Winter 2017/2018 – volume 15 issue 4

editor in chief Jim Lundstrom

editor Alyssa Skiba

assistant editor Alissa Ehmke

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, Erin Kamprath, Roy & Charlotte Lukes, Jackson Parr, Justin Skiba, Patty Williamson

distribution manager Angela Sherman

courier The Paper Boy, LLC

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

publisher David Eliot

office manager Ben Pothast

chief technology officer Nate Bell

owner David Eliot

Volume 15 Issue 4: 35,000 copies (5,337 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

  • The Changing Look of Winter Wear

    Balaclavas. Earmuffs. Parkas. Stormy Kromers. Galoshes. Moon boots. Mukluks. Union suits. The things we wear to survive winter have changed dramatically since pioneers first settled on this peninsula. Synthetic fabrics have largely replaced the wools and furs of yesteryear, but not completely. We asked the Door County Historical Museum for historic winter photos, and then […]

  • The Diverse Duties of Artistic Director Greg Vinkler

    Chicagoan Greg Vinkler was a college sophomore when he first found his home in theater. According to Vinkler, it was in that introductory class for non-majors that he felt for the first time he truly belonged somewhere. “It was like putting on a glove that fit me really, really well,” he said. Vinkler has pursued […]

  • A New Life for Hotel Washington

    On an early September morning, Kelly Warren of Madison was lounging in the lobby of the Hotel Washington, rejuvenated after bicycling 50 miles in the Door County Century ride the day before. “It’s beautifully quiet,” she said of the bed and breakfast. “I feel very tended to, but it’s subtle, pleasant. In a B&B you’re […]

  • Door County’s Great Home Bars

    Like most children of the ’80s, I grew up with the television turned to Cheers! every Thursday night. It was one of the rare shows my parents watched that I actually liked and it’s probably why I always wanted to own my own bar as a kid. My parents never went to bars, and I […]

  • Rustic Bread on the Rise

    Tucked discreetly on a back road in a beautiful country landscape in southern Door County is a studio. This particular studio belongs to metal artist Robert Anderson, humble and bubbling with many talents. Rob is a man who works with his hands, a man who carries passion into his work. Absorbed in process, breathing the […]

  • How Valmy Got Its Name

    History can be a very murky thing. Sometimes as you try to unlock a mystery of the past, you find instead a frustrating lack of detail. For example, how did the chunk of property just right of center on a Sevastopol plat map come to be known as Valmy back in 1899? Just try finding […]

  • Mobile Vet Jim Johnson Parked for Good

    After nearly 50 years of providing veterinarian care in the Midwest, Dr. James Johnson is ready to trade in the late night phone calls, house visits, and long hours for more coffee time with his wife. Johnson, 73, will retire Dec. 31. While pet owners across the peninsula will miss him, the feelings are mutual. […]

  • In the Eye of the Beholder: Oil painter Jan Comstock

    Jan Comstock stood outside the cage, captivated by the beauty of the magnificent red-tailed hawk that perched within. But as she scanned the enclosure before her — the tether, the lone tree, the untouched piece of raw meat that had been tossed in — she was overcome with sadness and questions. Was the bird born […]

  • Music Through the Ages: Peninsula New Horizons Band Makes Musicians, New and Old

    At some point in your early school years, you probably walked into music class to see an array of instruments laid out before you. One by one, with the help of your music teacher or band director, you tried them all and picked one. Some put it away after the first rehearsal. For others, it […]

  • Walloon: Door County’s Endangered Language

    Bau joo! Commai estau? If you were at a church, grocery store or tavern in 1930s Brussels — the southern Door County community located within the largest Belgian-American settlement in the country — you likely would have heard this jovial greeting of “Hello! How are you?” What appears to mimic French is actually the Belgian […]

  • War Comes to Door County: Remembering Hyper-patriotism and Anti-German Sentiments on 100th Anniversary of WWI

    World War I came knocking on Door County doors as soon as the United States entered the almost three-year-old conflict on April 6, 1917. The United States was joining allies Britain, France and Russia in fighting Germany and its allies (Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria). April 6 was a Friday. By the following Monday, […]

  • Editor’s Note: Welcoming Winter

    In these final weeks of autumn, as businesses bid farewell to 2017 and snowbirds head south for the winter, Door County’s landscape has swapped its palette of fiery reds and oranges for muted browns and grays. The peninsula is ready for its winter slumber. It has become a ritual for me to welcome early winter […]

  • Ephraim’s Curious Man: Paul Burton

    Paul Burton wasn’t born in Door County, nor did he have a home here until 1991. He still describes himself as “a hillbilly from Burnsville, North Carolina,” but there’s surely not a single other person who would choose that term in regard to this eminent scholar, scientist, historian and author. All these factors contributed to […]

  • In Your Glass: Ginger, the Spice of Winter

    In the wintertime spice cabinet, ginger reigns supreme. Whether it’s the fresh rhizome that lends a sharp, spicy touch to soups, stir fry and teas, or the subtle, ground version that gives a warm, spicy bite to gingersnap cookies and pumpkin pies, winter is the time for this knobby root to shine. Ginger does more […]

  • Door to Nature: How Birds Survive Winter

    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. Biting, […]

  • Snowbirds By Sea: Sailing South for Winter

    There are three bridges connecting the northern half of Door County to the rest of the country by land and there are three waterways that connect the peninsula’s shores to the sea. The St. Lawrence Seaway, Erie Canal and the Twain-esque Western Rivers have all provided passage from Door County to Florida and beyond for […]