Words From the President
By: George Evenson

This past month has been a very exciting time for the Society. Our Hanson House is complete and we had a dedication and family reunion. One hundred and sixty descendants gathered at the house in a grand celebration of the event on June 27. Relative gathered from 16 states. All agreed the restoration of the house was a great idea. It is open Wednesday thru Sunday – there will someone on hand to show you around. And while you are there stop in at our Village it is a great place to spend some time and wander among the buildings. Please visit with our guides and learn about our great history, here in Door County.
Visit with our crew and thank them for their work.
Don’t forget the Eagle Bluff Light House judged one of the finest on the Great Lakes. Yes indeed, we have a great Society. We are all proud of our accomplishments and after a visit you can share that pride. Thanks!!!

News from Heritage Village at Big Creek
By: Dan Olson, Curator/Manager

It’s been a wonderful season so far! Programs have gone well and attendance is holding its own. Better than last year! It’s hard to imagine the season is half over at this time. I encourage all of you to visit the Village and avail yourselves of the programs for the remainder of the season.

Being open every day has worked very well, thanks to some very dedicated docents. As I might have said before, we are blessed with a few new volunteers who have stepped to the plate in good form.

The new security system is now up and running. Hopefully it will fully prevent other unwanted entries as we go forward. There I a particular way to open and close the Village buildings so that calls don’t go out to us and then the police. I’ve been fortunate enough so far as to not do it wrong and have the police show up to arrest me.

The Hand-Tool, barn project undertaken by the Madden Brothers is going along very well. If you don’t know it will be adjacent to the Warren House right on the Heritage Trail. Already 4 big loads of brush have been removed. Logs are being prepared and if anyone has a real itch to peel bark of logs, give the Maddens a call. As we go further down the season, the Maddens will be working on the barn during weekdays, and also on an occasional Sunday. We’ll try to let you know when some of these activities will happen.

Another happy note is to say that sales in the Greene Store year to date have already surpassed all sales of last season. This is thanks to the reconfiguration of the Store thank to Mary Gilbert and her crew of helpers. Now people can actually have a “hands on” shopping experience … and it obviously works.

Thank you for supporting our work!

What’s New at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse…
By: Patti Podgers, Curator/Manager

Here is the second half of the 2014 Docents. Thanks to all of them, we continue to “go with the flow.” Hope you all stop by and say hello…and bring your family and friends!! A graduate of University of Wisconsin, Green Bay,

Carol Schuster majored in Biology and minored in math, later adding a minor in computers. For many years, she taught 4th – 12th graders math, general science, and computer science. Carol later worked as a naturalist at The Ridges Sanctuary. She splits her time between volunteering for many of Door County’s non-profits, spending time with her husband Pete—our amazing graphic designer, their children and grandchildren. Carol joined us last year.

Ann Sheridan is a retired public school teacher who enjoys spending her days at Eagle Bluff, introducing visitors of all ages to the lighthouse and the Duclon family. After spending over 30 years in the Hawaiian Islands where she taught, Ann considers herself very lucky to still be surrounded by Door County’s water, natural beauty, and gracious people. After work she returns to Jacksonport where her parents acquired a fishing cabin in the 60′s that Ann and her sister have turned into a family home. Ann is a member of the Northern Door Storytellers and an active community volunteer. Ann is the only one of the staff who started with me in 2010. The word “started” is operative, as Jennifer is an old timer with the lighthouse.

Born on a farm outside San Francisco, Myrv Somerhalder joined the Air Force in 1961. Following his discharge in 1965, he moved to the Chicago area where he met and married Holly, whose roots are deep in Door County. The couple moved to the peninsula six years later, where they owned and operated a restaurant in Fish Creek for three years. (Today, we know it as the Wild Tomato.) When their baby daughter fell off the kitchen table, they decided to get out of the business! The following fall, Myrv began working for a surveyor, which became his career for the next 39 years. He retired in 2010. I am very happy he accepted my invitation to join our staff the following summer. Myrv has served his local community of Fish Creek as fire chief, town board supervisor, and airport commissioner. Most importantly, he founded the “first responders.” (Some of you might know Myrv’s wife Holly, the Fish Creek librarian.)

Edward Stone, whose background is in both science and education, enjoys sharing his knowledge of Eagle Bluff Lighthouse with visitors. A year-round resident of Door County, Edward has “plunged myself into researching the unique history and character of Door County, especially it’s most valued attraction—the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.” He is especially interested in the Great Lakes maritime history, the technology of the lighthouse’s beacon, and the personal experiences of family members residing in the Lighthouse. Edward is active with foreign students and works part-time at a Door County inn.
Edward and his lovely wife Marilyn began their docent careers at Eagle Bluff in 2011. Sadly, we lost Marilyn this past winter. We all miss her terribly.

A Door County resident since 1987, Sharon Thill hails from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She enjoys interacting with Door County’s summer guests as a docent at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and through her “other” position as a kitchen assistant and breakfast host at The Village Green Lodge in Ephraim. Sharon originally worked at the lighthouse in 2011, and we are delighted she returned to us.

Originally a son of Cincinnati, Chris Weidenbacher followed his boy’s heart and moved to the place his family vacationed…Door County. A former business-owner, volunteering became his passion when he relocated. Joining the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse staff in 2011, Chris moved in the position of site manager last year. He currently serves on the PMF Sustaining Committee, enjoys acting, and helps out at DCA. Chris is very proud of his son who served three tours in Afghanistan with the US Army. Together with his life partner Arlene Johnson, the couple lives in Baileys Harbor.

News on new project at Heritage Village – HAND TOOL MUSEUM
By Mike Madden

My family has an interest in farming and rural history. Several of us enjoy learning about and collecting tools and equipment from the past. As our interest and collections have grown we want to share the intriguing and unique ingenuity that the hand tools of farmers, wood workers, homemakers, and loggers represent.
We approached the Door County Historical Society with the idea of reconstructing a pioneer log barn from Door County with the intention of displaying hand tools and offering an area for showing how they were used.
Receiving the Society’s enthusiastic “Go Ahead” a building team (including Mary Gilbert, Jim Maki, George Evenson, John Weise, Pat Madden, and Mike Madden) have prepared a site, began seeking funding, visited other local tool collectors, and began collecting construction materials.
The project will take several years to complete. Dan Olson, program manager of the Heritage Village, is excited to offer the reconstruction process as an educational part of village. George Evenson is looking forward to having an area to display tools (many from Orv Schopf’s collection) and equipment the Society has in storage. Mary Gilbert is enthusiastic about getting youth and community groups involved with the construction.
Construction help, tools from the 1880’s to 1920 era, and, of course, funding is needed. If you’re interested in making a donation, or helping us with planning an event to raise funds for this project, please contact Mary Gilbert (920-743-5277).
If you would like to know more about the project or better yet, would like to be part of the project, please contact any member of the building team.


With 2014 came changes which were necessary to help insure the future of the Heritage Village. One of the changes was rearranging the Greene General Store. We restocked with new merchandise and we are adding new things all season long. The Blacksmiths are busy making wind chimes, glass holders for next to your lawn chair and various other unique items. We just got in Rosemary Hintz’s historical novels – have all 3 now – prices range from $9.95 to $19.95. The Hanson House book which was prepared by Lynnette Thonne is now here and is a wealth of information on the Hanson House – only $7.50. Stop in any day between 1:30 and 3:30 to meet our docents, Mary Williams, Lynn Halvorsen, Judy Tepe, Mary Gilbert or Dan Olson and see what is new at the Village and in the Greene Store. And remember, Hanson House is now open to the public from Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:30 to 3:30 so be sure to stop over there and visit. We still need some funds to help replace the shingles on the Vignes School, help with the Hand Tool Museum, finish the second floor of Hanson House and restore the Hanson barn so keep those donations coming!

MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2014 – 6:30 PM
PROGRAM: Cherries, Cherries, Cherries, presented by Dale Seaquist
DINNER: Swedish meatballs on noodles, side salad, rolls, coffee, and dessert; OR Large dinner salad with spring greens & spinach, candied walnuts, dried cherries and Raspberry balsamic dressing.

PHONE __________________ Email:
MEMBERS & THEIR GUESTS – Swedish Meatballs (members) _____ X $20.00 =
(non-members) X $23.00 =
Large Dinner Salad (members) X $20.00 =
(non members) X $23.00 =
I (we) would like to make an additional donation to the DCHS: TOTAL ENCLOSED:

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: Doug Zillmer is of German, Bohemian and Belgian descent. He grew up in Kewaunee County working on his family’s farm. He is married to Kathy (who grew up in Door County).His 6 children are the 6th generation to live on the farm. He also has 10 grandchildren. His farm is 400 acres, and he grows hay and does organic dairying’ With the help of his sons, he has restored a log barn, house and blacksmith building on his land. He also has a deep interest in history. This is his second year volunteering as a blacksmith.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Saturday, August 23, 2014.
In partnership with the Egg Harbor Arts Commission, your Historical Society will be celebrating the Village’s 50th Anniversary in an “Eggstravaganza” fashion. Yes, 50th. Find out the details as to the what, when and where of the Village seceding from the Township of Egg Harbor and incorporating into the Village of Egg Harbor in 1964. The celebration will start in beautiful Harbor View Park at 11:00am with all activities being ‘free’ except for food and beverage sales, and purchase of historic books or, of course, the “eggs”.
The Arts Commission’s 50 “Eggstravaganza” eggs will be on display at the park. If you haven’t seen them, they are presently on display throughout the Village. Live auction of the “Eggstravaganza” eggs…silent auction on select eggs begins at noon.

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