More of the Door: Finale

More of the Door: Finale

This post will conclude my blogs from several visits to Door County over the summer of 2015. Although I have been there many times before, I never took the time to document those trips, so this was a little different. I really enjoy the “having a reason to take lots of pictures” because in the past I would take them, but they were rarely seen by anyone and sometimes they’d get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully you enjoy them – either when reminiscing about a trip you’ve taken or when thinking of new places to visit.

Last summer my husband joined me for a long weekend in August, but I was alone for the rest of the week. I went solo in October as well, to take in Washington Island and Rock Island, where I thoroughly enjoyed my solitude, with no feelings of uneasiness as I ventured out on my own. No one was going to rob me and then wait for the ferry to putt them back to the mainland. It was a totally laid back experience and I can’t wait to go back again, so I can do it all over, although next time I might travel with hubby, a daughter or a friend.

If you’re new to this blog, be aware if you hover over most photos, a caption will pop up that will give a location where they were taken. Sometimes, especially when just photographing random barns along the way, I don’t have a clue where it was, so if there’s no caption, that’s probably the case.

Last post we finished up in Peninsula State Park, so I’ll continue heading north on the western side on Highway 42 and start this blog in Ephraim. The photos above (and two below) were taken in Ephraim – pronounced with a long E. Ephraim is by far the most historic of all the towns in Door County, with an historical foundation, several historic buildings, a gorgeous church and of course, the shopping and eating that you’ll come to expect from all towns up and down the peninsula.

“The Ephraim Historical Foundation (EHF) preserves and sustains the history of Ephraim through its historic collections and its buildings. Several of these buildings, including the Anderson Store, Anderson Barn, Pioneer Schoolhouse, and Goodletson Cabin, are regularly open as museums during the summer and fall. The Iverson House is open for special events and programs.

Visitors can also learn about Ephraim’s history through the EHF’s tours, including the Classic Tram Tour, the Historic Walking Tour, the Heritage Tram Tour, and the Moravian Church and Iverson House Tour.”  – READ MORE at the Ephraim Historical Foundation

The red barn-like structure above is an art gallery and the exterior is decorated with graffiti. Read about it below.

“Founded in 1962 by the Peninsula Arts Association, the Hardy Gallery is a not-for-profit community gallery committed to address the needs of the local artist community, the creative enrichment of local youth, educating the public and promoting the visual arts and artists of the Door County Peninsula. Located in the old warehouse on Ephraim’s historic dock that dates back to the 1850s, the Hardy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior of the Hardy is covered with graffiti left behind by visitors.” – from

Next up is Sister Bay. Another great town, this is home to the restaurant with the goats on the roof that I spoke of in my Washington Island post. A gentleman on Washington Island wanted to have goats on his roof as well, but was almost sued. Apparently Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik wanted to be the only restaurant with such an attraction. It is pretty cool… I guess.

Ellison Bay is home to Ellison Bluff State Natural Area which is very beautiful. Wills Park is another nice area, complete with an Inukshuk. I’ve seen a lot of rock stacking going on all around the lakeshore, but this is actually in the likeness of a human, so it’s officially an Inukshuk and not just stacked rocks.

“The Clearing is a folk school founded in 1935 by landscape architect Jens Jensen. This “school of the soil” is nestled within 128 acres of Door County forests and meadows and overlooks the dramatic Green Bay shoreline. It was built as a place where ordinary people could, as the name implies, “clear one’s mind” by reconnecting with nature and with one another.” – READ MORE about The Clearing

The Clearing is not the only place in Door County to learn about or participate in art. A lot of the galleries offer classes and Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek, as the name implies, offers a hands-on experience with ceramics, glass creations, metal work and spin-painting. No matter what type of art you’re into, I’ll bet you can find an outlet in Door County.

Linden Gallery along with being a gorgeous building with beautiful landscaping, displays wonderful collections of Asian art. You won’t believe some of the fabulous things in that shop. It’s definitely worth a stop for the historical value alone. “The enchanting 6,000 square foot gallery is dedicated to rotating exhibitions of leading Asian artists, antiquities, and Asian objects of art. The gallery is open from May-October each year.”

The photo above left is the Door County Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but my husband will vouch for the quality of its interior with interesting exhibits and some cool old ship equipment.

The Northport Pier Visitor Center and Ferry Landing in Northport is the place to buy your tickets if you’re heading to Washington or Rock Islands via the Washington Island Ferry. There are several options, depending on your schedule. You can take the people ferry, but with over 80 miles of paved roads on the island you might not get far on foot. Of course you can rent bikes or mopeds. Tour busses are an option, or you can take the car ferry and take your own tour of the island. I would suggest spending a couple nights on Washington Island so you can tour it one day and then take another ferry to spend another day on Rock Island. Check out my blogs about my experience and I may just convince you to make a trip of Washington Island and Rock Island.

My final Door County photo is close to the end of the road (literally) near Northport, Wisconsin. I will quote a fellow blogger for the great synopsis of the “who and why” of this great road:

“At the town of Liberty Grove, at the very tip of the county, town road commissioner Walter Kalms says his grandfather complained that “whoever laid out that road had something wrong with his head.”

But Kalms, and deputy clerk Janet Johnson, actually do know the reason: The road was designed by an artist, not an engineer.

Johnson says famed landscape architect Jens Jensen had a hand in laying out the end of Highway 42 to enhance its scenic beauty. Jensen, a Danish immigrant, designed parks in Chicago and Madison before coming to Door County in the 1930s to create The Clearing, a school to train landscape architects.

Jensen, who had a near-mystical belief in the civilizing power of nature, would probably scoff at my hurry to get to the island so I could start relaxing.

Next time, I’ll appreciate the curves that were put there just so I’d slow down and see the beauty of Wisconsin.”  – READ MORE

If you started somewhere in the middle of my Door County posts, click for Rock Island to continue.

Happy trails,

Barbara Olson

Barbara Olson

More of the Door: Part One

Cave Point County Park

Cave Point County Park

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