cherry cheese pie for dessert and coffee, iced tea or milk. The dinner and program fee is $25 for guests and $20 for members. To make a reservation, mail a check and meal selection to the Door County Historical Society, PO Box 71, Sturgeon Bay 54235 by April 18. For more information, call 920.421.2332 or email [email protected]