Letter to the Editor: Go the Extra Miles for Nelson’s

Progress is usually good and somewhat inevitable, however, there is value in retaining some history. I know it’s too late to change anything but I needed to vent my frustration.

I just bumped into Gary Nelson at the post office. I expressed how much the general store in Baileys Harbor will be missed.

My wife and I purchased our land north of Baileys Harbor in 1976. We physically built our own home and upon our retirement moved up to Door County permanently. I brought much of my building materials from Milwaukee but over the years, I have come to rely on Nelson’s for anything and everything I might need that may not have been anticipated. Doing my own construction, electrical and plumbing work, I was always amazed at how I was able to find even the most obscure connection, fitting or part that I might need.

I was formerly a building inspector and plan examiner with the City of Milwaukee, working directly with citizens in the permitting process and often dealing with zoning issues. This summer I was appalled at how the Baileys Harbor city fathers/mothers could possibly be so blind and greedy as to let a county treasure like Nelson’s leave? Unfortunately, I witnessed this shortsightedness in the larger city of Milwaukee but I had hoped that there would be some civic leaders with at least a modicum of common sense in our smaller community. The roadblocks, stonewalling and unreasonable demands the Nelson family had to deal with are inexcusable.

Of course, the “all knowing and wise” town board will insist this was out of their hands and had no other options. Those responsible also probably won’t even have the guts to put their own names out there so we may never know who they are. Shame on them!

I’ve spoken to so many residents from neighboring towns, all of whom express sorrow and dismay that we’re losing such a valued commodity and all of whom have shopped at Nelson’s. It goes without saying that a facility with such a varied inventory was a definite plus for Door County.

I, for one, will go the extra miles to Fish Creek to show support for the Nelsons.


Barney & Cheryl Sielen

Baileys Harbor, Wis.

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