FROM YOUR PRESIDENT, George Evenson
Friends and Members of the Historical Society
I want to apologize for this report coming out later than usual. We are making some changes, trying new things, and hopefully you will find this format with more information.
First, I want to thank all our volunteers. Without their unselfish sharing of their time, nothing would happen; not to forget you, our members, who support us with your interest and donations.
Since 1926, our Society has served our community, preserving local history and presenting programs to tell the wonderful stories of our communities and our people. Keeping our pledge embodies our mission and vision.
One very noticeable change the Board made recently was changing the name of our Village to HERITAGE VILLAGE AT BIG CREEK. In the process of developing a new business plan for the Village, we recognized there needed to be changes. Along with improving the educational opportunities available to our visitors, we are:
installing a sign along Highway 42-57 between Utah & Michigan Street
installing an information kiosk at the entrance to the Village
Updating the website
Creating a Facebook page for Heritage Village at Big Creek
Setting up a small office in the Greene Store
In addition, we are working on:
installing more information outside of each building for when guides are not present to tell a small part of the history of the building and the people who used it.
creating a self-guided tour book. Print a booklet, which will be sold for a small fee, outlining the history of the buildings at the Heritage Village and documenting the story of the families who have lived there.
As usual, we will have volunteer docents providing tours. This should give our guests a variety of opportunities to learn the story of what rural life was like around 1900. If interested in becoming a docent, please contact Dan Olson at 421-2332.
With the other information included in this letter you will see we did have a good year 2012.
Remember, you as our members also have opportunities to be a part of this exciting new program. Bring your family and friends to the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum, Heritage Village, our dinner meetings and the programs at the Village.
Wonderful things that happened at the Village in 2012 …
Schopf House – The dedication of Schopf house was an exciting event with a large turnout at the Village on August 27, 2012. This event couldn’t have happened without the generosity of the many donors and volunteers – a huge thank you to all of them – especially the Village Committee and Coggin Heeringa! We still have a little work to do upstairs but the house will be open to the public this summer.
The DCHS is fortunate to have the support of so many donors and their members. We also received grants from numerous organizations.
Blacksmiths – The blacksmiths were there every Thursday afternoon, & most Sundays, working in the oppressive heat we encountered last summer. If you didn’t get a chance to see them in action, please make sure to stop by as it is quite impressive.
Hanson House – The work has slowed considerably due to lack of funding but progress has been made. A group of Hans Hanson’s descendants hope to have a family reunion on the site so we are hoping to find donations and grants to keep the project moving along.
Heritage Village – SAVE THE DATES!
Heritage Village will be opening on June 16th with the Community Band.
We plan on having the Village open every day from 1:30-3:30 along with special programs two mornings a week.
June 23rd will be a presentation on Antique Coins and Currency by James Downey along with a blacksmith demonstration.
Dan Olson has already booked Mark Moran for June 30th to do another Antique Appraisal event so dig through your attics and garages for those items you want him to look at. We’re looking for volunteers to assist with this event and other programs so contact Dan Olson at 421-2332 if you can help.
July 7th will be a Lumberjack Demonstration by Mike and Pat Madden.
Watch your newsletter or check the website calendar for more information.
Heritage Village Maintenance Goals for 2013
As any homeowner would know, we are faced with ongoing maintenance (x9 buildings). We encountered some problems with the Chapel building this year, one of them being an elusive leak which is being carefully watched.
During the summer of 2013 we need to tackle the following:
Vignes School – exterior painting
Greene Store – exterior painting and, hopefully, interior, if money is available.
Paint the bench on the Warren House porch
Stain or seal the benches around the property
Touch up painting on all of the buildings where needed
We have obtained estimates for the exterior work and will rely on volunteers to assist in the small projects. Contact Dan Olson if you would like to volunteer!
Future maintenance needs for 2014 are:
Re-shingle the roof of the Vignes School
Repaint the interior of Vignes School.
Repaint the Peterson Feed & Seed/Blacksmith shop building.
Did you know??? . . . The Chapel, Vignes School or other buildings are available for weddings or group meetings. Some uses would require a small fee. Contact Dan Olson if you’re interested in reserving a building. The Chapel can accommodate about 35 people.
New ideas we’re working on for 2013 for the entire Historical Society
Collect email addresses of members to see if there is a desire to receive notices and newsletters via email.
Increase advertising to make Village and dinner programs more accessible for non-members
Possibility of collecting dinner reservations, payments, and donations through PayPal
50 years! Notes from Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Curator/Manager . . .
In 1960, the Door County Historical Society began the arduous task of rescuing Eagle Bluff Lighthouse from rot and ruin. Volunteers donated hundreds of hours to the project . . . cleaning, removing paint, and refinishing woodwork. Three years later, gleaming and glowing, the little lighthouse on the bluff officially opened to the public for the first time on September 1, 1963.
Although initially open for limited touring hours, visitors began arriving from around the world. Walking through the door of the lighthouse, the young and not so young delighted in the stories of the keepers and their families. And in the ensuing years, the lighthouse continued to welcome visitors. Last year, 15,536 visitors participated in docent-led tours, including 73 bus groups and 102 Door County Trolleys.
But the lighthouse story was only beginning; history is fluid, and our knowledge of the past is constantly enlightened and broadened. And that holds true for Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. In the past 50 years restoration of the lighthouse has continued; the history of the keepers has been expanded based on research. Each season the DCHS staff of docents arrives ready to share new information, and enliven their tours with new details of life in the lighthouse.
This year will be especially exciting as we celebrate this very special anniversary. Theme tours and special events will honor the memory of the keepers: Henry Stanley, William Duclon, and Peter Coughlin, as well as the families who supported them. Concluding the restoration projects begun last year, a new wooden railing will be installed on the second floor. It is hoped funding will be provided by the State of Wisconsin for new roofs on all of the lighthouse property’s buildings and repairs to the white-washed brick exterior wall.
In preparation of the upcoming celebratory season, the DCHS lighthouse staff met for an in-service session in mid-February. All of our 2012 staff returned for another season and we welcomed a new addition to our family, Carol Schuster. Our enthusiasm is unbridled…and so we look forward to opening the lighthouse door once again.
It is in memory of the DCHS members who saved the lighthouse from certain decay and destruction that we dedicate this special 50th anniversary year. It is the dedication of the men and women who toiled to preserve the heritage and history of our maritime that preserved Eagle Bluff Lighthouse for generations to come. Opening day is Friday, May 17, and we hope to see you then . . .
Patti Podgers, Curator/Manager
DONOR LIST 2012
Alexander, Rodney & Sally Lenius, Milton & Karen numerous Volunteers for their time, knowledge and energy given
Allen, Edson & Loretta Looker, Ellen
Anschutz, Helen J. Lukes, Roy & Charlotte
Athanases, Urania Madden, Michael & Barbara IN MEMORY OF LAVERNE GAGNON
Bahl-Elliott, Patricia Mailand, Marian
Balch, Dan & Bonita Malvetz, Clare (Katie) Employees of AON
Berg, Ronald & Judith Mandick, Dennis & Cynthia County of Door-Sunshine Fund
Bockhop, Carol Marian Hislop Charitable Lead Trust Chaudoir, Bill & Cheryl
Boettcher, Kenneth & Ann McGee, Douglas and Pamela Draeb, Joan
Bohn, Rodney & Eileen Mengert, Carl & Lorraine Fagen, Jane (Haen)
Briggs, Al Mikels, Herbert Felhofer, Carol & Francis
Brorson, Jon and Linda Nelson, Ronald & Elaine Felhofer, Myrtle
Buhl, Nancy Olson, Dan & Jendean Haines, Amy
Burton, Paul & Fran Raibrook Foundation Inc. Haines, Richard and Sharon
Chaudoir, William & Cheryl RBC Foundation Heeringa, Coggin
Cliff & Clara Herlache Heritage Foundation Reed, Beverly Hendee, Mark & Kelly
Corbisier, Jennifer Remy, Eugene & Patricia House, Kim
Danis, Timothy & Jacqueline Rossman, Glen & Grace Jensen, Steve & Kay
DeDecker, Florence Schopf, Sally Jinkins, Mark & Ann
Dold, Bob Schopf, John W. Sr. and Linda Jorns, Arline
Door County Dairy Promotion Serpe, Michael Knipfer, Tom & Ellen
Door County Triathlon, Inc. Shappell, Richard and Dorothy Madoche, Glen & Kay
Eberle, Jim & Beth Sons of Norway Maki, Jim & Val
Elliott, Lyman & Patricia Stemper, Thomas & Karen Mailand, Marian
Evenson, George & Margaret Thornton, Geraldine Mickelson, Lois
Ewig, Marianne Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Orthober, Mona
Forbes. Harold & Barbara Vuksanovic, Rob & Cathy Pinkert, Roger & Sara
Gibraltar Grill, Inc. Walker, Thelma Ploor, Helen & Dan
Gilbert, Ronn & Mary Welhaven, Myrle Powell, Julie
Gilbert, Margaret William Wood Skinner Foundation Propsom, John & Ruth
Graf, Betty Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc. Rabach, Ralph & Judy
Guenzel, Bill & Jo Wold, Arthur & Penelope Reed, Bob & Helen
Guthrie, Jane Yount, John & Beth Remy, Gene & Pat
Heeringa, Don & Coggin Zwicky, Tom Sautebin, David & Karen
Herb H. Kohl Charities, Inc. Scalish, Phil & Shirley
Hill, Kenneth & Wyvonna Schlise, Rod & Marian
Jarosh, Joe & Sue IN MEMORY OF WARREN SAUTEBIN Serpe, Michael
Jerdee, Ann Heeringa, Coggin Skahen, Marguerite
Johnson, Norman & Virginia Hobson, Carol Stephan, Greg & Cheri
Karges, Steven & Lynn Kirwen, Scott & Bethany Virlee, Richard & Sharon
Kirby, Wanda Krause, Gerald & Nancy Zahn, Jay
Koenen, Peg Ziemann, Jan
Krause, Gerald & Nancy IN MEMORY OF ROBERT GREAVES Zipperer, Leo & Margi
Krause, Gerald & Nancy
2013 Dinner Programs:
April 22 – see dinner reservation form enclosed
May 20 – Lauren Bremer – Chief Oshkosh: Door County Ambassador @ The Log Den
June 24 – Nan & Jerry Krause – The Warrens @ Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club
July 22 – Someone from The Ridges – The Ridges @ The Draft Haus
August 26 – Presentation at the Heritage Village @ Heritage Village at Big Creek
September 23 – Laura Kayacan – Door County Advocate Archives at the DC Library
@ Coun’s C Club
October 28 – Nancy Rafal – Baileys Harbor Murals @ Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church
November 25 – Ann Jinkins & Maggie Weir – Non-walking Walking Tour of Historic Buildings @ Prince of Peace Church