Winter 2015/2016 – volume 13 issue 4

Executive Editor Madeline Harrison

Editor Jim Lundstrom

Assistant Editor Alissa Ehmke

Arts & Literature Editor Alyssa Skiba

Production Manager David Eliot

Creative Director Ryan Miller

Photography Director Len Villano

Sales Managers Jess Farley, Stephen Grutzmacher, Madeline Harrison

Contributing editors Luke Collins, Myles Dannhausen Jr., Jess Farley, Laurel Duffin Hauser, Gary Jones, Katie Lott, Roy Lukes, Jackson Parr, Richard Purinton, Patty Williamson

Distribution manager Angela Sherman

Courier The Paper Boy, LLC

Distribution experts: Michael Brooks, Michael Hyde, Matthew Smith, Drew Witteborg

Publisher David Eliot

Business Manager Madeline Harrison

Office Manager Lisa Glabe

Chief Technology Officer Nate Bell

Celebrating the culture and lifestyle of the Door Peninsula

Owners Madeline Harrison & David Eliot

Door County Living magazine is published five times a year by Door County Living, Inc.

8142 Hwy 57 / Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

call (920) 839-2120 / email [email protected]

write PO Box 695 / Baileys Harbor, WI 54202


SubscribeDoor County Living is available for free at select locations on the Door Peninsula. If you live inside northern Door County you may opt to have it delivered to your mailbox for free. Please email [email protected] or call (920) 839-2120. If you live outside of northern Door County and would like to purchase a subscription please mail a check of $15 to Subscriptions — Door County Living /

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Door County Living is a Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. company. Locally owned. Locally minded.

In this issue

  • Len Villano

    Lazy Morning Breakfast

    Hands down, my Aunt Rosemary made the best pancakes. When we were lucky enough to eat breakfast at her house it was memorable. She always had real maple syrup…we always had Mrs. Butterworth’s (also special because the bottle was so cool). Her pancakes were thin and crispy on the edges, almost like crepes. I remember […]

  • Ice is Nice

    With just a few hours notice on a freezing cold day, Steve Johnson, winemaker at Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery in Kewaunee, will muster a cadre of friends, neighbors and wine enthusiasts to show up before dawn at the vineyard and pick grapes. Clad in parkas, snowpants, hats and boots, the workers pick frozen grapes […]

  • What a Crock!

    Of course a Jewish mother was behind the invention of the Crock-Pot. All hail Irving Naxon, a Chicago inventor who was inspired to create an electric pot to make a dish his Lithuanian mother described to him, a traditional Jewish stew that in the old days was cooked during Sabbath by letting the stew sit […]

  • Len Villano

    Growing the Holiday Spirit

    Ken Ottman fits the role of selling Christmas trees. His big white beard surrounds an everlasting smile that pairs with big-bellied laughter at the sound of his own jokes. Every season, as the holiday approaches, Ottman and his family spend more time in Door County doing the fun part of tree farming. “The retailing part […]

  • The Early Days of the Washington Island Ferry

    When you live on an island that requires traversing a stretch of water known as Death’s Door, it’s a balm to the mind to know there is a “lifeline” to get you back and forth safely. The word “lifeline” was invoked several times by speakers at a fall ceremony to honor the Washington Island Ferry […]

  • Ryan Miller

    The Secret Lives of Animals in Winter

    Winter. Love it or hate it, every being needs a strategy to survive it. From the smallest insect to the largest mammal, we are seasonal creatures, hard-wired to detect the subtle cues in our environment that warn us winter is on its way. One morning we’ll notice it’s darker than it used to be when […]

  • A Lost Icon: The Omnibus

    If you spend enough offseason happy hours at the Bayside or AC Tap, or work enough shifts at Husby’s or the Bowl, you’ll hear a lot of stories about the old days of Northern Door, and those old days will almost always be better than today. You’ll hear about a time before people realized that […]

  • Roy Lukes


    Few people would sense a relationship between a species of juniper and the old-fashioned “two for a nickel” lead pencils, nor would they realize the importance of that same plant to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The light aromatic wood, used in the manufacture of pencils for many years, was derived from the Eastern Redcedar, Juniperus virginiana. […]

  • Mary Ellen Smith: An Advocate for Public Health

    When Mary Ellen Smith speaks of her 27-year career as a public health nurse in Door County, it is clear that few people have influenced her as greatly as her younger brother Tom. And for good reason — stricken with polio as a toddler just six months before the arrival of the vaccine that would […]

  • Making a Record in the Door

    Sure, Chicago, Nashville and Los Angeles churn out a lot of records. But look at the list of artists who have recorded in Door County in the last few years, and it’s impressive: Jeanne Kuhns and Small Forest, Door County newcomer Terry Murphy, folk artists Katie Dahl and groups like WIFEE and the HUZz BAND […]

  • Dave Hackett

    Dave Hackett: Capturing the Fine Details with a Realist’s Eye

    “In 1961 when Carol and I married,” Dave Hackett said, “our goal was some day to move to Door County. And in 1999, we did!” His secondary objective, he added, was “to have a studio and gallery, and develop an art presence” on the peninsula, an objective also realized as he became a successful artist […]

  • Wisconsin Gothic

    Editor’s Note In honor of Door County’s rich literary and photographic communities, the editorial staff at Door County Living decided to think outside the box with this issue’s literature section. Earlier this year, we perused dozens of photos from photography director Len Villano’s winter collection for an image that we felt spoke to the culture […]