Autumn 2017 – volume 15 issue 3

editor Jim Lundstrom

assistant editor Alissa Ehmke

art & literature editor Alyssa Skiba

production manager David Eliot

creative director Ryan Miller

photography director Len Villano

sales managers Jess Farley, Stephen Grutzmacher

contributing editors Myles Dannhausen Jr., Jess Farley, Gary Jones, Roy & Charlotte Lukes, Jackson Parr, Andrew Phillips, Angela Sherman, Craig Sterrett, Patty Williamson, Sean Zak

distribution manager Angela Sherman

courier The Paper Boy, LLC

distribution experts Jeff Andersen, Michael Brooks, Meghan Farley, Steve Glabe, Michael Hyde, Susie Vania, Drew Witteborg

publisher David Eliot

office manager Ben Pothast

marketing & office assistant Abigail Thornton

chief technology officer Nate Bell

owner David Eliot

Volume 15 Issue 3: 40,000 copies (6,275 mailed)

Door County Living, celebrating the culture and lifestyle of the Door Peninsula, is published five times annually by Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. 8142 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.

To order a subscription please mail a check of $15 to Door County Living, 8142 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202. If you would like to advertise please visit

© 2017 Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. All rights reserved. Door County Living is a Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. company. Locally owned. Locally minded.

In this issue

  • Cottage Life Survives at Heritage Lake Resort

    For nearly a century, the typical Door County vacation home was a simple cottage on a piece of prime real estate. Rarely winterized, they had small, basic kitchens and sparse living rooms. Those coming to the peninsula, after all, were coming in July and August to take advantage of the cool breezes off the lake […]

  • Keep the Autumnal Fire Burning!

    Autumn has moved souls since the beginning of time. “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot It is the most romantic of seasons, which explains why so many people outside of Door County wonder, […]

  • Something For All Seasons: Sand Bay Beach Resort & Suites

    When Ingrid and Bill Stroschein purchased Sand Bay Beach Resort in 1962, it consisted of a handful of small housekeeping cottages and the family home that also included a small grocery store and an ice cream stand. The location is 7.5 miles southwest of Sturgeon Bay, about halfway between Little Sturgeon and IdleWild Golf Course. […]

  • A Course for the Everyman: Stonehedge Golf Course

    Of all the barriers to entry in the world of golf, and there are many, intimidation is the cruelest. You stand on that tee box, knowing only generally where this tiny, rocklike sphere will go. Those ritzy houses out to the right all of a sudden possess more glass windows than any house should. Or […]

  • Write On’s Jerod Santek and His Leap of Faith

    “In the summer of 2013 I took what many might consider a huge leap of faith,” Jerod Santek said. “And left my job as program director at one of the oldest writing organizations in the country to head this new center. It is the best thing I’ve ever done.” After 19 years working with writers […]

  • ‘The Skills of a Master, the Mind of a Child’ – Artist Hermke Timm

    Door County artist Hermke Timm works in a Whitefish Bay studio on Lake Michigan, sometimes painting egg tempera portraits of his neighbors, artwork that he gives to them as gifts. But he also does landscapes, pencil drawings, engravings and dry point, ceramics, and the colorful, whimsical, eclectic paintings called kunterbunt. When Hermke was a child […]

  • A Brilliant Stranger: The Art & Evolution of Dawn Patel

    Dawn Patel remembers the scene vividly:  yards of organic linen and silk blend fabric lying on her driveway, the bleach she applied in intricate patterns eating away at the delicate and expensive material. It was the only fabric she had to work with, so Patel gathered it up and brought it inside. A cold-water rinse […]

  • Making a Music Scene: Musicians Talk What Makes a Music Scene Magical

    “I came to realize that you can sometimes tell in advance whether or not a given situation will develop into a vibrant scene… It doesn’t depend entirely on the inspiration and creativity of the individuals hanging out there. A confluence of external factors helps encourage the latent talent in a community to flower.” — David […]

  • Pumping Life Into the Roadside: Don Koepsel Adds New Fuel to Historic Local Gas Pumps

    Don Koepsel’s barn across the street from the farmhouse in which he grew up would be described by some as an art gallery. Historic gas pumps stand like vibrant statues against a backdrop of vintage metal signs hanging on the wall. The retired insurance agent needed something to do with his time and it turned […]

  • A Farmer and His Cattle: Raising Shorthorns on Washington Island

    Every morning for the past year, Joe Elmore has risen with the sun, its rays bouncing off the waters of Washington Harbor and into his home on the northern end of Washington Island. He makes his way down the road to a barn at Riola Shorthorn Farm. Inside the barn, fans are blowing cool air […]

  • In the Quiet North Woods: Michelle Hefty’s 28 Years at Newport State Park

    If a career in natural resources didn’t work out, Michelle Hefty had her viola to fall back on. While everyone thought she would go on to a career in music, “I had this little love in the back of my mind.” After 28 years as superintendent of Newport State Park, few people have asked about […]

  • How Red Smith Lured Readers to Door County

    By Craig Sterrett A Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman revered for poetically telling extraordinary stories about ordinary events made Sturgeon Bay resident Mike Dietman world famous 58 summers ago. Back then, he was a fisherman. As bait, Dietman used one of the hellgrammites he netted from then-pristine Little Lake in Sunset Park and sold to tourists or […]

  • On Your Plate: Eating in Season All Year

    There’s nothing like the taste of fresh-picked produce in the darkest, coldest months of winter. You’re probably reading this and thinking, Of course! Who doesn’t love fresh-picked produce, but who has time for preserving in the peak of busy days? I used to think the same but found that starting small and building on your […]

  • On Your Plate: Can’t Beat Beets

    “Do you like beets?” This question generally gets a reaction, whether it’s people turning up their noses and scrunching up their faces in disgust, or smiling and salivating with glee. There is a true divide in taste buds in regard to this root. I have found no middle ground. You like them or you don’t […]

  • A Cherry Wine Fairy Tale: Schmiling Family Shepherds State’s First Winery into 21st Century

    “Once upon a time there was a doctor named Charles Stiehl.” Those are the opening words Brad Schmiling chose when asked to relate the 50-year history of von Stiehl Winery. And that is fitting because, at least from the outside, this does seem to be a fairy tale. The good Dr. Stiehl helped to draft […]

  • A Tradition Alive: Historic Resorts Continue Old Customs As Vacation Habits Change

    Sitting at the Egg Harbor Marina one lunchtime this summer, I witnessed a young couple going through the rituals of the last day of vacation. Unwrapping sandwiches they’d bought for lunch. Deciding when to leave. Discussing the work they had to do when they got home. Their two daughters, preschool-aged, were lost in the moment, […]

  • Door to Nature: The Colorful Maple Trees

    Editor’s note:  While Roy Lukes died at the age of 86 on June 26, 2016, his nature articles will continue to live on in Door County Living with the help of Roy’s wife, Charlotte, who has agreed to continue providing work from Roy’s extensive archives. For that reason, the article includes both their names. A […]

  • How Juddville Got Its Name

    If you blink while driving between Egg Harbor and Fish Creek, you could easily miss the quiet, unincorporated community of Juddville. You would not know it today but at one time it was a hardscrabble farming community of Scandinavian and Polish immigrants. Connecticut native Josiah Judd forever put his mark on the Door County landscape […]