Winter 2011/2012 – volume 9 issue 4

Editor: Madeline Johnson

Associate Editors: Allison Vroman & Myles Dannhausen Jr.

Contributing Editors: Jacinda Duffin, Sally Everhardus, Nik Garvoille, Gary Jones, Brittany Jordt, Roy Lukes, Karen Nordahl, Melissa Ripp, Sally Slattery, Bonnie Spielman, Patty Williamson, Jen Zettel

Contributing Photographers: Martha Coaty, Sarah Doneff, Dan Eggert, Lucas Frykman, Heather Harle Frykman, Paula Hedeen, Len Villano, Ping Wu

Advertising Sales: Madeline Johnson, Jess Farley, Steve Grutzmacher

Publisher: David Eliot

Owners: Madeline Johnson & David Eliot

Door County Living magazine is published five times annually by:

Door County Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 695, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202


We welcome your inquiries, comments, and submissions.

E-mail us at: [email protected] or simply

call us at (920) 839-2120.


For advertising rates and information, please e-mail us at:

[email protected] or simply

call us at (920) 839-2120.


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 $20.00 to Subscription – Door County Living, P.O. Box 695, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.  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].

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©2011 Door County Living, Inc.  All rights reserved. Unsolicited materials must be accompanied with return postage.  Door County Living magazine assumes no liability for damage or loss.

In this issue

  • Sarah Doneff, Mike Meyers

    The View From the Line: A Look in the Kitchen

    Some restaurant cooks bounce around the kitchen like a jitterbug, as if the floor is made of hot coals and there’s a meddlesome fly buzzing around their head. They hop from flat-top, to fryer, to the prep cooler, then to the grill and back to the prep cooler. They shout instructions to prep cooks, find […]

  • Ping Photography, Annie Alberts, John Alberts, Top Shelf

    Top Shelf Café & Gourmet: Not Your Mother’s Corner Deli

    So, Top Shelf Café and Gourmet is not your mother’s corner deli…unless your mother was in the habit of running to the corner to pick up a tin of black truffle butter, some Korean ginger scallion marinade or a bit of Purple Haze goat cheese with lavender and fennel. The shop somehow manages to fit […]

  • Suzi Hass, Kelli Bruns, Peninsula State Park

    Peninsula State Park’s New Superintendent, Kelli Bruns

    Kelli Bruns stepped into the top job at Peninsula State Park on September 1, 2011, filling the position that had been occupied by two interim superintendents since the retirement of longtime Superintendent Tom Blackwood at the end of 2009. Bruns comes to Peninsula with a duel degree in forest recreation and forest management from UW […]

  • Roy Lukes, chickadee

    Black-capped Chickadee

    If one were to conduct a popularity contest regarding the wild birds of the forest, attempting to determine the one that is most widely-recognized and enjoyed, which do you suppose it would be? My vote would go to a pert, friendly, little feathered gymnast, the one the American Indians of this region called “ch’geegee-lokh-sis,” the […]

  • Sarah Doneff

    Doors of Door County

    The most famous Door County door, Death’s Door – the waters between the tip of the Door Peninsula and the rocky shores of Washington Island – is a rough place. History books are filled with stories of shipwrecks, missing vessels and lost lives in this passage, the only way to navigate between the Bay of […]

  • "PBI Continuing Excellence, 1983-1993"

    Peterson Builders and The Avenger Class Minesweeper

    Sitting in the room of his home dedicated to Peterson Builders’ history, Ellsworth Peterson can point to any of the relics from his career with the company and tell a story. The work permit he obtained to help his father in the shipyard hangs in a frame on the wall. His hard hat rests on […]

  • Len Villano, foosball, human foosball

    Human Foosball

    Most of us have memorable moments playing the fast-paced table game of foosball, whether in a bar, a college frat house, or a friend’s basement. To fill in those who have lived a foosball-free life, the playing table looks like a miniature soccer field with walls. Players use small figures attached to rotating rods to […]

  • Ping Photography

    Door County’s Poet Laureate, Barbara Larsen

    These winter-themed poems by Door County’s Poet Laureate showcase her talent, as well as the power of poetry. Final Curtain Some days sun settles into the bay gently, spreading her delicate chiffon scarves over the pale sky and silken water like the pure melodic line of a Chopin nocturne. Other times she is Carmen who […]

  • Syrup Made Right: Jorn’s Sugar Bush

    Schools today would call it a work-study program, but when Roland Jorns was at Gibraltar High School there wasn’t a name for the kindness of Principal J.C. Langemak who let his student leave at noon during the maple sap run to tend to his trees. “He was like a second father to me,” said Jorns, […]

  • Len Villano, Door County Idol

    Behind the Curtain: Door County Idol

    Contests like Door County Idol are often made out to be a stop-at-nothing race to the top. Mock documentaries about such competitions, like Drop Dead Gorgeous, make fun of rural towns where mothers and daughters hatch deadly plots to win. And, of course, on the national television show American Idol young people fiercely compete for […]

  • Door County’s Lake and Bay View Bus Line

    When the United States entered World War II t effort required contributions from every corner of the country, including a little bus depot in Sister Bay.

  • Andy Laurent, Stan Mailer

    The Rise and Fall of the Ahnapee & Western Railway

    For most people today, the initials A&W bring to mind a frosty mug of root beer, but for nearly a century folks in northeast Wisconsin knew it as shorthand for the Ahnapee & Western Railway. Mark Mathu grew up in New Franken, Wisconsin, about 35 miles south of Sturgeon Bay in Brown County, where the […]

  • Ping Photography

    Pipka Ulvilden: The Santa Lady

    For those who celebrate it, Christmas conjures a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and it makes sense to appreciate a woman who’s known as “The Santa Lady,” someone who takes those traditions and turns them into art. Even if she didn’t have her roots deep in the Christmas spirit, the warmth Pipka Ulvilden radiates is undeniable. […]

  • Matt Norman

    A profile of Lynn Gilchrist

    Growing up in Lake Bluff, Illinois, getting a liberal education at Oberlin College and living in Sturgeon Bay have all combined to shape Lynn Gilchrist’s intellectual and artistic journey. A self-avowed “slow moving person,” she constantly balances her list of artistic accolades with a “geeky” (her word) side that demands unflinching critical analysis of her […]