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Category: Features

  • A Child Care Conundrum: Barker closure would leave families, employers in limbo

    When Alexis Heim Peter and her husband, Matt, welcomed their son, Jackson, to the world two and a half years ago, they encountered a challenge that an increasing number of Door County families are facing: securing child care once they return to work. Initially, the Sturgeon Bay residents couldn’t get into the full Barker Child […]

  • 2020 NEW BUSINESSES: Amid Uncertainty, Entrepreneurs Charge Forward

    After the Great Recession of 2008-09, businesses throughout Door County struggled through difficult times. Many closed their doors, ending dreams and destroying livelihoods. But in the wake of what we had, at the time, considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis, many entrepreneurs risked everything and continued pursuing their dreams.  To acknowledge and honor that […]

  • Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Forest Bathing with Jane Burress

    If you follow Jane Burress for a couple of hours on a slow, guided walk through Door County’s natural places, it’s unlikely that you’ll reemerge as the same person or experience a forest in quite the same way ever again. “People get out of it what they need,” said Burress, a certified forest and nature […]

  • Operation Not Alone Supports Men and Women in Uniform With Personal Touch

    In 2013, Susan Fochs was running Operation Not Alone (ONA) out of her freshman-year dorm room at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with money she’d made as a server during the summer at Wild Tomato Pizza.  Today, her operations have expanded significantly.  Now headquartered in Sturgeon Bay, ONA offers personalized care packages for active-duty service members, […]

  • Vacant-Lot Camping Could Be on the Rise

    But in most cases, restrictions prohibit long-term lot camping  In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have seen their priorities shift, including a heightened desire for space. In Door County, real estate brokers have seen this manifest itself in a growing interest in a sector that’s often quiet: vacant lots.  Kevin Nordahl, […]

  • The High Cost of High Water

    Homeowners, municipalities fortify shorelines against erosion For Bo and Mindy Ellis, the rising waters of Lake Michigan are much more than a curiosity.  Their home on the south edge of Whitefish Bay Creek is within 20 feet of the water and about eight feet above it. In another year or two, or after one bad […]

  • Masks Unmasked

    If federal, state and local agencies are recommending face coverings, why isn’t everyone wearing them? Fighting COVID-19 together doesn’t mean everyone is united on how to stop the spread, especially when it comes to wearing face coverings in public.  A quick trip to an open store will reveal that some people wear masks and others […]

  • This Old Store: Sohn’s in Ephraim

    Arnold and Ida Sohns had been married for seven years in 1917 when they arrived in Ephraim from Maple Grove and bought a very small, dark shed that had been the Keys blacksmith shop. Arnold established his butcher shop in a space so small that there was room inside for only three or four people […]

  • Public Welcome: Sturgeon Bay’s West Waterfront could be transformed this year

    Believe it or not, the Sturgeon Bay West Waterfront will look dramatically different by the end of the year. At least that’s what Sturgeon Bay leaders said they hoped for during a Feb. 10 open house to gather public input on a plan for the West Waterfront promenade. The plan developed by Cedar Corporation engineers […]

  • Funny Pet Names

    I’ll never forget the day when a coworker in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, told me that her dog’s name was Lisa. I lost it. I was unable to control my laughter for the next few minutes. Maybe even the next hour. I still laugh about it now, years later.  There’s something about pets with human names […]

  • This Old Store: Trodahl’s/Witalison’s Market

    A long-ago store in Egg Harbor It’s one of those little stores that went on for decades. The grocery stores in Egg Harbor that long-timers seem to remember best were Trodahl’s and Witalison’s – and actually, they were the same store. In addition, there were two owners before Marvin and Agnes Trodahl, two between the […]

  • An Education in Rural Health Care

    UW students get a look at caregiving on the peninsula “In the big cities, it’s easy to fall between the cracks,” said Bonnie Johnson, “and in Door County, people don’t fall between the cracks.” Johnson, who was one of eight University of Wisconsin-Madison nursing students to participate in a winter immersion course in Door County, […]

  • Door County Lingo

    Whether you’re a first-time visitor or someone who’s just moved here, you’ll likely receive advice about where to hang out and what to do from patrons at local bars, strangers at the grocery store or servers at restaurants.  But their advice might not make much sense to you. As with any town or region, Door […]

  • Winter Scavenger Hunt

    It’s well known that winter is a slow time of year on the peninsula, so to curb your potential boredom or add some excitement to your snowy visit, try completing this Door County winter scavenger hunt with your friends and family members. Make it a competition to see how many of these challenges you can […]

  • THIS OLD STORE: Bley’s Grocery in Jacksonport

    Ralph Herbst and his dad, Elmer, built the first grocery store in Jacksonport in 1949. Ralph left a few years later to join the Navy and ended up making a career of it.  Wayne Bley was six when his parents, Wallace and Laverne, bought the store in 1956 and changed the name to Bley’s Grocery, […]

  • One Person’s Liver, One Family’s Holiday Miracle

    There are small ways to be a hero: giving blood, donating stem cells, helping children with special needs, encouraging others to do their part. Then there’s what Ben Anderson did on Dec. 5: The 24-year-old Sister Bay native underwent anesthesia for 11 hours to give a portion of his liver to a three-year-old Wisconsin boy, […]

  • Up Strawberry Creek: Salmon Run Feeds Those in Need, Sustains Sportfishing

    Can a species be called invasive if it was intentionally introduced into our waters? For example, fish farms in the Southern states introduced Asian carp to the United States in the 1960s and ’70s. The bottom-feeding fish helped keep the fish ponds clean. Through floods and accidental release, they found their way into the Mississippi […]

  • Inside the Multi-Age Program

    Gibraltar’s new approach to elementary education matures A first look into a multi-age classroom as the first and second grade students came in from recess may seem a little hectic, but for teachers Emily Heidler, Kayla Schleicher and Michelle Daubner, it was organized chaos.  The three teachers instructed students to get into groups of three, […]

  • This Old Store: Happy Herman’s Market in Sister Bay

    After weeks of scrubbing, painting and stocking shelves, Herman and Keta Steebs opened Happy Herman’s Market the week before Christmas in 1956. John Kopitzke ran a half-page ad in the Door Reminder and, as Keta said, “inadvertently became our first customer by buying a nickel candy bar.” Keta’s brother-in-law, Wesley Landstrom, made a huge, plywood […]

  • 99 Years and Counting: Jim Kramer’s Sturgeon Bay Life

    From the railroad, to the shipyard, to the homestead Growing up in Sturgeon Bay during the 1920s, Jim Kramer loved to sit and listen to old men tell stories. Now 99 years old, he has plenty of his own stories to tell, and he still remembers the ones he heard as a little boy. Kramer […]