The Door County Historical Society’s interpretive sites, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and the Heritage Village at Big Creek, are open for the season. For the first time in two years, due to the generous gift of time by society volunteers, the Hanson Norwegian Homestead will be open on Saturdays from 10 am until noon through Oct. 14.
In 1853 Bertha and Hans Hanson family came from Hurum, a seaport on the southeast coast of Norway. When Hans and Bertha were married, he was listed on the marriage license as a ship carpenter. For a year or two, they settled in Chicago. Hans heard of ship building in Door County, worked at that for a year, and then bought this 80-acre farm in 1857 for $250. In 1881, the farm was recorded to be 225 acres extending northward towards what we now know as Michigan Street and eastward toward Lake Michigan.
Hans and Bertha Hanson selected this property because of its ideal location by a creek (Big Creek) and bay (Sturgeon Bay before it was connected to Lake Michigan via the canal). In constructing his home, Hans used the skills he had perfected in ship building, Norwegian style. Little did Bertha and Hans Hanson know that 150 years later their property would become the Hanson Norwegian Homestead.
A visit to this Norwegian heritage site is included in the $6 adult admission to Heritage Village. Admission may be purchased at the Heritage Village, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, or at the Homestead located on the north side of Utah Street, the first driveway on the left past the creek.
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is open daily for tours from 10 am until 3:30 pm. Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is located in Peninsula State Park on Shore Road. Guided tour fee for adults is $8, $5 students (13-17), and $3 for youth (6-12). A daily park permit is necessary.
The Heritage Village at Big Creek tour begins at the Greene General Store; the tour includes the store, Vignes School, Village Chapel, Blacksmith Shop in the Petersen Granary, Kohl’s Fish House, Outhouse, Warren House, Schopf House, Madden Tool Museum (currently under construction), and on Saturdays from 10-noon the Hanson Norwegian Homestead (one-half mile down the path or by car). The Heritage Village at Big Creek is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm; adult admission is $6. Due to the generosity of members and guest donors, there is no admission fee for children.
For more information, call 920.421.2332 or visit DoorCountyHistoricalSociety.org.