2011 October Newsletter  


Our Mission: The Door County Historical Society strives to collect, maintain and share the history and heritage of Door County through preservation, education and programming.
Our Vision: We envision a Door County Historical Society that is committed to keeping history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County.

MONDAY,OCTOBER 24, 6:30 p.m.
323 S 5th AVENUE

Reservations due by October 17

MENU: Swiss steak, potatoes and gravy, salad, red cabbage, rolls, pickles and bread pudding with orange sauce

PROGRAM: Eddy Allen speaking on the 60th Anniversary of WDOR Radio Station

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Dear Friends,
Often I would note in this newsletter on how fast the year passes, and I certainly could repeat that thought now having only two meetings left of the year 2011. In the latest Crossroads newsletter, a chronology of events noted that in 1993 our Society leased a parcel of land from the Sturgeon Bay Educational Foundation. Thus began the Village.
Eighteen years ago we began the adventure of gathering buildings. The first was the Kohles Fish House and the second the Vignes School. Then came the Petersen Feed Store and the Church. Then the Greene Store and the two Warren and Schopf houses were added. Now the Hanson House is under reconditioning to its 1870’s status and the Heritage trail from the Village to the Hanson House will be created.
This was a significant accomplishment for our Society. We were able to continue with the financial support of our membership without which nothing could have been done. Currently we have an investment of about $350,00 dollars and when the Hanson project is complete, we could easily exceed $400,000. The community has been generous and we have incurred an obligation to repay it.
How are we going to do that? Certainly not with dollars and cents, but with value, as broad quality education programs are offered and an effort for self sustainability is made so that the resources that have been created will be maintained for the future. Values will only increase as time moves farther from the times represented by the Village.
This winter your Board will evaluate the Village operation based on our past years’ performance. By spring we will present to you our review. Some things may change and some things may not. Let’s not forget the many hours of work the Village committee spent delivering an excellent series of programs these last years — a solid platform upon which we can build our future.
Finally, I want to remember the dreamers who met every two weeks at the Old Country Kitchen (there was no other place) at noon for a couple of hours, planning the village one small step at a time: Mitch Mackey, Orv Schopf, Warren Sautebin, Herb Peterson, Dr Ted Atrill and I. If we could call a meeting today, would they be satisfied; was their dream fulfilled? Yes, I think they would be pleased.

George Evenson, President

Our spring, summer and fall seasons at the Historical Village have given our Society many good opportunities for telling children, youth and adults the stories of our farming ancestors. Attendance is larger than in prior years for our Sunday Special Events, thanks to Dan Olson, our summer coordinator. Weekday visitors are also more numerous than in prior years, many coming for Joan Wilkie’s programs in the log house, the store or the school. Sessions for school children on field trips to the village have transported whole classrooms to experience learning in the Vignes School. I want to give you a more detailed report when the season is complete.
About the time you get this newsletter, we will have the concluding Special Event for the season: Sunday, Oct. 16, at l:30 p.m. will feature our team of blacksmiths at work in the Blacksmith Shop. Hear the clang of iron on iron; see the red hot metal rod being bent and shaped into a useful tool for your farm or home. Place an order for what you may desire to have them create. Share a bakery treat with friend or family.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, 1-4 p.m. Mark Moran, an appraiser with “Antiques Road Show”, will appraise your vintage possession in the Collins Learning Center. Talk with Coggin Heeringa, 746-5895, about how you can be included.
On Monday, Dec. 5 at 1:00 p.m. “Deck the Village” will get underway. All are welcome to help with decorating for Christmas, and all of our summer volunteers will be recognized.

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Notes from the Curator…
As I glance out the window of my little home office, the sky is calmer, the day less blustery than it was on Thursday, September 30. But it is doubtful I will soon forget Mother Nature’s wrath on that fateful day, as she sweep her mighty hand across our peninsula…ripping hundred-year old trees from the ground by their roots. We were certainly reminded how insignificant we all are. Thankfully, the sadness we all feel at the loss of so much natural beauty is balanced by the good news: no one was seriously injured.
The day after the storm, I drove over to Peninsula State Park’s office, hoping the superintendent would allow me admission. I desperately wanted to visit Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and ascertain its’ condition. Gratefully, I was granted permission and together with my son and husband, made our way through the park in our truck.
I cannot begin to describe the destruction…trees lay across Shore Drive while others littered the roadside, trunks split like kindling. The park staff was out in force. A path had been cleared so the campers could be evacuated, and a caravan of departing vehicles snaked its way to the Fish Creek exit. Fortunately, the lighthouse was untouched, save for a window that had popped out of a tower casing. Falling down the stairs, it rested on the floor, its glass intact.
Over the following days, I was in constant contact with the park staff. Initially, I was told the park would reopen later in the weekend, amended to “hopefully” Monday, and as I write, possibly Thursday. Fingers and toes crossed, we will be able to salvage the balance of the season. But my heart hurts with each passing day…
However, I was not down for the count and after some thought, jumped outside the box. Why not provide the tour groups with an alternative tour? I have a beautiful old barn on a historic property. Maybe the groups would like a tour of the property and a program based on the immigrants who made Door County their new home. It worked! And on the next Monday afternoon, the first big bus rolled down my road and stopped at the bottom of my driveway. The following day, four more buses visited!! Step-on guide Beverley Hudson received rave reviews and requested a tour on Wednesday. I acquiesced and donated the add-on fee to the lighthouse.
For many of the visitors, it was a memory-making moment, as they shared recollections of childhoods growing up on a farm in Minnesota or Wisconsin. All in all, it was a heartwarming experience for all of us. And the tour guides promised to visit again, this time to the lighthouse.

Patti Podgers
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum

Proposed Changes to Existing Bylaws of DCHS – November, 2011

At the November meeting, the following changes to the DCHS’s Bylaws will be offered for approval by the members in attendance at the meeting. This notice is being sent with the October mailing to comply with the Bylaws requirement of 30 days notice to the members of the organization before changes to the Bylaws.

Article V Elections (Board Members)

Section 1a.: Add sentence: Terms begin immediately after being elected by the members at the annual meeting.

This is to eliminate questions about when the terms begin. Some thought right away after elected; some thought at the next meeting after the annual meeting; some thought it started in January (probably because we usually don’t have a board meeting in Dec).

Section 2 (Officers): Officers with board rank. President, Vice president, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the members at the Annual Meeting to serve for a period of one year . . .

The present language was left over from the bylaws before they were revised in 2009. That language states that the Board members would elect the officers. That is contradictory to 1a. above and our present practice. This change makes it consistent with Section 1a, that the four directors listed as officers on the slate of directors elected by the members at the Annual Meeting will be the four officers of the organization.

Article VI Board Meetings:

Section 1a. Add paragraph after Section 1a. Meetings may take place by email when minor issues or opportunities arise necessitating prompt board action. Information and a proposed motion shall be emailed by the Board member proposing the action to the President, who will then review it and mail it to the board members. The matter will be adopted if a majority of the Board members vote by email to the Secretary, within 2 days of the email from the President, in favor of the motion.

This can be useful when a minor matter arises needing Board action before the next Board meeting, saving convening of a special meeting of the Board members in person.

ArticleVIII (Committees). Section 5: Add a sentence on committee members appearing by telephone as done in VI, 1e. for Board meetings.
If approved by the committee, members of the committee may participate in meetings of the committee by means of a conference telephone call or similar communications equipment by which all persons participating can hear each other at the same time if the necessary equipment is available. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at such a meeting.

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