Words from the President

By:  Linda Sealey

This article will be my last as President of the Door County Historical Society.  When I took this position last November I was in the beginning of a brand new relationship.  After being a widow for six years I met someone and have begun a new chapter in my life.  With that being said, I am retiring from my work at the end of July and also as my role as your President. The July meeting will be my last in this capacity.

I will be passing the torch to the Vice President, Glenna Stephenson, for the remainder of the term (new elections will take place at the annual meeting in November).  Please welcome her at this time!  I have thoroughly enjoyed my 5 years on the Board and these last months as your President.  I have learned so much about Door County history – more than I dreamed possible! I have truly enjoyed meeting and learning from ALL members of this great Society – so many interesting people and stories to be told (and heard).

I hope the Society keeps growing, bringing in new and younger members with all of their stories and knowledge to be shared. And I hope the older members also will share and hand down their stories and experience for all the younger members to enjoy and share with future generations. As former President George Evenson has always said, there is SO much history in this county. I will be leaving the area by year’s end but as I said before, beginning a new chapter in my life.  I would like to thank you all for making these past five years a truly enjoyable learning experience.  A huge portion of my heart will always remain in Door County and its bountiful history!

Heritage Village at Big Creek

The Hand Tool Museum continues to progress under the leadership and hard work of the Madden Brothers and their crew. The last of the vertical logs were installed just this week. The crew is working enthusiastically to meeting goal to have the building under roof this fall.

The Vignes School will receive a much needed face lift this month with the replacement of the badly deteriorated roof.  The Village Committee will explore options for replacing rotten siding and repainting this one-room schoolhouse.

A new fun event will be held at 1:30 pm on Sunday July 12, a Root Beer Festival. We will celebrate all things root beer, with a program, sampling and voting on your favorite root beer, and we will be selling “brown cows” (aka root beer floats), root beer float cake, pie and cookies; root beer meatballs, pork and beans, brownies, and candy.

In the 1870s, pharmacist Charles Hires began selling Hires Root Tea and promoted it as “The Great Health Drink.” He experimented with flavorings from trees and plants like sassafras and sarsaparilla, wintergreen, birch bark, herbs and juniper berries, mixing and boiling until he developed the perfect combination.  In 1876, he presented Hires Root Beer at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, the nation’s  100th anniversary celebration.  The Library of Congress has cookbooks that contain recipes from 10 or 20 years before he began to sell his version. But Hires gets credit as the first person to produce and market root beer throughout the country.


Thoughts from the Director

By: Trudy Herbst

During the past month I had great opportunities to immerse myself into Door County’s rich history. I experienced programs on “Sturgeon Bay’s Drug Stores (Peninsular Genealogical Society), Evergreen Nursery by Ron Amos (Door County Historical Society) and most recently “Hand Tools” by Mike, Pat & (Steve) Madden (Jacksonport Historical Society). Then I read George Evenson’s family history and a World War I account, “The Yanks are Coming,” written by Charles E. Butler, past Society Board Member, and now I am reading the “History of US: an Age of Extremes.” In addition to the monthly dinner programs, the Heritage Village Program Committee has prepared weekly Sunday history opportunities, too. From Cherries to Farming to Root Beer and Heritage Days, the Sunday afternoon programs provide learning in a historic setting.

Three new exciting fundraising events will be held during July, August and September. Jerry Apps will join us on Thursday, July 16 (see article on page 4). On Saturday, August 29 you are invited to participate in an English Country Tea at the Warren House in the Heritage Village at Big Creek, with settings at 11:00 am or 2:00 pm. The four-course tea features specialties from the English countryside and even a special guest appearance by Julius Warren. The tea begins with a course of cheeses, quiches and mini-scones. Sandwiched in the middle courses are fruits and breads and traditional tea sandwiches. The final course is desserts. Tea times are available at 11:00 am or 2:00 pm; each seating is limited to 20 guests. Tickets are $20 per person.

Then a few weeks later, on Saturday, September 19, the Society is partnering with the Belgian Namur Heritage Foundation for a Southern Door & Kewaunee County Roadside Chapel Tour. You’ll visit nine incredible chapels featuring: Our Lady of the Afflicted; Walloon Shrine of St. Hubert; Blessed Virgin Mary World War I Soldier’s Memorial; Our Lady of Good Help, the site where the Queen of Heaven appeared to a young Belgian woman, Adele Brise, in 1859; Norbertine; and St. Roche. The cost includes transportation, donations, and Belgian luncheon of chicken booyah, trippe, jut, roll, pie, coffee and soda at the Belgian Heritage Foundation Cost for Society Members is $40 and Guest fee is $45.

I invite you to partake in these Door County history activities, and you, too, will hear voices from the past echoing in your head. To reserve your place in history, please call me at the Society Office (920) 421-2332.


Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

By:  Patti Podgers

            We welcome all of you to visit our staff at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse this season. Our museum shop is stocked with delightful children’s books, as well, as gifts for the entire family. Are we having fun yet? I know I am! What better place to be than Door County in the summer. And the staff at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is having an exceptionally wonderful time greeting guests at the door.

WHAT are we up to on the bluff? Well, first of all, the light station grounds are looking amazing, thanks to our site manager Chris Weidenbacher. A man of many talents, Chris has not only beautified the yard, but has built a new library shelf for the keeper’s house.

Steve Reed will soon be giving the oil house a roof-lift, that is, some much-needed patching and painting. The light station oil houses have quite a story and I hope to share their history in one of the next newsletters.


Village Wish List

We are requesting donations circa 1880-1910:

Hanson House: Gun powder horn; Pitcher and Bowl; Bread board; Kerosene lamp;

Warren House: Packing peanuts for stuffing sacks; Bedding for cradle with small pillow; Feather pillows; Wood box

Schopf House: Wooden silverware tray or box; Wall coffee grinder

Greene Store: Gold colored chain for pocket watch; Perfume bottle with stopper; Door County postcards; Dress form

Vignes School: Baseball bat; Children’s chairs

Volunteer help: · Remove 10 ft. fiberglass wall (Hanson House) · Repaint window sills · Repair treadle sewing machine

If you can donate items, please call Jerry Krause at (920) 746-0628 or Trudy Herbst (920) 421-2332.




MEMBER(S)                                                                     PHONE __________________ Email: ________________

Choose from Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti & Meatballs or Cheese Ravioli with Bolognese, or Vegetarian Option: Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce.                          Name and Dinner Choice: 1)__________________________________

2) _____________________________   3) _____________________________   4) _____________________________

Members Attending _______   X  $20.00 =              __________

Guests Attending _______   X  $24.00 = __________

I would like to attend  the Jerry Apps Program on 7/16       Number Attending _______        X   $  5.00 = _______________

I would like to attend the English Country Tea on 8/29 at 11:00 am or 2:00 pm (circle your choice)

Name(s) __________________________________________   Number Attending _______  X   $20.00 = ____________

I would like to attend the Countryside Chapel Tour on 9/19 at 8:30 am or 12:00 pm (circle your choice)

Member Attending _____  X   $40.00 = ________  +  Guest Attending _____  X   $45.00 = ________   = ____________

I (we) would like to make an additional donation to sponsor a Heritage Village program.

Program Cost averages $250 and Range from $50-500      Program Sponsorship  $                ______                                                                                                                                                                                       TOTAL ENCLOSED:       $               _______              _____



Monday, July 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Maxwelton Braes, 7670 Highway 57, Baileys Harbor

PROGRAM:   “Bjorklunden’s Intriguing History” by Mark Breseman; Visit Bjorklunden’s historic Boynton Chapel,built in late 12th-century Norwegian stave church-style, 4:30-5:30 pm, 7590 Boynton Lane in Baileys Harbor

PLATED DINNER:  Catered by Pasta Vino: First Course—Classic Caesar Salad, Second Course—Choice of one Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Cheese Ravioli with Bolognese, Vegetarian Option: Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce; Third Course—Sorbet of the Day.

PARKING:  Please consider carpooling; additional parking is available at Golf Course, on the left of driveway.


Stories of the Land: Fam Life from an Earlier Day (July 16 Make Reservations Today!)

Well-known Wisconsin author and researcher Jerry Apps will be presenting on his book “Stories of the Land: Farm Life from an Earlier Day” for a program on Thursday July 16, at 6:30 pm in the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek. Apps was born and raised on a central Wisconsin farm. Jerry is the author of more than 35 nonfiction, fiction, and children’s books with topics that range from barns, one-room schools, cranberries, cucumbers, cheese factories, and the humor of mid-America to farming with horses and the Ringling Brothers circus. He has completed two PBS TV documentaries on farm life, “A Farm Story with Jerry Apps,” and “Winter on the Farm with Jerry Apps,” which have aired nationally. The latter won a regional Emmy award in 2014.

Plan to arrive early to purchase your book as Jerry will sign books before and after the presentation; doors open at 5:30 pm. This event has limited seating and is expected to sell out.


July  & August Program Activities & Monthly Dinner Programs

The Heritage Village is located at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is located in Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek.

7/12 Sun. 2:00 pm            Root Beer Fest—Heritage Village

7/16 Thurs. 6:30 pm         Jerry Apps – Stories of the Land: Farm Life from an Earlier Day, Doors Open 5:30 Book Signing

7/19 Sun. 2:00 pm            Journaling with Write On Door County: What’s on Your Bucket List—Vignes School

7/26 Sun. 2:00 pm            Belgian Heritage Day—Heritage Village; Ethnic Food for Sale

7/27 Mon. 6:00 pm          Monthly Dinner Meeting: Getting to Know Bjorklunden – Mark Breseman at Maxwelton Braes,                                                         catered by Pasta Vino

8/2 Sun. 2:00 pm              First Cherries in Door County presented by George Evenson

8/9 Sun. 2:00 pm              Horseshoe Bay Farms by Glenn Timmerman

8/16 Sun. 2:00 pm            Journaling with Write On Door County: Family Traditions—Vignes School

8/23 Sun. 2:00 pm            Peshtigo Fire presented by Barb Chisholm

8/24 Mon. 6:00 pm          Monthly Dinner Meeting: Everything you want to know about Blacksmithing – the Village                                                        Blacksmiths—Picnic at the Heritage Village

8/29 Sat.  11 am or          English Country Tea at the Warren House in the Heritage Village; Reservations Required,

2 pm                                    Limited Seating; Tickets $20

9/19 Sat. 8:30 am or        Bus Tour to Southern Door & Kewaunee County Chapels & Lunch at the Belgian Heritage

12 noon                              Club, Society Members $40, Guests $45

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