Words From the President
By: George Evenson
The 2014 season is over for the most part. Now our Board and Staff can evaluate the year and prepare for the next year. Again, I want to thank the many volunteers and staff that make being a part of the Society so rewarding. We are always looking for help and if you are interested call me or another Board member we will find something you would enjoy doing. We also need several Board Member candidates for the next year.
Recently I received a call from Carol Goff Smith, granddaughter of Moulton Babcock Goff, the man that introduced the sour Cherry to Door County. She has written a number of essays about the life at Goff Orchards and the history of how the sour cherry influenced life in this region for nearly 100 years. She gave the Society her complete writings and now they are in our Archives. They have been digitized and could be available on our website. They cover a wide range of subjects and are well written. Watch for them. They could be a subject for a Sunday program at the Village.
News from Heritage Village at Big Creek
By: Dan Olson, Curator/Manager
The 2014 season has now come to an end. I believe we have had one of the very best seasons yet. At a later time we can share exact figures with you to compare and contrast with seasons past.
I absolutely must include in this article a huge thank you to all who served as docents or in any other capacity throughout the season. A special thank you goes to those who made such a remarkable effort in completing and making ready the Hanson House not only so it could be opened, but so the Hanson family could hold its family reunion there in late June. I can’t believe it is only coincidence that Jim Maki and George Evenson had the presence of mind to have the building, at first scheduled for demolition, researched to find it is one of only 3-4 of its type still existing in the United States. And then, the Hanson Family, from coast to coast and places in between, were able to gather there. Many of that family had never met. Just think “what if” we had unknowingly destroyed a national treasure! The Hanson House is surely a gift of History to us.
Moving forward, thanks to the efforts of the Madden Brothers, the “Hand Tool Museum” is a work in progress. It will be a great attraction to see the progress as it moves toward completion.
After a thorough “walk through” of the Village, we have identified many large and small repairs that need to be done. Probably most notable is the roof on the school. Also, there is intent to build a ramp to the school to make the building handicap accessible. Other needs will be listed as time goes on.
It goes without saying that none of these projects happened without the generous donations of our members and visitors alike. Perhaps people tire of hearing this plea, but the need is real and will not go away with 9 buildings to maintain and another in the works.
One last important thing: Jim Maki has retired from his maintenance positon at the Village. He will truly be missed. From the inception of the concept of a “school forest” going back nearly 25 years, Jim has been an untiring motivating force. Many things that have happened at the Village, or even perhaps the Village itself, would not have happened without Jim’s depth of knowledge and dedication. Thank Jim when you see him!
We’ll keep you informed about all progress as time goes on!
What’s New at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse…
By: Patti Podgers, Curator/Manager
One of the most challenging aspects of my job as the lighthouse curator is research. Although Eagle Bluff Lighthouse was restored and opened to the public in 1963, the information we share in our tours need updating and improvements to the building are ongoing. And that means research…and lots of it!
When I first opened the door of the lighthouse five years ago, I was excited and dismayed, all at the same time. Although the building was solid, repairs were urgently needed. And my first research project was locating the original building blueprints. Easy, I thought. Actually, not easy at all!
One of my first discoveries was the name of the architectural lighthouse style: Norman Gothic. And as I scanned the Internet, it became apparent that our lighthouse looked like so many other lighthouses. In our county alone, there are three Norman Gothic style lighthouses, including Chambers Island’s and Sherwood Point, as well as our own Eagle Bluff.
I started my search with my friend Mary Ann Blahnik. Together with her husband Joel, the couple lives in the Chambers Island lighthouse during the summer months. But Mary Ann didn’t have a blueprint of Chambers Island’s lighthouse. So I began calling the U.S. Coast Guard stations. Surely the Coast Guard that services our light would have the plans. Well, that was a dead-end, as well! I even called the National Archives in Washington, D.C., but no one could help me.
There were so many pressing projects at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse that I decided to table the search. But last fall I attended the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival in Alpena, MI and in conversation I did discover some interesting information. Two lighthouse styles, the Norman Gothic and the schoolhouse, dominated the Great Lakes shoreline, its bluffs, and islands. District engineers chose the architectural design to meet the needs of the lighthouse’s location. Open your Google search engine and scores of lighthouse photos will feature one of the two styles. But through all of my discoveries, the blueprints continued to elude me. But an insight into the dilemma was just around the corner.
Scanning articles in the April 2014 issue of “Lighthouse Digest,” I happened upon an article entitled “Fire Ravaged Lighthouse Files.” In 1921, a fire in the basement of the Department of Commerce building in Washington, D.C. “destroyed or severely damaged many of the records and documents of the U.S. Bureau of Lighthouses that dated back to the 1850s.”
Somewhere along the way, the damaged documents were relocated to the National Archives in Bethesda and promptly forgotten. In 1947, however, Wilbur R. Poole discovered the boxes of damaged documents. And that fire is most likely the reason I couldn’t find the blueprints. However, I need to check out one more resource . . . the Library of Congress, whose card I actually hold. On my next trip to visit my grandson who lives in our nation’s capital, I plan on stopping by the Library. Who knows, I might yet get lucky!
Heritage Village Wish List
Bed pillows: if possible, like-new, feather filled or down
Quilts, double size bed Patterns for 1900 clothing
Straw or feather tick mattress Volunteer to sew costumes
Cotton sheets to cover ironing board Square nails
Church offering bag on a stick Red rubber rings for canning jars
Wall hanging cross, about 18” 1900 period child’s high chair
Large anvil, for blacksmith use Tin lard pails
Globe from about 1900 Straw Hats
Please contact Jerry & Nan Krause 746-0628 or Mary Gilbert 495-1109
if you have any of these items
VERY IMPORTANT – Please get your reservations in by the due date. It is ESSENTIAL to let the establishment know for ordering their food. All the late reservations just cause problems with planning and food preparation. ALSO, please contact Linda at 920-495-0690 ONLY (leave a message) with reservation information, please do not contact other Board members. THANKS for your cooperation.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 – 6:30 PM
STURGEON BAY MORAVIAN CHURCH
PROGRAM: Memories of My Early Days presented by George Evenson
DINNER: Swiss steak, potatoes and gravy, red cabbage, rolls, pickles and bread pudding
RESERVATIONS DUE BY OCTOBER 18, 2014 – No Refunds Or Phone Reservations, Please
PHONE __________________ Email:
MEMBERS & THEIR GUESTS – _____ X $20.00 =
NON-MEMBERS ______ X $23.00 = ________
2014 MEMBERSHIP FORM
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP: $ 15.00
HUSBAND/WIFE MEMBERSHIP: $ 25.00
INDIVIDUAL LIFE MEMBERSHIP: $150.00
I (we) would like to make an additional donation to the DCHS: TOTAL ENCLOSED:
MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: DOOR COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
SEND TO: PO BOX 71, STURGEON BAY, WI 54235