Northern Door Children’s Center Hosts Annual Holiday Home Tour

The Ellison Bay Manor is a featured home in this year’s Holiday Home Tour, presented by the Northern Door Children’s Center.

Philanthropist Judith Blazer was a major contributor to the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay that opened in 1999, so when the center finds itself in need of a new roof 14 years later, it is appropriate that Blazer’s former home, Ellison Bay Manor, will help to provide it.

The 43-room mansion, now owned by heirs to the Frank Spitzer estate, is one of five lovely homes featured this year on the Children’s Center’s seventh annual Holiday Home Tour, Nov. 29 –Dec. 1.

Other homes on the 2013 tour include the Julison Family’s Trillium Gap Cottage and the lovely Zakaras/Cyr Family home, both in Egg Harbor; the historic Schaupp Family house in Ephraim, formerly owned by artist Martha Cherry; and the unique Covotos Family log home in Ellison Bay. Each of the homes on the tour, that has become a traditional introduction to the holiday season in Door County, will feature beautiful Christmas decorations. One of them, for example, will have nine themed trees.

In conjunction with the tour, a Bake Shoppe with delicious homemade goodies will be at the First Baptist Church in Sister Bay on Friday night and Saturday. The church will also be the trolley stop for those visiting Ellison Bay Manor.

Ellison Bay Manor was built in 1996 on 100 acres overlooking Green Bay. Designed in the style of a French Chateau, it includes a double staircase in the grand entry modeled after the one in Tara in Gone With the Wind. The home also features an indoor pool and sauna, a 14-person whirlpool, a 5,000-square-foot master suite with a 1,000-square-foot closet, ten bathrooms, eight fireplaces, a two-story library modeled after the one in the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and a movie theater that seats 14. The entire estate and contents of the home are available through Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty for $8,750,000. (See more pictures at

Tours of the five homes are offered from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, Nov. 29, and from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday, Nov. 30. Additional, lengthier tours of Ellison Bay Manor only will be available from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, Dec. 1.

A special addition to this year’s tour will be a cocktail party at Ellison Bay Manor on Saturday evening, Nov. 30. It will feature an extended tour of the house and a talk by George Raasch, the architect who designed it. Tickets are $100 per person for the invitation-only event. Those who would like to attend may call 920.854.4244 to be added to the guest list.

Tickets for the complete tours on Nov. 29 and 30 are $35 if purchased before Nov. 23. After that date they are $40. Tickets for the tours of Ellison Bay Manor only on Sunday, Dec. 1, are $35. Reservations are required for the trolley ride to and from Ellison Bay Manor.

For more information about the tours, directions to the homes and ticket purchases, call 920.854.4244.

The Northern Door Children’s Center is the only licensed facility for early childcare within a 30-mile radius. It is licensed for 112 children and currently has 89 enrolled. Because Door County is unique in the number of seasonal jobs, there are five different contract periods to fit parents’ schedules as work hours increase and decrease during the year.