Touring Door County: Sturgeon Bay

We’ve decided that we’re going to spend at least one day of our weekends touring the towns of Door County.  Our weekends are going to be Tuesdays and Wednesdays so this is the first installment of Touring Door County.

We had several errands to run in Sturgeon Bay today so we decided to start in southern Door County.  First we found the Door County Welcome Center.  It’s a large visitor’s center with every kind of brochure about Door County you could ever need.  It’s almost like a library.  They have racks for lodging, restaurants, activities, tours, native flora and fauna, and maps.  I picked up an armful of brochures!

First we tried to go out to a lighthouse we had a brochure about, but at the moment it’s closed to the public.  The thing about Sturgeon Bay is that the bay and a stream at the end of it cut the rest of the peninsula off so that the northern part is really an island. Driving to the lighthouse took us to the Lake Michigan side.  On our way back from our failed attempt to see the lighthouse, we instead found a small observatory that might be interesting to go to some evening:

Observatory in Sturgeon Bay

Observatory in Sturgeon Bay

Since we couldn’t see the lighthouse, we went to the Door County Museum for free!

Door County Museum

Door County Museum

A taxidermied display of Door County birds and animals...prettiest display I've ever seen!

A taxidermied display of Door County birds and animals…prettiest taxidermied display I’ve ever seen!

I loved this quilt.

I loved this quilt.

The docent at the museum told Mark he could ring the fire engine bell once, but he didn't feel like it.

The docent at the museum told Mark he could ring the fire engine bell once, but he didn’t feel like ringing it.

We watched a movie about the Belgians who came to Wisconsin looking for a better life.  Through a cholera epidemic and hard work, they finally started making a good life.  They cleared the forests to make farm land and build wooden homes.  Then in 1871 a great fire destroyed all their hard work and about 200 people were killed.  The hardy Belgians rebuilt with brick and many of those buildings are still standing!

We watched a movie about the Belgians who came to Wisconsin looking for a better life. In spite of a cholera epidemic and hard work, they finally started making a good life. They cleared the forests to make farm land and build wooden homes. Then in 1871 a great fire destroyed all their hard work and about 200 people were killed. The hardy Belgians rebuilt with brick and many of those buildings are still standing!  (Note Sturgeon Bay just above the fire zone.)

This is where people who don't ring the fire truck bell end up!

This is where people who don’t ring the fire truck bell end up!

There was a little town display on the bottom floor of the museum.

There was a little town display on the bottom floor of the museum.

Leaving the museum through the main entrance.

Leaving the museum through the main entrance.

After we left the museum, a war memorial across the street caught Mark’s eye:

War memorial to all the Door County residents that lost their lives in wars.

War memorial to all the Door County residents that lost their lives in wars.

As we were leaving town, we took a picture of the White Lace Inn.  When we got back to Wagon Trail Campground, Susan told us a story she’d read about that house.  Apparently the elderly woman who lived there alone a generation ago was renting a house to a man who was behind on his rent.  He came to ask her for a loan and she refused, so he threw her in the furnace and turned it on.  Susan said she went into the house after reading the story and the current proprietor said he remembered when that happened!

The White Lace Inn

The White Lace Inn

Instead of taking Highway 57 as we usually do, we took Highway 42 home today.  We saw some more barns with what I had taken to be hexes on them.  However, among the brochures I picked up at the Door County Welcome Center, there was one that told what they really are.  Here is what the pamphlet has to say about them:

The Door County Barn Quilt Project was organized in 2010… Door County Barn Quilts are colorful, painted wooden quilt squares that are about 8 ft square. Quilt block colors and designs were chosen by the barn owners, often inspired by family heirloom quilts.

The barn quilts were painted by 4-H members and leaders, FFA members and alumni, local quilt guild members, other youth and adult volunteers. They were assembled and installed by volunteers who donated their time, equipment and woodworking skills to create a “clothesline of quilts” throughout Door County.

The pamphlet includes a map of all the places they’ve been installed, so I hope to see more of them!

A barn quilt along Highway 42

A barn quilt along Highway 42

Another barn quilt

Another barn quilt

As we continued along Highway 42 there were a couple more picturesque shots I got:

Competing church steeples!

Competing church steeples!

A very decorated dock building.

A very decorated dock building.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of Touring Door County!

2 thoughts on “Touring Door County: Sturgeon Bay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.