Autumn 2008 – volume 6 issue 3

Publisher: Brad Massey

Editor: David Eliot

Associate Editors: Sara Massey, Madeline Johnson

Copy Editor: Allison Vroman

Photography Director: Dan Eggert

Contributing Editors: Kay McKinley Arneson, Lauren Bremer, Julia Chomeau, Emilie Coulson, Katie Dahl, Myles Dannhausen Jr., Jacinda Duffin, Dan Eggert, Garth Gilster, Mariah Goode, Roy Lukes, Megan O’Meara, Melissa Ripp, Jessica Sauter, Allison Vroman, Patty Williamson

Advertising Sales: Madeline Johnson, Steve Grutzmacher

Door County Living magazine is published four times annually by:

Door County Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 606, Ephraim, WI 54211


We welcome your inquiries, comments, and submissions. E-mail us at: [email protected] or simply call us at (920) 854-7550.


For advertising rates and information, please e-mail us at: [email protected] or simply call us at (920) 854-7550.


Door County Living is available free of charge at select locations on the Door Peninsula.  Why not have it delivered directly to your door?  To order an annual subscription, please send $16.00 to Subscription – Door County Living, P.O. Box 606, Ephraim, WI 54211.  To change your address or inquire about the status of your subscription, please contact us in writing at the address above, or by e-mail at: [email protected].

No portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher. ©2008 Door County Living, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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In this issue

  • Lunch (and more) at Launch: Café Launch

    “Eating and drinking at Launch is always the right choice:  great food, great beer, great company. Good times…” –Chris Olson, Door County resident and Launch-goer In every town, I suspect, there is a place – often but not always an eating and drinking establishment – that locals hope to keep quiet. Sort of like the […]

  • The Bistro at Liberty Square: The Story of an Old Storefront and a New Restaurant

    When you arrive in the sleepy little village of Egg Harbor by way of Highway 42, the clean, glistening white storefront in the heart of town, across the street from Main Street Market, might surprise you a bit. Not by the fact that it’s there – the complex itself has been there for about 10 […]

  • Hybrid Happy: Golfing with the Latest Gear

    In recent years the word “hybrid” has become a staple in the average American’s lexicon. Whether watching CSI or the local news on TV, reading a favorite magazine or surfing the internet, we seem to be endlessly exposed to ads for hybrid vehicles, hybrid vacuums, and hybrid designer dogs like the Pomeranian-Collie-Labradoodle-Dalmation. As golfers, we […]

  • The Art of Music with David Bell

    “You need to know your craft before you can know your art.” These are the words of David Bell, a musician who has chosen to make Door County his home. While similar sentiments have surely been echoed throughout time by any number of painters, sculptors, actors, performers and musicians, the words, when spoken by Bell, […]

  • Dimmed Lights Brightened: The Long Road to Restoration on Plum and Pilot Islands

    For over a century they served as beacons for ships and fishermen in the treacherous passage through Death’s Door, the foreboding stretch of water between Lake Michigan and Green Bay at the tip of the peninsula that would steal its name, Door County. The lighthouse on Plum Island and the range light on Pilot Island […]

  • Villibunk: A Modern Look at Scandinavian Design

    THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. – from “Evangeline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Nestled in the woods of […]

  • Island Running: The Island Clipper

    Name-dropping takes on a whole new meaning in Door County. Names that mean something on the northern portion of our peninsula don’t have much to do with the “Branjolinas” of the world. Names like Johnson, Weborg and Nelson are much more apt to command attention and respect. One name that is synonymous with our local […]

  • Wildlife Migration: When Door County Takes Flight

    Article by Roy Lukes Forty-four years of watching wildlife and keeping daily notes has clearly indicated to me that Door County, with its many miles of shoreline serving as visual guides, is an excellent place for observing the migration of birds. Spring brings both those birds which will nest here and also the many species […]

  • An Unlikely Hero: Gibraltar’s Iva Grasse

    On the social networking website Facebook, 196 graduates of the Gibraltar Public Schools have formed a fan club for a hero they all share, a person the website calls “the coolest person in the world.” In a forum where other Wisconsinites are creating fan pages for Jacob Leinenkugel or Brett Favre, these young people are […]

  • Autumn’s Glory: Fall Camping in Door County

    Naturalist and preservationist John Muir once noted, “The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” The Universe he’s referring to is not necessarily the cosmological universe, but rather the deep, mystical sense of knowing that comes from understanding the interconnectedness of the natural world and its beings. Muir, along with a great […]

  • An Evolution in Clay: Reneé Schwaller

    It’s a bright Sunday morning as Reneé Schwaller sits at her wheel working on throwing a couple of pots before switching gears to get ready for a family party later on that afternoon. As she works the clay her children, Ava (8) and Wyatt (4), wander in to see what’s going on. The studio space, […]

  • 50 Paths: Nan Helscher’s Creative Journey

    Nan Helscher’s hands are covered in paint. Not the oil paint she uses in her studio, but house paint. Earlier in the week, she grouted the stone on the floor and lime-washed the walls in her new house of straw bale construction. Right now, the final steps toward completing the building project with a contractor […]

  • Agriculture in Door County

    Agriculture has played an important role in Door County’s economy, environment, culture, and social structure for more than 150 years. Today, the county is home to hundreds of farms – over 90 percent of which are individually or family-owned – as well as agriculture-related businesses providing equipment, services, and other products farmers need to grow, […]

  • Gills Rock Stoneware, Thor Thoreson

    Ellison Bay Art Crawl: A Grassroots Movement

    The adage “one good turn deserves another” might best describe the beginning, and the reason for the continued growth, of the Ellison Bay Art Crawl. The Art Crawl began six years ago when Mary Ellen Sisulak and husband Rob Bussler, owners of Turtle Ridge Studio-Gallery, wanted to find a way to thank their neighbors for […]

  • Tin Lizzies, Oil Lamps, Making Toast with a Pitchfork, Swimming with the Cows: Happy Memories of Long Ago on Kangaroo Lake

    I couldn’t have imagined, when we found an old cottage we loved on Kangaroo Lake 16 years ago, that the history of this place and its people would lay claim to my life for nearly a decade. When our neighbor, Wil Anschutz, learned that I am a writer, he suggested that I research a history […]