Door County Living Summer 2021 – Volume 19, Issue 2


Myles Dannhausen Jr.

special issues editor

Grace Johnson

copy editor

Paula Apfelbach

creative director

Ryan Miller

design associate

Renee Puccini

sales managers

Jess Farley, Stephen Grutzmacher


The Paper Boy, LLC

distribution experts

Jeff Andersen, Chris Eckland, Guy Fortin, Todd Jahnke, Susie Vania, Jacob Wickman

office manager

Ben Pothast

assistant office manager

Kait Shanks

chief technology officer

Nate Bell


Sally Collins, Tom Groenfeldt, Brett Kosmider, Charlotte Lukes, Jackson Parr, Mike Shaw, Justin Skiba, Patty Williamson


David Eliot


David Eliot and Myles Dannhausen Jr.

Door County Living, Inc.

8142 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202


[email protected]

Volume 19 Issue 1

35,000 copies (17,000 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 for $25 to Door County Living, 8142 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202. If you would like to advertise, please visit

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All rights reserved. Door County Living is a Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. company.

Locally owned. Locally minded.

In this issue

  • Cool Drinks for Hot Days in Door County

    In the dog days of summer when the humidity climbs, try one of these local summer favorites to cool down! Big Time Last year, Husby’s in Sister Bay added frozen drinks at The Filling Station to its sprawling outdoor scene, but on a hot summer day, locals still call for the Big Time to cool […]

  • Door to Nature: ‘Mosquito Hawks’

    Dragonflies are fearsome insect predators and dazzling fliers The summer skies over most wetlands can be laced with rapidly flying creatures that are difficult to identify. These are dragonflies that feed on many small, flying insects.  You cannot easily determine their identity unless they come to rest on a plant or object near you. Dragonflies […]

  • In The Hands of Fred Wahlen, Furniture is Both Art and History

    Fred Wahlen said he was never really good at art. His customers see things differently. “He’s a furniture artist,” said Marsha Krzyzanowski. Marsha and her husband, Steve, have five pieces of Wahlen’s specialty wood furniture in their Fish Creek home, including a custom-made coffee bar and plant stand.  The Krzyzanowskis’ interest in his work was […]

  • The Princess and the Tea: Mercedes Wadkins Turned a Daughter’s Wish into a Business

    Mercedes Wadkins was raised on Disney — the fairy tales, the magic, the princesses. Her favorite films include Sleeping Beauty and Fantasia. A Washington Island native and Sturgeon Bay resident, she’s made the trek to the mecca in Florida many times. “I’ve been to Disney World a bazillion times,” Wadkins said. “It’s my happy place. […]

  • Crazy About Pickleball

    “I just couldn’t get over the name pickleball,” said Jay Renstrom of his first impression of the sport. “Why in the heck was it called pickleball? Who’s going to play that?” Renstrom and a rapidly growing number of people in Door County and throughout the U.S., that’s who. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry […]

  • ESSAY: The Lonely Outhouse

    by Bob Potier Ours was a small farm in the 1930s, not like the giant corporate farms of today. My grandparents — of Belgian descent — had scraped together what they could to purchase a farm on Highway C, south of Sturgeon Bay. Their son — my father — married my mother at a young […]

  • In Your Glass: The White Lady

    Anders Erickson got his start behind the bar at the short-lived but much-loved T. Ashwell’s restaurant (now Wickman House) in Ellison Bay. That stint sent him on a course to become a true mixologist in Chicago — first at Andersonville’s In Fine Spirits, and later at Ward 8 in Evanston.  When COVID-19 forced Ward 8 […]

  • On Your Plate: From Lake to Plate

    Salmon makes a fresh feast in the summer heat When the Midwest heat and humidity set in, I don’t want to eat heavy food. Little snacks throughout the day carry me through. My family gravitates to eating lots of fruit, salads, light meals and smaller portions, with the occasional Popsicle to cool down.  When we […]

  • Reimagining the Klenke Cottage

    A 1920s-era rental cottage rests on girders at the Liberty Grove Historical Society Museum in Ellison Bay, awaiting a permanent foundation. A couple of miles north, a renovated home on Garrett Bay Road hosts a new family. Although the buildings now look different, they have one thing in common: Both used to belong to Gus […]

  • Editor’s Note: What Is Door County?

    “That just isn’t Door County.” If you attend enough meetings, or just spend a morning tucked into a cozy corner of a coffee shop and eavesdrop on chitchat for long enough, you’ll hear someone say it. But if you get brave and butt into the conversation to ask what is Door County, you’ll be hard […]

  • A Journey of Land and Sea: Gibraltar Graduate Ryan Fochs

    During his 30 years on the planet, Ryan Fochs has covered a great deal of it. He has set foot in dozens of countries on six continents in his quest to investigate the world on land and at sea. The 2009 Gibraltar High School alumnus also graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a triple […]

  • A Third Coast to Dive: Remembering On The Rocks dive lodge

    Fifty years ago, during the first few hours of the new year, the phone in a wooden A-frame at the tip of the Door peninsula would ring madly. At the other end of the phone line, eager diving enthusiasts would secure their bunk bed for a weekend during the coming summer. Jim Robinson recalls those […]

  • Northbound: How a Kentucky Couple Found a Home in Egg Harbor

    In March of 1994, a young couple in Lexington, Kentucky — an eager husband and a reluctant wife — loaded up a U-Haul in shorts and T-shirts and made the long journey to Door County.  “We unloaded in snowmobile suits,” remembered Don Helm — that eager husband — who felt drawn to the community while […]

  • Building a Community: Door Karma Farms

    We’re in Chris Schuh’s truck, driving on the long, gravel road that heads east from Door Karma Farms’ storefront on Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor. Schuh, a co-owner of Door Karma, wants to show me more of the farm, but the land we pass doesn’t look like traditional farmland. He drives past a large swath […]

  • 150 Years of the Door County Fair

    When the carnival rides hum to life, the sweet smell of funnel cakes wafts through the air, and the county’s youth unload their pigs, cows, and crafts along the midway at the Door County Fairgrounds on July 28, the 150-year legacy of the Door County Fair will live on. Behind the entertainment and thrills rests […]

  • A Magnificent World of Ridges and Swales

    “Door County is famous throughout the Midwest for its matchless scenery and climate, and for the kindly folk that inhabit this peninsula county. Surely Door County will not allow any of its natural shrines to be desecrated.”  — Albert Fuller, 1937, founding member of The Ridges Sanctuary It began about 1,400 years ago, after receding […]