Door County, Wisconsin

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Door County
Door County Government Center
Door County Government Center
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Door County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°01′N 87°01′W / 45.02°N 87.01°W / 45.02; -87.01
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
Founded 1861
Named for Porte des Morts
Seat Sturgeon Bay
Largest city Sturgeon Bay
 • Total 2,370 sq mi (6,100 km2)
 • Land 482 sq mi (1,250 km2)
 • Water 1,888 sq mi (4,890 km2)  80%
 • Total 27,785
 • Estimate 
 • Density 12/sq mi (4.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th

Door County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,785.[1] Its county seat is Sturgeon Bay.[2]

The county was created in 1851 and organized in 1861.[3] It is named after the strait between the Door Peninsula and Washington Island. The dangerous passage, known as Death's Door, is scattered with shipwrecks and was known to early French explorers and local Native Americans.

Door County is a popular vacation and tourist destination, especially for Illinois residents.[4]



Paleo-Indian artifacts were found at the Cardy Site, including four Gainey points.[5][6] The relationship between Gainey points[a] and the more ubiquitous Clovis points[b] is being researched, but there are some similarities.[7] Most of the material collected from the Cardy site by 2003 was made of Moline chert,[c][8] which is not found in Wisconsin.[5] As of 2007, seven Clovis points have been found in the county.[9]

Artifacts from an ancient village site at Nicolet Bay Beach date to about 400 BC. This site was occupied by various cultures until about 1300 AD.[10]

Porte des Morts legend

Door County's name came from Porte des Morts ("Death's Door"), the passage between the tip of Door Peninsula and Washington Island.[11] It is a common misconception that the name "Death's Door" arose from the number of shipwrecks associated with the passage. It was instead the result of Native American tales, heard by early French explorers and published in greatly embellished form by Hjalmar Holand, about a failed raid by the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) tribe to capture Washington Island from the rival Pottawatomie tribe in the early 1600s.[12]

Potawatomi and Menominee

Before and during the 19th century, various Native Americans occupied the area that became Door County and its islands. 17th-century French explorers made contact with various tribes in the Door Peninsula. In 1634, the Jean Nicolet expedition landed at Rock Island. This is considered the first visit by men of European descent to what is now Wisconsin.[13] In 1665, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers spent the winter in the county with the Potawatomi. In 1669, Claude-Jean Allouez also wintered with the Potawatomi. He mentioned an area called "la Portage des Eturgeons." In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet stayed in the county about three months as part of their exploration.[14] In 1679, the party led by La Salle purchased food from a village of Potawatomi in what is now Robert La Salle County Park.[15] Around 1690, Nicolas Perrot visited the Potawatomi on Washington Island. In 1720, Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix visited the area with eight experienced voyageurs.[14]

By the end of French rule over the area in 1763, the Potawatomi had begun a move to the Detroit area, leaving the large communities in Wisconsin. Later, some Potawatomi moved back from Michigan to northern Wisconsin. Some but not all Potawatomi later left northern Wisconsin for northern Indiana and central Illinois.[16]

In 1815, Captain Talbot Chambers was falsely reported[17] to have died fighting Blackhawk Indians on Chambers Island; the island was named for him in 1816.[18] During an attack in 1835, one of two fishermen squatting on Detroit Island was shot and killed along with one or more Native Americans.[19] From the 1840s to the 1880s, the Clark brothers operated a fishing camp at Whitefish Bay that employed 30 to 40 fishermen. Additionally, 200-300 Potawatomis extracted fish oil from the fish waste at the camp.[20]

Potawatomi Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados, 1919

The Menominee ceded their claim to the Door Peninsula to the United States in the 1836 Treaty of the Cedars after years of negotiations with the Ho-Chunk and the U.S. government over how to accommodate the incoming populations of Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee, and Brothertown peoples who had been removed from New York.[21] As a result of this treaty, settlers could purchase land, but many fishermen still chose to live as squatters. At the same time, the more decentralized Potawatomi were divested of their land without compensation. Many emigrated to Canada because of invitations from other Native Americans already in Canada, favorable treaty arrangements, and a desire to avoid the harsh terms of the 1833 Treaty of Chicago. Although not all Potawatomi participated in the Treaty of Chicago, it was federal policy that any who did not relocate westward as the treaty stipulated would not be compensated for their land.[22]

Potawatomi Chief Simon Kahquados traveled to Washington, D.C. multiple times in an attempt to get the land back. In 1906, Congress passed a law to establish a census of all Potawatomi formerly living in Wisconsin and Michigan as a first step toward compensation. The 1907 "Wooster" roll, named after the clerk who compiled it, documented 457 Potawatomi living in Wisconsin and Michigan and 1423 in Ontario. Instead of returning the land, a meager monthly payment was issued.[22] Although Kahquados was unsuccessful, he increased public awareness of Potawatomi history. In 1931, 15,000 people attended his burial in Peninsula State Park.[23]

19th-20th century settlement

Graves of Increase Claflin and family.
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw the immigration and settlement of pioneers, mariners, fishermen, loggers, and farmers. The first white settler was Increase Claflin.[24] In 1851, Door County was separated from what had been Brown County.[14] In 1854 on Washington Island, the first post office opened in the county.[25] In 1855, four Irishmen were accidentally left behind by their steamboat, leading to the settlement of what is now Forestville.[26] In 1853, Moravians founded Ephraim as a religious community after Nils Otto Tank resisted attempts at land ownership reform at the old religious colony near Green Bay.[27] In the 19th century, a fairly large-scale immigration of Belgian Walloons populated a small region in southern portion of the county,[10] including the area designated as the Namur Historic District. They built small roadside votive chapels, some still in use today,[28] and brought other traditions over from Europe such as the Kermiss harvest festival.[29]

With the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, people could purchase 80 acres of land for $18, provided they resided on the land, improved it, and farmed for five years. This made settlement in Door County more affordable.

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse was constructed in Peninsula State Park in 1868 on orders from President Andrew Johnson, at a cost of $12,000. It was restored by the Door County Historical Society in 1964, and opened to the public.[30]

When the 1871 Peshtigo fire burned the town of Williamsonville, sixty people were killed. The area of this disaster is now Tornado Memorial County Park, named for the whirlwinds of fire.[31][32][33] Altogether, 128 people in the county perished in the Peshtigo fire.[14] Following the fire, some residents decided to use brick instead of wood.[34]

In 1885 or 1886, what is now the Coast Guard Station was established at Sturgeon Bay.[35][36] The small seasonally open station on Washington Island was established in 1902.[37]

In 1894 the Ahnapee and Western Railway was extended to Sturgeon Bay. In 1969, a train ran north of Algoma into the county for the last time,[38] although further south trains continued to operate until 1986.[39]

Early tourism

From 1865 through 1870, three resort hotels were constructed in and near Sturgeon Bay along with another one in Fish Creek.[40] Tourists could visit the northern part of the county on a Great Lakes passenger steamer, sometimes as part of a lake cruise featuring music and entertainment.[41] Improved highways of crushed stone facilitated motor tourism in the early 1900s.[14] By 1909 at least 1,000 tourists visited per year.[42] In 1938 Jens Jensen cautioned about negative cultural impacts of tourism. He wrote, "Door County is slowly being ruined by the stupid money crazed fools. This tourist business is destroying the little bit of culture that was."[43]

Orchard boosterism

In 1865, the first commercial fruit operation was established when grapes were cultivated on one of the Strawberry Islands. By 1895, a large fruit tree nursery was established and fruit horticulture was aggressively promoted. Not only farmers but even "city-bred" men were urged to consider fruit husbandry as a career. The first of multiple fruit marketing cooperatives began in 1897. In addition to corporate-run orchards, in 1910 the first corporation was established to plant and sell pre-established orchards. Although apple orchards predated cherry orchards, by 1913 it was reported that cherries had outpaced apples.[44]

Cherry crop labor sources

Women and children were typically employed to pick fruit crops, but the available work outstripped the labor supply. By 1918, it was difficult to find enough help to pick fruit crops, so workers were brought in by the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America. Cherry picking was marketed as a good summer camp activity for teenage boys in return for room, board, and recreation activities. One orchard hired players from the Green Bay Packers as camp counselors. Additionally, members of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and other native tribes were employed to pick fruit crops.[45][46] A Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established at Peninsula State Park during the Great Depression. In the summer of 1945, Fish Creek was the site of a POW camp under an affiliation with a base camp at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.[47][48][49] The German prisoners engaged in construction projects, cut wood, and picked cherries in Peninsula State Park and the surrounding area.[50]

The Wisconsin State Employment Service established an office in Door County in 1949 to recruit Tejanos to pick cherries. Work was unpredictable, as cherry harvests were poor during certain years and workers were paid by the amount they picked. In 1951, the Wisconsin Department of Public Welfare conducted a study documenting conflict between migrant workers and tourists, who resented the presence of migrant families in public vacation areas.[51] A list of recommendations was prepared to improve race relations.[52] The employment of migrants continues to the present day. In 2013, there were three migrant labor camps in the county, housing a total of 57 orchard laborers and food processors along with five non-workers.[53]

20th- and 21st-century events

In 1912, the barnstormer Lincoln Beachey demonstrated his biplane during the county fair; this is believed to be the first takeoff and landing in the county.[54]

In 1919, the first Army-Navy hydrogen balloon race was won by an Army team whose balloon splashed down in the Death's Door passage. Two soldiers endured 10-foot waves for an hour before their rescue by a fisherman.[55]

In 1925, a cow in Horseshoe Bay named Aurora Homestead Badger produced 30,000 pounds of milk, at the time a world record for dairy cattle.[56]

In June 1938, aerial photos were taken of the entire county; in 2011 the photos were made available online.[57]

In 1941, the Sturgeon Bay Vocation School opened. It is now the Sturgeon Bay campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

In 2004, the county began a sister cities relationship with Jingdezhen in southeastern China.[58]


Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,370 square miles (6,100 km2), of which 482 square miles (1,250 km2) is land and 1,888 square miles (4,890 km2) (80%) is water.[59] It is the largest county in Wisconsin by total area. The county also has 298 miles (480,000 m) of shoreline. The county covers the majority of the Door Peninsula. With the completion of the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal in 1881, the northern half of the peninsula technically became an island.[30] This canal is believed to have somehow caused a reduction in the sturgeon population in the bay due to changes in the aquatic habitat.[60] The 45th parallel north bisects this "island," and this is commemorated by Meridian County Park.[61][62]


The county has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb) with warm summers and cold snowy winters. Data is from the city of Sturgeon Bay, which has an average temperature ranging from 68.7 °F (20.4 °C) in the summer down to 18.0 °F (−7.8 °C) in the winter.


Four tornadoes were recorded from 1844-1880, and six from 1950-1989, but there were no fatalities during both time periods. Two of them crossed the Door-Kewaunee county line.[66] In 1998, Egg Harbor was hit by the F3 "Door County tornado."[67]


Door Bluff County Park, view of the escarpment

Limestone outcroppings of the Niagara Escarpment are visible on both shores of the peninsula, but the karst formations of the cuesta are larger and more prominent on the Green Bay side as seen at the Bayshore Blufflands. Progressions of dunes have created much of the rest of the shoreline, especially on the easterly side. Flora along the shore provide clear evidence of plant succession. The middle of the peninsula is mostly flat or rolling cultivated land.

The escarpment is an attractive location for quarrying, homes, and communications towers.[68] A wind turbine project was completed in 1999. At the time the 30.5-acre (12.3-ha) Rosière Wind Farm was the largest in the Eastern United States.[69] High-tension power lines built partly along the escarpment carry electricity into the peninsula. After the retirement of the Kewaunee Power Station in Carlton and the J. P. Pulliam Generating Station in Green Bay, power to Door County is primarily from the gas-powered plant in De Pere (Brown County) owned by SkyGen and the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Kewaunee County.[70] An exception to this is Chambers Island, which has no electrical grid system.[71]

Beyond the peninsula's northern tip, the partially submerged ridge forms the Potawatomi Islands, which stretch to the Garden Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The largest of these islands is Washington Island. Most of them form the Town of Washington.[72]

Caves and springs

A pit cave containing the skeletal remains of both present-day and pre-Columbian animals opens at the southern base of Brussels Hill. It is the deepest known[73] pit cave in the state and the fourth-longest known cave of any sort in Wisconsin. It was discovered by excavating three sinkholes in an extensive project.[74][75] Hundreds of sinkholes in the county have been found and marked on an interactive map.[76]

Many caves are found in the escarpment.[77][78]

Groundwater burbles up from shallow aquifers through the fractured bedrock, forming fracture springs. It also may seep more slowly through the ground, forming seepage springs. Detailed measurements were taken of one fracture and three seepage springs during a 2014-2017 survey.[79] Although the fracture spring had large variations in output, it still had a greater flow rate than all of the other 409 springs surveyed. It had one of the highest specific conductance measurements (995 µS/cm) among the springs studied due to the minerals dissolved in the water.[80] A previous study comparing springwater and well water from 47 wells and five springs in Sevastopol found that spring water was more more turbid than well water and more likely to be contaminated by coliform bacteria. Nitrates, chloride, and specific conductance were not significantly different between the springs and wells.[81]

View from the top of Old Baldy in August


The 102 ft high Brussels Hill[82] (elevation 851 feet) is the highest named point in Door County.[83] It has been explained as the result of a meteorite impact.[84][85][86] There are six other named peaks in the county,[87] including Old Baldy, the state's tallest sand dune[88] at 93 feet above the lake level.[89]

Gravel pits and oil

As of 2016, there are 16 active gravel pits and quarries in the county, producing sand, gravel, and crushed rock for roadwork and construction use.[90] A former stone quarry five miles northeast of Sturgeon Bay is a county park with a boat launch, deep water fishing access, and a short hiking trail.[91]

Oil was struck three times in the middle and southern part of the county during the early 1900s.[92]

Soils and crops

The most common USDA soil association in the northern two-thirds of the county is the Summerville[d]-Longrie[e]-Omena.[f][93] These associated soils typically are less than three feet deep. Altogether, thirty-nine percent of the county is mapped as having less than three feet (about a meter) to the dolomite bedrock. This is a factor in lower agricultural productivity, basement flooding, and public health concerns.

Both sale prices and rental values of agricultural land are lower than most Wisconsin counties.[94] The most important field crops by acres harvested in 2017 were hay and haylage at 25,197 acres, soybeans at 16,790 acres, corn (grain) at 15,371 acres, corn (silage) at 9,314 acres, wheat at 8,790 acres, oats at 2,610 acres, and barley at 513 acres.[95] Despite lower productivity for other forms of agriculture, in the early 1900s the combination of thin soils and fractured bedrock was described by area promoters as beneficial to fruit horticulture, as the land would quickly drain during wet conditions and provide ideal soil conditions for orchard trees.[44]

Because there is relatively little soil over much of the peninsula and the bedrock is fractured, snowmelt quickly enters the aquifer. This causes seasonal basement flooding in some areas.[96]


Wells, soils, and surface waters

The combination of shallow soils and fractured bedrock makes well water contamination more likely. At any given time, at least one-third of private wells may contain bacteria, and in situations with quickly flowing underground water, wells may test clean one day but contaminated the next. Some household wells turn brown every spring from nearby manure applications.[97] The porous and fractured limestone bedrock was implicated as a factor in a June 2007 epidemic when 229 patrons and employees of the newly opened Log Den restaurant were sickened by a norovirus. Six were hospitalized. The virus was found to have traveled from a septic field 188 m (617 ft) away to the restaurant's well, contaminating their water.[98] From September to December 2007 a study was conducted in which dyes were placed into the septic system. The dyes traveled through the groundwater at about 2 miles per year, and researchers concluded that viral contaminants could travel "many miles in their life times."[99]

After the Milwaukee Journal published an Insight article about septic system problems in the county in 1971, 28% of tourists surveyed in person and 57% of tourists surveyed by telephone reported having read the article. 13% of tourists surveyed by phone said that if water pollution increased, they would stop visiting the county. But the Chamber of Commerce spokesman and one other resort owner said they thought the publicity was good advertising. 14 out of 15 resort owners surveyed said their business had not declined from the previous year, although six thought the article hurt tourism and two thought their businesses had been negatively affected. A study found that those who thought bad water was the county's main problem were less likely to return, and that the water quality problem was hurting tourism.[100]

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports 137 leaking underground storage tank sites, 385 spill locations, and 104 other areas with contaminated soil and/or groundwater, including 50 open cases that are mostly cherry orchards with arsenic and lead contaminated soils from the pesticides. Additionally, two landowners voluntarily cooperated with the DNR, limiting their future liability.[101] Mines, prior landfills, and former orchard sites are considered impaired lands and specially marked on an electronic county map.[76] A different electronic map shows the locations of private wells polluted with lead, arsenic, and other contaminants down to the section level.[102]

PCBs from Green Bay have been deposited into the county as windborn dust[103] and off of contaminated waters.[104] The state lists 6.85 miles of the Ahnapee River in Door County as an impaired waterway due to PCB pollution, a designation extending past the county line.[105]

In 2017, farmers spent $2,825,000 on agricultural chemicals,[106] in addition to $5,295,000 on fertilizer, lime, and soil conditioners;[107] as a result agricultural practices are potential source of nonpoint-source pollution.


2016 HYSPLIT map

Most air pollution in Door County comes from outside the county. This map shows how air travels to the pollution monitor in Newport State Park.[108] Because the monitor is near the shore, only the red lines (which show the lower air currents) meaningfully depict the path of ozone to the monitor. As shown on the map, these lower currents carry polluted air from major urban areas. But further inland, the air from higher up mixes more, so all color lines are significant when tracing the path of air pollution further inland. These higher currents (shown in green and blue) blow in from cleaner, mostly rural areas.[109]


Road in Shivering Sands wetland complex, January 1st


In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt recommended that the Shivering Sands area be protected.[110] Today this area includes Whitefish Dunes, Kellner’s Fen, Shivering Sands wetland complex,[111] and Cave Point County Park.[112] Hjalmar Holand, an Ephraim resident,[113] promoted Door County as a tourist destination in the first half of the 20th century. He served on a committee begun in 1927 to protect and promote historical sites,[114] and as a result of this effort the county historical society purchased lands that are now county parks, including Tornado Park, Robert LaSalle Park, Murphy Park, Increase Claflin Park, and The Ridges Sanctuary.[115]


Since then the tourism industry has grown. Although Door County has a year-round population of about 27,610, it experiences an influx of tourists each summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with over 2.1 million visitors per year.[116] Most businesses are targeted to tourism and operate seasonally. Based on room tax collections from 2017–18, July is the busiest month of the year, although sales tax revenue is higher in August. The fewest room taxes are collected for January, and the fewest sales taxes are collected for April.[117] Most tourists and summer residents come from the metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, Green Bay, and the Twin Cities,[118] although Illinois residents are the dominant group both in Door County and further south along the eastern edge of Wisconsin.[4]

Compared to other Wisconsin counties

In 2003, researchers found that compared to other Wisconsin counties, Door County had a high number of campgrounds, golf courses, amusement businesses,[g] and downhill ski hills and a middling amount of inland water acreage, forestland, county-owned acreage, and rail trail mileage.[119]

Fish boil, flare up achieved with a can of fuel oil #6 (on left)


Agritourism and culinary tourism supports local food production.[120][121][122] Distinctive local foods include cherry pie,[123] Belgian pie,[124] rhubarb pie, cherry kuchen, apple kuchen, rødgrød, rhubarb salad, rhubarb cake, rhubarb torte, cherry torte, "chicken caps" (broiled mushroom caps coated in chicken spread and nuts), chocolate kraut cookies[125] chopped cherry jam,[126] cherry soup,[127] cherry bread pudding, limpa bread, skorpa,[h][128] æbleskiver,[129] green tomato jam,[130] baked pears with cheese,[131] cheese curds,[132] booyah,[133] Belgian trippe (a sausage made with edible stomach lining), and the hash brown sandwich.[134]

Cooking classes are offered to tourists.[135]

Lands open to public use

Door County is home to five state parks: Newport State Park, northeast of Ellison Bay; Peninsula State Park, east of Fish Creek; Potawatomi State Park, along Sturgeon Bay; Rock Island State Park, off the tip of the Door Peninsula; and Whitefish Dunes State Park, along Lake Michigan.[136] Besides those in the state parks, there are three other nature centers and four State Wildlife and Fishery Areas allowing free public access.[137] Besides county,[138] town, and community parks,[139][140] there is a boy scout camp, a Christian camp,[141] and a public site operated by The Archaeological Conservancy.[142][5] A local land trust operates 14 privately owned parks open to the public,[143] and thousands of acres of other privately owned land are open to the public for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing under the Managed Forest Program.[144]


Nicolet Bay at Peninsula State Park, Nicolet Beach in the center. Since this was taken in mid-September, the beach is mostly empty.
View in August from the currently closed observation tower at Potawatomi State Park. The small island is Heaven On Earth island, formerly Bug Island.[145] On the left is Cabot Point, part of the Idlewild area, and on the right is the northwest shore of Sturgeon Bay featuring the rock cut of the Old Stone Quarry, once the largest in the state.[91] Green Island appears as a very faint line along the horizon.

Door County has fewer sunny days than most counties in Wisconsin and Illinois, but it has less rainfall and lower summer temperatures,[146] making for an optimal beach-going climate. Including both the Lake Michigan and Green Bay shores, there are 54 public beaches or boat launches[147] and 39 kayak launch sites,[148] leading to the area's reputation as "the Cape Cod of the Midwest."[149] Of these beaches, 35 are routinely monitored for water quality advisories.[150] Before the state beach monitoring program, an outbreak at Nicolet Beach in Peninsula State Park sickened 68 people in July 2002.[151] A two-year study of selected Door County beaches concluded that neither the abundance of bird droppings nor bird populations reliably predicted E. coli contamination,[152] although rainfall was associated with elevated E. coli levels in six of the eight beaches studied.[153] From 2011-2015, a beach improvement program worked to reduce runoff.[154]


In 2018, Door County ranked second in the state in the Chinook salmon harvest, with 14,268 fish caught, below Kewaunee County, which had 26,557.[155] Chinook salmon are sought after by tourists enjoying chartered fishing trips.[156] Several state record salmon have been caught out of county waters on the Lake Michigan side. In 1994 the state record Chinook was taken; it weighed 44 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 47.5 inches long. In 2016 the state record for pinook (a hybrid of the pink and Chinook salmons) was set at a weight of 9 pounds, 1.6 ounces, and 27.87 inches.[157] Beginning in 1964, first coho and then Chinook salmon were stocked in Lake Michigan.[158] New Chinook fingerling stocking in the spring and egg and milt collection from late September to early November primarily takes place at the Strawberry Creek Chinook Facility in southern Door County. The facility is a public attraction during stocking and collection times.[159]

In recent years there has been concern that the alewife population will not support the salmon population,[160] especially as the Chinook population has already collapsed in Lake Huron.[161] A 2016 survey of Wisconsin anglers found they would on average pay $140 for a trip to catch Chinook salmon, $90 for lake trout, and $180 for walleye.[162] Should the Chinook salmon fishery be replaced with a native lake trout fishery, the economic value would decrease by 80%.[163]

In 2014 the state speargun record for the invasive round goby was taken by out of Door County waters on the Lake Michigan side. It weighed 5.0 ounces and was 8.25 inches long.[157]

A 1995 study found the greatest abundance of spawning lake trout in Lake Michigan was on the Clay Banks Reef off of Door and Kewaunee counties.[164]

Lake whitefish are caught commercially by ice fishing.[165]


The boat on the left overturned during the 2013 wooden boat competition. The participants are reduced to swimming around the buoy.

In 2012, 8,341 registered boats were kept in the county. Most of the county boating accidents reported in 2012 occurred in Green Bay.[166] A 1989-90 study of recreational boating in Wisconsin found that the county's Green Bay and Lake Michigan waters had a higher frequency of Great Lakes boating than any other county bordering Lake Michigan or Lake Superior. The typical motor used in the county's Green Bay and Lake Michigan waters had a horsepower over 90, while the typical motor used for inland county waters had a horsepower under 50. Overall, boaters perceived county waters as uncrowded and boater satisfaction was average.[167]

An annual race is held for which participants build small plywood boats.[168]

A charity holds sailing classes each summer.[169] 1972-1973 surveys of high school juniors and seniors in northeast Wisconsin found that students from Door County were more likely to use sailboats than students from other counties.[170]

Lighthouses and other historical sites

Including both lake and Green Bay shorelines, there are ten lighthouses. Most were built during the 19th century and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Baileys Harbor Range Lights; Cana Island Lighthouse;[171] Chambers Island Lighthouse; Eagle Bluff Lighthouse; Pilot Island Lighthouse; Plum Island Range Lights;[172] Pottawatomie Lighthouse; and Sturgeon Bay Canal Lighthouse. The other lighthouses in the county are: Baileys Harbor Lighthouse; Sherwood Point Lighthouse; and the Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light.[173] Thirteen historical sites are marked[174] in the state maritime trail for the area[175] in addition to eight roadside historical markers.[176] In Sturgeon Bay, the tugboat John Purves is operated as a museum ship. Including lighthouses, the county has 72 properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are 214 known confirmed and unconfirmed shipwrecks listed for the county,[177] including the SS Australasia, Christina Nilsson, Fleetwing, SS Frank O'Connor, Grape Shot, Green Bay, Hanover, Iris, SS Joys, SS Lakeland, SS Louisiana, Meridian, Ocean Wave, and Success. Some shipwrecks are used for wreck diving.[178]

Recognized natural areas and rare plants

Europe Bay Woods State Natural Area. Europe Lake is nearby.

There are 24 state-defined natural areas in the county.[179] Besides Lake Michigan, there are 25 lakes, ponds, or marshes and 37 rivers, creeks, streams, and springs in the county.[180] 4,631 ha (11,400 acres) of Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands are listed under the Ramsar Convention as wetlands of international importance.[181] The listing includes three areas previously recognized as "Wetland Gems."[182]

Along with nearby Marinette and Delta (see Garden Peninsula) counties, Door County is home to endemic plants and disjunct populations,[183] such as those protected at Plum Island, Coffee Swamp, Cave Point County Park, the adjacent Whitefish Dunes State Park, and The Ridges Sanctuary. The Grand Traverse islands have some of Wisconsin's richest rare plant reserves.[184]

Plant communities unique to the area

The county is home to a variety of plant communities, including some unique to the area. Boreal rich fen is called "rich" because the limestone makes the soil more fertile.[185] The southernmost boreal forests in the state are on the eastern side of the peninsula.[186] In white cedar variant forests, white cedar coexists with hardwoods and balsam fir in upland stands that ordinarily would not support cedar. This forest cover is likely due to the alkaline soil and mostly grows on the Niagara Escarpment along the Green Bay side of the peninsula or near the Lake Michigan shoreline. The escarpment also features the dry cliff natural community[187] and is home to two rare species of whitlow grass.[188][189] Other uncommon communities are alvar and the similar Great Lakes alkaline rockshore,[190][191] also home to rare plants.[183]

Individual trees

Some trees have attracted attention:

  • One white cedar found on the escarpment was over 600 years old and near other old-growth cedars.[192]
  • The largest tree in the county is a 170-year-old eastern cottonwood on the west side of Highway 57 passing through Institute. It is 110 feet tall and 35 feet in circumference.[193]
  • In 1997, striped maple was discovered in a shoreline forest near Newport, the first time this species was documented in the state.[194]
  • In 1969, Franklin Gilbert introduced the Viking apple, an early Macintosh moderately resistant to apple scab and fireblight.[195][196] The original Viking tree is exhibited to the public at the Peninsular Research Station.

Plant species lists

As of 2019, 1201 species and hybrids of vascular plants have been identified in the county,[197] including the yellow lady's-slipper Cypripedium parviflorum, the official county flower.[198] 255 unique taxa of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts[199] have been identified in Door County. In 2001, species lists were compiled for the county's islands. Snake Island had 156 species, Cana Island had 111, Hat Island 22, Chambers Island 398, Adventure Island 58, Little Strawberry Island 44, Jack Island 28, Horseshoe Island 49, Sister Island 6, Spider Island 42, Plum Island 259, Detroit Island 25, Pilot Island 40, Washington Island 626, Hog Island 34, Rock Island 333, and Gravel and Fish islands were devoid of plant life.[200] In 2006, 60 species of aquatic plants or macrophytic algae were found in Clark Lake and nearby upstream, including spotted pondweed, Potamogeton pulcher, which is endangered in Wisconsin.[201][202] In 2017, 9 species of aquatic plants were found in the Forestville Millpond, also called the Forestville Dam or Forestville Flowage.[203]

Plants in Newport State Park recolonizing the drawdown zone in August 2013 during a period of low lake levels. Plants present in the background include Anthriscus sylvestris (Queen Anne's lace), goldenrod, Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle), and Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass). The foreground includes the woody plants Thuja occidentalis (white cedar), and Cornus sericea (red-osier dogwood).

Invasive species

A county-wide electronic map of Japanese knotweed, Phragmites, teasel, and wild parsnip infested locations is updated annually.[76]

Vegetation during low lake levels

Yearly fluctuations in lake levels alternately kill off vegetation during periods of high water and promote succession during times of low water. Even during times of high water when low-lying plants are inundated, the populations may persist uphill by clonal expansion and spreading their seeds. Lake Michigan has more diverse shoreline vegetation than Lake Ontario, which has a more stable water level due to human intervention. Without the changing lake levels the shoreline would be dominated by woody plants or highly competitive and even invasive water-loving species such as cattails, reed canary grass, or purple loosestrife. Wet meadows like this one thrive when flooding does not occur often enough to allow emergent vegetation to prevail but is still too frequent to allow the establishment of trees and shrubs.[204]

Living collections


Although The Ridges is home to wild orchids, it also operates an orchid restoration project to cultivate and introduce rare orchids into otherwise natural plant communities.[205] 25 native orchid species are kept at the The Ridges.[206]


The U.S. Potato Genebank at the Peninsular Research Station just north of Sturgeon Bay is the world's largest living collection of wild and domesticated potatoes.[207]

Garden plants

A master gardeners association operates a one-acre botanical garden on the Peninsular Research Station grounds with about 350 varieties of plants.[208]

Laetiporus sulphureus, a bracket fungus. Photo taken in March in Peninsula State Park.

Macrofungi species lists

As of 2019, 243 species of mushrooms and other macrofungi have been identified north of the canal,[209] with 326 species for the county as a whole, including those found in lichens.[210] Several of the more uncommon lichens found in the county are Cetraria arenaria, which grows on the ground,[211] and Anaptychia crinalis, which grows on tree bark.[212]

Hybrid yeast

In 2009, a unique hybrid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast was found on fallen cherries near Fish Creek. This strain of S. cerevisiae descended from both oak-tree and vineyard lineages.[213]

FWS staff banding a cormorant on Spider Island at night in July.

Animal species lists

From 1971 through 1976, 11 species of small mammals were found at Toft Point,[214] the Newport State Park Mammals Checklist has 34 species,[215] and in 1972 44 mammals were listed for the entire county.[216] In 1992 six amphibians and eight reptiles were found in and around Potawatomi State Park.[217] As of 2018, 166 species of birds have been confirmed to live in Door County, excluding birds seen which lack the habitat to nest and must only be passing through.[218]

Herring gulls

During the 20th century, thousands of herring gulls were banded on Hat Island[219] to determine their migratory patterns.[220] Banded birds were found as far north as Hudson Bay and as far south as Central America.[145]

Endemic chipmunk and endangered dragonfly

Tamias striatus doorsiensis, a subspecies of eastern chipmunk, was described in 1971[221] and is found only in Door County.[222] Compared to other chipmunks nearby in Michigan and Wisconsin, they have brighter patches behind their ears, grayer hair along their backs, and more white on their tails.[223]

In 1999, the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory listed 24 aquatic and 21 terrestrial animals in Door County as "rare."[224] In particular, Kangaroo Lake State Natural Area has the largest breeding population of the endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly in the world.[225]

Rare snails

From 1996 to 2001, researchers identified 69 species of snails in Door County, the most out of the 22 counties in the study. Most of these were found on rock outcrop habitats. Ranking second was Brown County with 62 species. 48 species were found in Kewaunee County, ranking eighth. Slugs were found in all three counties. Peninsula State Park is home to the northernmost known population of Strobilops aenea. The species Vertigo hubrichti and Vertigo morsei are endemic to the upper Midwest. These two species had the highest occurrence frequencies along the Door and Garden Peninsulas. Door County is also home to several uncommon species from the genus Oxychilus, which is non-native and introduced from Europe. One was found near a vacation home and may have been introduced by landscape plantings. Within the county, Brussels Hill, North Kangaroo Lake, Rock Island and the escarpment provide habitats for rare snails.[226][227]

Other invertebrates

Research on apple maggots infesting cherries in Door County contributed to the study of sympatric speciation in the 1970s.[228]

In 2004, an invertebrate species list for Toft Point was published listing five isopods, four millipedes, six daddy longlegs, and 113 spiders. Of these, two of the millipedes and 14 of the spiders had never been documented in Wisconsin before.[229]

Additionally, the county is home to the fishing spider Dolomedes tenebrosus, which can grow to about three inches, half the size of a tarantula.[230]

The local climate may allow for the better survival of the northern black widow spider.[231]

In the 20th century, seven fish parasites were found in Hibbards Creek and 13 in Sturgeon Bay.[232]


In Sturgeon Bay, industrial tourism includes tours of the Bay Shipbuilding Company,[233] CenterPointe Yacht Services[234][235] and other manufacturers.[236] In particular, Bay Ship owns a blue gantry crane that dominates the skyline.[237] A cheese factory in Clay Banks conducts public tours.[238]

This stave church in Baileys Harbor was constructed from 1939 to 1947. Inside are 41 frescoes and carved-wood furnishings.

Scandinavian heritage

Scandinavian heritage related attractions include The Clearing Folk School, two stave churches,[239] and Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, which features goats on its grassy roof. In Ephraim, the Village Hall, the Moravian and Lutheran churches, and the Peter Peterson House are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, along with the L. A. Larson & Co. Store building in Sturgeon Bay. Although fish boils have been attributed to Scandinavian tradition,[240] multiple ethnicities present on the peninsula have traditions of boiling fish. The method common in the county is similar to that of Native Americans.[241]


Maple syrup production[242] was 983 gallons in 2017 from seven operations. This was similar to figures from 2012, but down from 2007 when 15 operations produced 2,365 gallons.[243]

The sucker run, which was a popular fishing event in the 19th century,[244] occurs in March and April.[245] Suckers may be taken by frame dip nets,[246] and the sucker run is also sought out as viewing opportunity.[247] Another permitted method of fishing for suckers is by speargun. In April 2018, the state speargun record for longnose sucker was taken by out of Door County waters on the Lake Michigan side. It weighed 3 pounds, 9.9 ounces and was 21.25 inches long.[157]

Another attraction is mushroom hunting on public land.[248][249] Additionally, as of 2017 there are two commercial mushroom operations.[250]


Cherry tree

In 2017, there were ten operations growing 14 acres of strawberries.[251]

In 2017, there were eight operations harvesting five acres of fresh cut herbs, up from four acres in 2012.[252] Two of these operations grow lavender on Washington Island.[253][254]

In Baileys Harbor, religious tourism includes the Blessing of the Fleet.[255]

Door County has a history of apple, cherry, and plum growing that dates back to the 19th century.[256][44] Farmers were encouraged to grow fruit on the basis of the relatively mild climate on the peninsula. This is due to the moderating effects of the lake and bay on nearby land temperatures. U-pick orchards and fruit stands can be found along country roads when in season, and there are two cherry processors.[257] However, the cherry and apple businesses have declined[258] since peaking in 1946[259] and 1964[44][260] respectively due to concerns about pesticides,[261] lack of migrant labor and a difficulty in finding local help, the closure of all processing plants save one, unpredictable harvests, the introduction of Drosophila suzukii, land-use competition with tourism and residential development, and better growing conditions to the east in the fruit belt, such as the nearby Traverse City area.[262][44] In 2017, there were only 1,945 acres of tart cherry orchards, down from 2012 when there were 2,429 acres.[263]


Additionally, there were 400 acres of apple orchards in 2017, down from 468 acres in 2012.[264] In 2017, there were 12 acres of pear orchards, spread among 11 operations.[265] In 2017, there was only one acre of plum orchards, spread among four operations.[266] In 2007, there were two acres of apricot orchards, spread among six operations.[267] Research on the development of cold-hardy peaches has continued since the 1980s.[268] In 2012, there were two acres of peach orchards, spread among seven operations.[269]

In 2018, a county total of 4,791 deer were killed as a total of all deer hunting seasons, down from the total harvest of 5,264 deer in 2017.[270] Chronic wasting disease as of 2018 has never been detected within the county.[271]

Another autumn activity is leaf peeping.[272]


Winter attractions include ice fishing, sledding,[i] cross-country skiing,[277] broomball,[278] snowmobiling,[279] watching lake freighters in Sturgeon Bay,[280] and Christmas tree farms.[281][282] In 2017, 860 Christmas trees were cut, down from 1,929 in 2012.[283] Nearly 60% of the time, Door County has a white Christmas.[284]

Door County Fairgrounds grandstand, where the racetrack is located.


Sports tourism includes an underwater hockey team[285] and a motor racetrack in Sturgeon Bay[286] and a semi-pro football team in Baileys Harbor.[287]

A county-wide men's baseball league has eight teams.[288]

High school sports teams play in the Packerland Conference.

In 2014, Door County ranked 264th out of all 3,141 US counties by number of golf courses and country clubs. The county has nine courses, tying with 42 other counties. Door County had the 87th highest number of courses per resident of all US counties.[289]


Tourism supports an arts community, including weavers,[290] painters,[291] decorative artists,[292] actors,[j] songwriters,[293] and musicians.[294]

Other recreation

A quilt trail along roadside barns was organized in 2010.[295]

Lake Michigan shoreline is used for lake surfing.[296]

The county's longest river canoe route is on the Ahnapee River from County H south to the county line.[297]

In 2018, 3,476 motorcycles were registered in the county, up from 1,806 in 2018.[298] A local motorcycle club hosts a regional burning man event[299] involving a large wooden cow and maintains the adjacent Wisconsin Motorcycle Memorial.[300]

In 2019, 46 aircraft were registered in the county, most owned by individuals.[301] During the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, a fish boil is held as a $100 hamburger event at the Washington Island Airport to entice AirVenture conventiongoers to land on the island.[302]

A Town of Sturgeon Bay farm was featured on a postage stamp commemorating the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial in 2004,[303] and a cherry orchard near Brussels was featured on 2012 Earthscapes series stamp.

A 2018 survey of tourists reported Forestville and Brussels as the least-visited communities in the county.[304]

Ephraim no longer dry

Ephraim, view along Water Street

In 2014-15, there were 257 liquor licenses in the county.[305] The county also has businesses that produce alcoholic beverages,[306] and as a result was recognized as part of a larger federally designated wine grape-growing region in 2012. In 2017, there were 40 acres of vineyards, down from 78 in 2012.[307] To encourage tourism, Ephraim residents passed referenda in 2016 to allow beer and/or wine sales within the village. Until then, Ephraim had been the state's last dry municipality.[308]

Economics of tourism

House pricing, real estate, and development

Migrant worker housing (March, 2011) Because the cost of living in Door County is high compared to the limited income many tourism-industry jobs provide, temporary workers are often hired, both domestic and foreign. Workers come from as far away as Ukraine,[309] Scandinavia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, or South Africa.

Between 2000 and 2017, prices for houses in Door County rose only 1.3% annually, less than the U.S. average of 2.5%.[310] In a 2008 survey of county residents, the most frequent local concern was the need to control rampant overdevelopment, including condos.[311] Shoreline parcels, which tend to be the most highly valued real estate, are typically owned by non-Wisconsin residents unless they are public property.[312] In 2006, nonresidents paid about 60% of the property taxes in the northern half of the county.[313] For forested lands, high property values drive up property tax levies, which in turn encourages landowners to enroll their land in the Managed Forest Program to reduce their taxes.[314] In 2017 the county had the second highest property values per capita in the state.[315] The high property values combined with low enrollment serve to punish local school districts in the state funding formula. As a result the county's school districts often have referenda for additional property tax funding.[316]

County revenues

County spending in Door County is supported by property taxes, sales taxes, and state aid. In 2017, the county had the highest per capita property tax burden in the state,[317] although when compared by amount levied per $1,000 of property the tax was comparatively low with the county having the fifthteenth lowest per capita property tax rate per $1,000 out of all 72 Wisconsin counties.[318] The county also collected $140 in per capita sales taxes in 2017, the second highest in the state,[319] and received the ninth highest level of per capita state financial assistance to the county government in 2015 figures.[320]

County expenses

In 2015, Door County had the third-highest level of per capita county spending in Wisconsin.[321] It was Wisconsin's only county with high per capita government spending in 2005 that did not also have a large low-income population. High per capita county government spending in Wisconsin is typically due to poverty.[322] Door County's spending can be explained by both the need to provide services to people present only during the tourism season[323] and by development patterns. A 2004 study showed that residential and commercial land tends to require more in government services than property taxes generate. These in turn are subsidized by taxes on industrial, agricultural, and open lands, which generally require few government services.[324] The dispersal of residential developments is a compounding factor. A 2002 study found that Wisconsin town residents are typically subsidized by city and village residents.[325]

Effects of protected areas on nearby development

A 2012 report found that Door County's preserved open spaces reduced the likelihood that nearby land would be subdivided, but if it was subdivided, areas near the open space were divided into more parcels than those further away. It did not appear to affect agriculture-related development.[326]

Employment and housing patterns and trends

Door County unemployment rates during the summer and fall are considerably lower than in winter.[327][328] Annual earnings in Door County are typically less than similar jobs in other areas of Wisconsin. This has been attributed to the seasonal nature of much of the employment. For example, in 2009, it was found that people were 4.85 times more likely to be employed by hotels and motels in Door County as opposed to the rest of the nation.[329] The effects of the low earnings are compounded by average housing prices; other areas in Wisconsin with low wages tend to have low housing prices.[330] The unaffordability of housing has been linked to the labor shortage problem, as new employees may be unable to afford housing and decide to leave.[331] A 2019 study found the county to have the eighth highest cost of living out of all Wisconsin counties.[332]

The housing problem has been made more severe as properties once available to residents have been turned into Airbnb-style short-term rentals for tourists. In 2015 only 191 county properties offered short-term rental lodging online, but by 2018 there were 706.[333] The 2019 documentary A Place of Our Own: The Challenge of "Home" in Door County interviewed residents to examine this economic challenge.[334]

A 2019 report by the Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources based on data from 2013 to 2017 found that while only 12.7% of Door County residents aged 65 and older rented (compared to 23.5% statewide), 59.8% of those who did rent spent 30% or more of their income on rental costs (compared to 55.4% statewide).[335]

Measures of income inequality show mixed results in Door County. Using the ACS five-year estimates from 2012-2016, the household income ratio between the 80th to 20th percentiles was only 3.76, the 352nd lowest such ratio out of 3,140 US counties. On the other hand, 23.1% of all household income in the county was earned by the top 5th percentile, the 452nd greatest percentage out of 3,135 US counties reporting data.[336]

Most of the homeless in Door County are couch surfers, although in the summer many will camp or live out of their vehicles.[337]

The largest single-family house in the state is in Liberty Grove.[338] It was built in 1996 and is about 35,000 square feet. Although in 2005 it sold for about $20 million, in 2016 it sold for only $2.7 million,[339] and in 2019 was assessed at $2.625 million.[340]

Reliance on foreign students and immigrant laborers

Because foreign workers brought in under the Summer Work Travel Program are sometimes housed in a different community from where they are employed, some have ended up bicycling 10–15 miles a day since they lack cars and the county has limited public transportation.[309] Additionally, illegal or undocumented immigrants who work in the tourism industry often lack drivers' licenses.[341] In 2012, Door County District Attorney Ray Pelrine said the "illegal immigrant workforce is now built into the structure of a lot of businesses here."[342]

Arts spending

Playbill near the entrance of an outdoor theater in Baileys Harbor listing Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest as the shows for the 2015 acting season

In 2015, Door County arts and cultural organizations spent $9.7 million, of which 70.9% was spent locally, in addition to $15.0 million spent by attendees. An estimated 1,582 volunteers for arts and cultural organizations averaged 35.7 hours each. In 2015, 194,424 people attended arts and cultural events in the county, 78.0% of them non-residents. In 2016, the average arts event attendee from the county spent $28.96, while the average nonresident spent $90.53. In 2016, 50.6% of non-residents said the arts event was the primary reason they made the trip to the county. 66.0% of county resident attendees in 2016 were 65 or older, while 48.6% of non-resident attendees were.[343]

Overall economy

An analysis comparing 1999 data for select Wisconsin counties found that Door County was especially strong in the retail of building and materials, groceries, apparel and accessories, miscellaneous retail, and restaurants. For services, it ranked strong in amusement, movie, and recreation and lodging. Door County ran a fiscal surplus in all categories to all other counties, with the exception of furniture & home furnishing, in which Door County had a leakage of sales to other counties.[344]

Other effects of tourism

In 2014, Door County spent $11,287 per resident on advertising and other forms of tourism promotion, the second-most per capita of any Wisconsin county.[345]

Due to tourism's impact on restaurant prices, some residents of the more rural southern part of the county cannot afford to eat at restaurants in the northern part.[346]

The county has been a focus of sex-trafficking enforcement efforts.[347]


WIS 42 near Gills Rock in October

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in 2017 Door County had 1270 miles of roadways.[348]

Major highways

Rustic roads

  • There are five rustic roads in the county.[350] In addition to state-recognized rustic roads, Liberty Grove manages a heritage roads program. As of 2019 there were 12 heritage roads in the town.[351]


A daily private shuttle service operates between Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport and Sturgeon Bay.[352] The nearest intercity bus station with regular service is in Green Bay.[353] There are eleven airports in the county, including private or semi-public airports.

Ferry Robert Noble serving Washington Island and Northport


  • Washington Island is served by two ferry routes. The first route is to take a 30-minute ferry ride from the Door Peninsula to Detroit Harbor on the island from a freight, automobile, and passenger ferry that departs daily from the Northport Pier at the northern terminus of Highway 42. This ferry makes approximately 225,000 trips per year.[352] The second route is a passenger-only ferry that departs from the unincorporated community of Gills Rock on a 20-minute route.[361]
  • Rock Island State Park is reachable by the passenger ferry Karfi from Washington Island.[362] (During winter Rock Island is also accessible via snowmobile and foot traffic.)
  • Although Chambers Island has no regularly scheduled ferry, there are boat operators which transport people to the island on call from Fish Creek.

Boat ramps and marinas

Bridges across Sturgeon Bay

Aerial view of the Michigan Street Bridge in February with a laker in Sturgeon Bay. Ships routinely come into the bay for servicing at Bay Ship.
  • Sturgeon Bay Bridge, (also called Michigan Street Bridge) (11.5 feet clearance, overhead-truss, Scherzer-type, double-leaf, rolling-lift bascule)[364]
  • Oregon Street Bridge (reinforced concrete slab, rolling lift bascule girder with mechanical driven center locks)[365]
  • Bayview Bridge (monolithic concrete placed on structural deck with steel girder superstructure, open grating on deck, bascule)[366]


  • There are about 250 miles of snowmobile trails,[367] which are opened as trails are groomed.[368]


Demographics, public health, and religious adherents

2000 Census

Walloon lyrics to the song "Tins d' eraler," (Time to go home), written in English style letters

As of the 2000 census,[373] there were 27,961 people, 11,828 households, and 7,995 families residing in the county. The population density was 58 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 19,587 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.84% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 0.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 39.4% were of German and 10.3% Belgian ancestry. A small pocket of Walloon speakers forms the only Walloon-language region outside of Wallonia and its immediate neighbors.[374][375] Out of a total of 11,828 households, 58.10% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 28.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.84.[citation needed]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,948
1870 4,919 66.9%
1880 11,645 136.7%
1890 15,082 29.5%
1900 17,583 16.6%
1910 18,711 6.4%
1920 19,073 1.9%
1930 18,182 −4.7%
1940 19,095 5.0%
1950 20,870 9.3%
1960 20,685 −0.9%
1970 20,106 −2.8%
1980 25,029 24.5%
1990 25,690 2.6%
2000 27,961 8.8%
2010 27,785 −0.6%
Est. 2018 27,610 [376] −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[377]
1790–1960[378] 1900–1990[379]
1990–2000[380] 2010–2018[1]

The median age in the county was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.50 males. In the county, the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18 (a decrease from 25.9% being under the age of 18 in the 1990 census[381]), 6.10% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, and 18.70% who were 65 years of age or older.[citation needed] By 2015, the percentage of elderly climbed, with 25.8% of the population being 65 or older, the third highest in the state.[382] In 2016, the county had the third highest per capita personal income in the state[383] and in 2015 it had the seventh lowest poverty level in the state.[384] In 2015, 39.0% of the population had an associate degree or more, making Door County the 12th most educated out of all 72 Wisconsin counties.[385]

Births, abortions, deaths, migration

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Door County.[l]

In 2017, there were 217 births, giving a general fertility rate of 59 births per 1000 women aged 15–44, the 49th highest rate out of 72 Wisconsin counties.[386] Additionally, there were eleven reported induced abortions performed on women of Door County residence in 2017.[387]

Between April 2010 and January 2019, there were an estimated 1,869 births and 2,904 deaths in the county. Although the greater number of deaths served to decrease the population by an estimated 1,035 people, this was more than offset by a net gain of 1,900 people who moved in from outside the county. Altogether, the population increased by an estimated 865 persons during this period.[388]


Five-year ACS data from 2012 to 2016 show that an estimated 24.6% of women aged 45–54 in the county had never been married, the 69th highest percentage of never-married women in this age bracket out of 3,130 U.S. counties reporting data. The ACS estimate also found that 75.9% of women aged 35–44 were married, the 389th highest number of married women in this age bracket out of 3,136 counties reporting data, and that the county was tied with three other counties in having the 180th lowest percentage of births to unmarried women out of 3,021 counties reporting data. 13.4% of births were to unmarried women.[336]

In 2015, the county had the 20th-most marriages and 43rd-most divorces out of all Wisconsin counties. August and September tied as the months with the most weddings, with 75 each.[389] In 2016 the county was the 45th-most populous in the state.[390]

Declining youth and overall population

According to ACS estimates, the number of people under 18 in the county dropped from 5,119 in 2010 to 4,479 in 2017.[391] In 2013, a researcher predicted that by 2040, the county's population would decline 4.2%, the 10th-largest percentage decline among all Wisconsin counties.[392]

From 2013 to 2017, 36.8% of the 9,358 households in the county included children, based on the ACS 5-year estimate, compared to 44.2% for Wisconsin in 2017, based on the ACS one-year estimate.[393]

Cattle and deer

In 2018, there were an estimated 23,500 head of cattle in the county.[394] In 2017, Door and Kewaunee counties were reported to have equal deer-to-human ratios, although Kewaunee County had a considerably greater cow-to-human ratio.[395]

Public health

In most measures of public health for 2015, the county has figures as healthy as or healthier than those of the entire state.[396] According to calculations based on 2010–2014 data, children born in Door County have a life expectancy of 80.9 years, the ninth highest out of all 72 Wisconsin counties.[397] From 2000-2010, the county premature death rate of persons younger than 75 years old fell 35.0%, the second greatest reduction out of all Wisconsin counties with only Kewaunee County having a larger drop in the death rate.[398]

In December 2018, Door County residents aged 18–64 were less likely to be receiving government payments for disability than the averages for Wisconsin and the United States as a whole.[399] Five-year ACS estimates for 2012-2016 found that that Door County tied with 24 other counties in having the 573rd lowest percentage of disabled residents under 65 years old out of all 3,145 US counties. 9.3% were disabled.[336]

From 2009 to 2013 the county had the highest skin cancer rate in the state.[400]

A CDC survey of people reporting frequent mental distress (14-30 mentally unhealthy days in the last 30 days, data aggregated over 2003-2009) found that people in Door County were more likely to be distressed than those in most Wisconsin counties, but less likely to be distressed than those in the heavily urbanized southeast portion of the state.[401]

A study of the risk of getting Lyme disease in Door County between 1991 and 1994 found it to be relatively low, possibly due to its having less vegetation than most Wisconsin counties.[402] From 2015 through 2017 reported cases of Lyme disease increased from 4 cases in 2015 to 30 cases in 2017.[403]

Vehicle accidents

Most fatal or incapacitating vehicle accidents in the county between 2010 and 2014 involved visitors. 6% of those involved in these accidents were from Illinois, 3% from Florida, and 7% from other states.[404] In a study of car accident data from 1992 to 2001, the risk of incurring a severe traffic injury during a stretch of driving was found to be lower in Door County than in Kewaunee County, but Door County had more fatalities per 100 people severely injured than Kewaunee, Brown, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan counties. This was thought to be due to the relatively long distance it takes to get people injured in Door County to treatment, as the nearest hospital with a high level of trauma certification was St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.[405]

Religious statistics

Stella Maris Catholic Parish, a six-point parish in the northern part of the county. This church building is located in Jacksonport.[406]

In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Door County was the Catholics, with 9,325 adherents worshipping at six parishes, followed by 2,982 ELCA Lutherans with seven congregations, 2,646 WELS Lutherans with seven congregations, 872 Moravians with three congregations, 834 United Methodists with four congregations, 533 non-denominational Christians with six congregations, 503 LCMS Lutherans with two congregations, 283 LCMC Lutherans with one congregation, 270 Converge Baptists with three congregations, 213 Episcopalians with one congregation, 207 UCC Christians with one congregation, and 593 other adherents. Altogether, 69.3% of the population was counted as adherents of a religious congregation.[407]

In 2014, Door County had the 719th-most religious organizations per resident out of all 3,141 US counties, with 34 religious organizations in the county.[289]





Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Adjacent counties

Notable people


Door County has voted for the winning candidate in every presidential election since 1996.

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[413]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 48.8% 8,580 45.6% 8,014 5.7% 998
2012 46.0% 8,121 53.0% 9,357 1.1% 193
2008 40.7% 7,112 58.0% 10,142 1.3% 227
2004 50.9% 8,910 47.8% 8,367 1.2% 214
2000 51.3% 7,810 43.1% 6,560 5.6% 850
1996 40.4% 4,948 45.6% 5,590 14.0% 1,713
1992 39.7% 5,468 34.4% 4,735 25.9% 3,574
1988 55.6% 6,907 43.7% 5,425 0.7% 90
1984 67.4% 8,264 31.9% 3,916 0.7% 91
1980 55.2% 7,170 38.2% 4,961 6.6% 851
1976 57.4% 6,557 39.9% 4,553 2.7% 307
1972 64.3% 6,503 33.9% 3,430 1.9% 188
1968 63.3% 5,647 30.6% 2,728 6.1% 541
1964 49.2% 4,289 50.7% 4,416 0.1% 9
1960 61.5% 5,790 38.4% 3,610 0.2% 14
1956 78.0% 6,722 21.6% 1,859 0.5% 41
1952 80.8% 7,621 19.0% 1,790 0.2% 19
1948 65.8% 4,911 32.7% 2,440 1.5% 108
1944 68.3% 5,668 31.3% 2,599 0.5% 38
1940 66.1% 5,461 33.3% 2,750 0.6% 49
1936 41.1% 3,146 51.6% 3,952 7.4% 566
1932 37.0% 2,488 61.6% 4,149 1.4% 97
1928 59.3% 3,636 40.0% 2,456 0.7% 42
1924 38.6% 1,891 4.8% 235 56.6% 2,778
1920 88.3% 3,817 8.9% 385 2.8% 119
1916 56.3% 1,656 40.9% 1,204 2.9% 84
1912 41.2% 1,167 27.1% 769 31.7% 900
1908 73.9% 2,463 23.3% 778 2.8% 93
1904 80.5% 2,689 15.4% 515 4.1% 136
1900 76.3% 2,362 21.8% 674 1.9% 60
1896 71.3% 2,402 26.6% 895 2.1% 72
1892 58.2% 1,596 36.7% 1,007 5.1% 140


Radio stations

See also


  1. ^ For more on Gainey points, see the entry on Gainey points on
  2. ^ For more on Clovis points, see the entry on Clovis points on
  3. ^ For more on Moline chert, see the entry on Moline chert on
  4. ^ Summerville soil series information, also see inceptisol as Summerville soils are inceptisols.
  5. ^ Longrie soil series information, also see spodosol, as Longrie soils are spodosols.
  6. ^ Omena soil series information, also see alfisol, as Omena soils are alfisols.
  7. ^ such as go-kart tracks, water parks, and mini-golf
  8. ^ See Skorpa for fika by Bonnie Sparrman in Pietisten 12(2), Fall/Winter 2017
  9. ^ There are two public sledding hills in Sturgeon Bay,[273] one in Sister Bay,[274] one in Peninsula State Park,[275] and a small sledding hill in Potawatomi State Park.[276]
  10. ^ See Peninsula Players and Northern Sky Theater
  11. ^ The other five private airports:
    • Forscoro Airport, Forestville
    • Hill Road Airport, Sister Bay[357]
    • Mick Schier Field Airport, Namur[358]
    • Mave's Lakeview Road Airport, Ellison Bay[359]
    • Sunny Slope Runway Airport, Egg Harbor[360]
  12. ^ For an updated pyramid, see 2010-2040CoPyramids.xlsx


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin: Individual County Chronologies". Wisconsin Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Rebecca L. Schewe; Donald R. Field; Deborah J. Frosch; Gregory Clendenning; Dana Jensen (May 15, 2012). Condos in the Woods: The Growth of Seasonal and Retirement Homes in Northern Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Pres. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-299-28533-3.
  5. ^ a b c Life During The End Of The Ice Age: The Cardy site could inform archaeologists about how humans dealt with a challenging environment., American Archaeology Vol. 14, No. 3, Fall 2010
  6. ^ Older than the Egyptian pyramids, stone tools found in Sturgeon Bay go on display by Liz Welter, Green Bay Press-Gazette Aug. 14, 2018
  7. ^ Iowa's Archaeological Past by Lynn M. Alex, Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2000, page 50
  8. ^ Midwest Archeological Conference, 49th Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, October 16–19, 2003, page 26 (page 27 of the pdf)
  9. ^ A Survey of Wisconsin Fluted Points by Thomas J. Loebel, Current Research in the Pleistocene 24:118–119
  10. ^ a b Soucek, G. (2011). Door County Tales: Shipwrecks, Cherries and Goats on the Roof. American Chronicles. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-61423-383-1. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  11. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved May 7, 2018 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Kohl, Cris & Joan Forsberg, Shipwrecks at Death's Door, Page 10.
  13. ^ A Guide to Significant Wildlife Habitat and Natural Areas Of Door County, Wisconsin, March, 2003, by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Sturgeon Bay Service Center, page 128.
  14. ^ a b c d e Door County Comprehensive Plan 2030. Chapter 3 – Historical and Cultural Resources. Volume II, Resource Report., Table 3.1: Timeline of Historic Events in Door County, pages 19-20 (page four through five of the pdf)
  15. ^ Robert LaSalle County Park kiosk historical notes
  16. ^ Edmunds, R. David (1988). The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press (Civilization of the American Indian Series); ISBN 0-8061-2069-X
  17. ^ Forgotten Charms of Chambers Island by Patty Williamson, Peninsula Pulse, August 25th, 2017
  18. ^ Town of Gibraltar 20-Year Comprehensive Plan, chapter 2, page 3 (page 35 of pdf)
  19. ^ Book Excerpt, Island Tales: “History and Anecdotes of Washington Island” by Jessie Miner
  20. ^ Whitefish Dunes State Park History, Wisconsin DNR, January 7, 2015
  21. ^ "Menominee Treaties and Treaty Rights". Indian Country Wisconsin. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Potawatomi Migration from Wisconsin & Michigan to Canada". Geni. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  23. ^ "Kahquados, Chief Simon". Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County. Wisconsin Public Television. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  24. ^ Hjalmar Holand. History of Door County Wisconsin, The County Beautiful. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1917, p. 77.
  25. ^ Going For The Mail: A History Of Door County Post Offices by James B. Hale, Brown County Historical Society: Green Bay, WI. 1996. Full text on Internet Archive
  26. ^ Village of Forestville Comprehensive Plan, September 11th, 2009, pages 14-16 of the document
  27. ^ "History of Ephraim, Door County, Wisconsin". by Hjalmar R. Holand, 1917
  28. ^ Lott, Katie (May 1, 2009). "Southern Door County's Belgian Wayside Chapels". Door County Living. Retrieved January 22, 2019. "Where to Find Belgian Chapels in Door County". Door County Visitor Bureau. Retrieved January 22, 2019., also Wisconsin Belgian Roadside Chapels in Google Maps
  29. ^ Holand, Hjalmar Rued, Wisconsin's Belgian community: an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County, Chapter VII Belgian Characteristics and Customs, page 82 and following, 1933. See also the Table of Contents for the entire book.
  30. ^ a b Wardius, K.; Wardius, B. (2013). Wisconsin Lighthouses: A Photographic and Historical Guide, Revised Edition. Wisconsin Historical Society Press. pp. 100–25. ISBN 978-0-87020-610-8. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  31. ^ Tornadoes of Fire at Williamsonville, Wisconsin, October 8, 1871 by Joseph M. Moran and E. Lee Somerville, 1990, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, 31 pages
  32. ^ Skiba, Justin (2 September 2016). "The Fire That Took Williamsonville". Door County Living. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  33. ^ Tornado Memorial Park kiosk historical notes, also see page 19 of the County C Park and Ride lot panel draft pdf
  34. ^ Brick by Brick: A Comparative pXRF Analysis of Brickworks and Structures in the Belgian-American Community of the Door Peninsula by Lisa Marie Zimmerman, unpublished M.S. thesis, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2013 and Old World Wisconsin: around Europe in the Badger State by Fred L. Holmes. E. M. Hale and Company, 1944, page 163 (169 of the pdf)
  35. ^ II. Transportation Profile Draft, by the Door County Comprehensive Plan 2030 Transportation Advisory Workgroup, page 5 of the pdf
  36. ^ "Station Sturgeon Bay Canal, Wisconsin" (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard History Program. United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  37. ^ "USCG Station Washington Island" (PDF). United States Coast Guard. January 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  38. ^ The Rise and Fall of the Ahnapee & Western Railway by Myles Dannhausen Jr. and Patty Williamson, Door County Living November 15th, 2011
  39. ^ Mailer, Stan (1989). Green Bay & Western The First 111 Years. Hundman Publishing.
  40. ^ Door County Wisconsin's Peninsular Jewel by Bruce Thomas, 1993, pages 33-34, and 41
  41. ^ Ships and Shipwrecks in Door County, Wisconsin, Volume 2 by Arthur C. and Lucy F. Frederickson, Frankfort, Michigan, 1963, page 3 (page 5 of the pdf)
  42. ^ State parks for Wisconsin. Report of John Nolen, Landscape Architect, With Letter of Transmittal by State Park Board, by John Nolen, 1909, page 31 (page 47 of the pdf)
  43. ^ quotation taken from the Green Bay Press Gazette, June 15, 1938 on page 194 of Door County's Emerald Treasure: A History of Peninsula State Park by William H. Tishler, Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006
  44. ^ a b c d e Cain, Cortney (May 2006). "Chapter 4, Door County Apple Horticulture". The Development of Apple Horticulture in Wisconsin, 1850s-1950s: Case Studies of Bayfield, Crawford, and Door Counties (M.A. thesis). UW-Madison. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  45. ^ Geography of Apple Orchards in Wisconsin: Examining the Core of Cultivation by Kody Bankston, Morgan Jarocki, and Adrienne Miller, unpublished student paper, UW-Madison, 2012
  46. ^ Migrant Labor and Door County Cherries by Emily Irwin, July 1, 2017
  47. ^ Mariah Goode. "The Harvest of 1945: German POW Camps Filled Door County’s Labor Shortage". Door County Pulse, July 1, 2005.
  48. ^ cheyenne Lentz. "Story Of Wisconsin's German POWs Is A Piece Of Hidden History, Author Says". Wisconsin Public Radio, June 23, 2015.
  49. ^ Damien Jaques. "Cherry picking with German POWs in Door County". On Milwaukee, July 9, 2012.
  50. ^ Tishler, W.H. (2006). Door County's Emerald Treasure: A History of Peninsula State Park. Wisconsin Land and Life. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-22073-0. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  51. ^ Mexicans in Wisconsin by Sergio González, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017
  52. ^ The list is found on pages 51 and following of Migrant agricultural workers in Door County by the Division for Children and Youth, State Department of Public Welfare, Wisconsin, 1951
  53. ^ Developing Strategies to Improve Farm Labor Camp Housing Policy in Massachusetts, by Daniel MacVeigh-Fierro Samantha Ricci Damani Walder, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Boston Project Center B.S. Interactive Qualifying Project, page 65 (page 79 of the pdf)
  54. ^ They Wanted Wings: A History of Door County Aviation by John Enigl and Wallace "Bud" Felhofer, 2001, page 5 (page 11 of the pdf)
  55. ^ They Wanted Wings: A History of Door County Aviation by John Enigl and Wallace "Bud" Felhofer, 2001, page 13 (page 19 of the pdf) and U.S. Air Services, Volumes 2-4, page 33
  56. ^ Horseshoe Bay Farms Still Stands Tall by Myles Dannhausen Jr., Door County Living May 1, 2013
  57. ^ They are available from the WHAIFinder application, for reference see Wisconsin historic aerial photographs now available online by Howard Veregin, Wisconsin Geospatial News, February 23, 2011
  58. ^ Door County and Jingdezhen, China: Sister Cities by Door County Pulse, Door County Living, July 1, 2004, accessed December 12, 2019
  59. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  60. ^ City of Sturgeon Bay Comprehensive Plan Update, 2010, chapter 2 page 2 (page 14 of the pdf)
  61. ^ "Meridian County Park". Door County Parks. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  62. ^ Meridian County Park and Harter-Matter Sanctuary Map and trail guide
  63. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  64. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for Sturgeon Bay Exp Farm". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  65. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Washington Island, Wisconsin". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  66. ^ A Tornado Climatology for Wisconsin by Pamela Naber Knox and Douglas Norgord, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin 100, 2000, page 9 (page 17 of the pdf) and page 13 (page 21 of the pdf)
  67. ^ Development of the Door County Supercell on 23 August 1998 by James R. Jelinek, Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, May 2006
  68. ^ The Niagara Escarpment: Inventory Findings 1999-2001 and Considerations for Management. Final Report, Craig Anderson, Eric Epstein, William Smith, Nicole Merryfield, May 2002, Natural Heritage Inventory Program Bureau of Endangered Resources Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, page 32 (page 40 of the pdf)
  69. ^ "Rosière Wind Farm". Madison Gas and Electric. Retrieved July 8, 2009. and  "MGE Celebrates 10th Anniversary of State's First Wind Farm". Wisconsin Ag Connection. July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  70. ^ Town of Union 20-Year Comprehensive Plan, May 2007, Chapter 9, page 1, page 181 of the pdf
  71. ^ Chambers Island: An Escape to Simpler Pleasures by Susan Glenn, Door County Living, July 1st, 2005
  72. ^ "Soil Survey of Door County, Wisconsin" (PDF). USDA SCS. December 1978. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  73. ^ A Guide to Significant Wildlife Habitat and Natural Areas Of Door County, Wisconsin, March, 2003, by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Sturgeon Bay Service Center, page 52.
  74. ^ Wisconsin Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists Field Trip, May 30–31, 2009, page 85 (page 87 of the pdf)
  75. ^ Beneath the Door Peninsula: The Story of Paradise Pit Cave by Gary K. Soule, p. 239-246, NSS News, June 1986
  76. ^ a b c Web-Map of Door County, Wisconsin ... For All Seasons!, Door County Land Information Office, Accessed September 7th, 2019
  77. ^ Geology and Ground Water in Door County, Wisconsin, with Emphasis on Contamination Potential in the Silurian Dolomite By M. G. Sherrill, United States Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2047. 1978, locations of caves are shown on Plate 1
  78. ^ Man Goes Deep To Explore, Preserve The Hidden Treasures Of Door County’s Caves, by Joel Waldinger, October 14, 2014, Wisconsin Life PBS
  79. ^ Wisconsin Springs: Data, see the four points located in the county on the electronic map, Susan Swanson, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
  80. ^ An inventory of springs in Wisconsin by Susan K. Swanson, Grace E. Graham, and David J. Hart, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin 113, 2019, page 8 (page 14 of the pdf) and page 13 (page 19 of the pdf)
  81. ^ Hydrogeology and Groundwater Monitoring of Fractured Dolomite in the Upper Door Priority Watershed, Door County, Wisconsin by Bradbury, K.R., Muldoon, M.A., Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey # WOFR1992-02, January, 1992
  82. ^ Town of Gardner 20 Year Comprehensive Plan, January 2010, Chapter 5, page 15 (page 78 of the pdf)
  83. ^ Town of Brussels 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 2, page 30 (p. 56 of the pdf)
  84. ^ A previously unrecognized impact structure at Brussels Hill, Door County, Wisconsin: Brecciation and shock-metamorphic features by Zawacki, Emily E. and Bjornerud, Marcia G., Presentation at the 2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19-22 October 2014)
  85. ^ A previously unrecognized impact structure at Brussels Hill, Door County, Wisconsin: Brecciation and shock-metamorphic features. by E. E. Zawacki, October 2014, presented at the 2014 Geological Society of America annual meeting
  86. ^ Crater Hunters Find New Clues to Ancient Impact Storm by Becky Oskin, LiveScience, October 31, 2014
  87. ^ PeakVisor Door County Named Mountains
  88. ^ Get A Bird's Eye View of Wisconsin's Fall Color by Travel Wisconsin, Sept. 21, 2017
  89. ^ Note that lake level changes from year to year. Whitefish Dunes State Park Trail descriptions, Wisconsin DNR, March 20th 2016, accessed September 7th, 2019
  90. ^ Pit locations spreadsheet, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 1/21/2016
  91. ^ a b George Pinney County Park kiosk information
  92. ^ At an exploratory hole drilled by the Tornado Oil & Gas Co. near Brussels, oil showings were reported at 760, 820, 947-950 feet in depth. A water well dug for the City of Sturgeon Bay found oil at 650 to 800 feet in depth, but mostly at about 800 feet. The report states: "it was of dark color and very offensive smell. So muoh was obtained that he said that they feared they would get oil rather than water." Similar findings were reported at the well dug for Sawyer on the northern side of the Sturgeon Bay. Structure and oil possibilities in Door County, Wisconsin by F. T. Thwaites and R. C. Lentz, Oil Indications, page 14-15 (page 16-17 of the pdf)
  93. ^ Map 6.1: General Soil Association, Door County Comprehensive and Farmland Preservation Plan 2035
  94. ^ See the map of soils by suitability for agriculture for context. In 2016, the average rental value was $81.00 per acre, less than the Wisconsin average of $131.00 per acre and $144.00 per acre for Kewaunee County. The average sale price of agricultural land in 2016 was $3,861 per acre, less than the Wisconsin average of $5,306 per acre and $6,568 per acre for Kewaunee County. Statistics from the 2017 Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics pages 5 and 10 and (9 and 14 of the pdf), by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, September 2017
  95. ^ Quick Stats data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  96. ^ Village of Ephraim Comprehensive Plan 2009 Chapter 6, page 5 (page 66 of the pdf)
  97. ^ Protect the Water You Drink pamphlet, by Debbie Beyer, UW-Extension Basin Education Initiative; Shelby Giguere, and the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department. See also Groundwater Quality Changes in a Karst Aquifer of Northeastern Wisconsin, USA: Reduction of Brown Water Incidence and Bacterial Contamination Resulting from Implementation of Regional Task Force Recommendations by Kevin Erb, Eric Ronk, Vikram Koundinya, and John Luczaj, published in Resources 2015, 4, 655-672; doi:10.3390/resources4030655
  98. ^ Norovirus outbreak caused by a new septic system in a dolomite aquifer, by Mark A. Borchardt, Kenneth R. Bradbury, Elizabeth C. Alexander, Rhonda J Kolberg, S Catherine. P Alexander, John R. Archer, Laurel A Braatz, Brian M. Forest, Jeffrey Alan Green, Susan K. Spencer, published in Ground Water. 2011 Jan-Feb;49(1):85-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00686.x.
  99. ^ Plum Bottom Closed Depression Groundwater Trace Final Report by E. Calvin Alexander, Jr., Jeffrey A. Green, and Scott C. Alexander 25 January 2008
  100. ^ Appendix H of Groundwater quality, Door County, Wisconsin: an assessment of the institutional and physical constraints on economic development, recreational growth, and ground water quality, edited by Harry Leslie. Report of the Water Resources Management Workshop held May, 1973. Madison : Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, pages 153-172 (pages 187-206 of the pdf)
  101. ^ Door County Comprehensive and Farmland Preservation Plan 2035: Volume II, Resource Report, Chapter 5: Economic Development page 89 (page 31 of the pdf)
  102. ^ Groundwater Quality Viewer, UW-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources, Groundwater Center
  103. ^ A Case Study of Atmospheric Dry Deposition by Jim J. Lin, Department of Life Sciences, National Air University, Tapeii, 1998
  104. ^ Atmospheric Deposition of PCBs into Green Bay (link to abstract), Journal of Great Lakes Research Volume 19, Issue 1, 1993, Pages 109-123, authors: Clyde W. Sweet, Thomas J. Murphy, James H. Bannasch, Cynthia A. Kelsey, and John Hong
  105. ^ Wisconsin Finds 240 More Impaired Waterways by Jackson Parr, Peninsula Pulse – November 22nd, 2017
  106. ^ USDA NASS Quick Stats database results for chemical expenditures, 1997 through 2017
  107. ^ USDA NASS Quick Stats database results for fertilizer expenditures, 1997 through 2017
  108. ^ Photo of the monitoring station on page 128 of WI DNR. "Air Monitoring Network Plan 2016 June 2015" (PDF). EPA. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  109. ^ US EPA. "Wisconsin: Northern Milwaukee/Ozaukee Shoreline Area, Sheboygan County Area, Manitowoc County Area, Door County Area Final Area Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards Technical Support Document (TSD)" (PDF). Green Book. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  110. ^ Town of Sevastopol Comprehensive Plan 2028, November 2008, Chapter 6, page 7, page 104 of the pdf
  111. ^ Landings, Journal of the Door County Land Trust, Spring 2012, pages 6-7
  112. ^ A Data Compilation and Assessment of Coastal Wetlands of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes, 2002 (See M-16. Shivering Sands Area on page 37 of the document and page 43 of the pdf)
  113. ^ My first eighty years by Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1957, Twayne Publishers, New York, page 10 (page 16 of the pdf)
  114. ^ Old peninsula days; the making of an American community, Chapter 26, "The Peninsula's County Parks" by Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 8th revised edition, 1959, page 242 and following (page 254 and following of the pdf)
  115. ^ Door County’s Original Historian: Hjalmar R. Holand by Steve Grutzmacher, Door County Living, September 4, 2015
  116. ^ Town of Sevastopol Comprehensive Plan 2028, November 2008, Chapter 4, page 11, (page 64 of the pdf)
  117. ^ Monthly Report, July 2019, Door County Visitor Bureau
  118. ^ Lyttle, Bethany (September 11, 2008). "The Cape Cod of the Midwest". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  119. ^ Standardizing county-level recreation supply components: A precursor to the Wisconsin SCORP, 2005 Working Paper 03-2 November 2003 by Peter Herreid, Dave Marcouiller, and Jeff Prey
  120. ^ Localizing Linkages for Food and Tourism: Culinary Tourism as a Community Development Strategy Gary Paul Green and Michael L. Dougherty COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 39, No. 3
  121. ^ Local Food Tourism Networks and Word of Mouth by Michael L. Dougherty and Gary Paul Green, April 2011 Volume 49 Number 2 Article Number 2FEA5, Journal of Extension
  122. ^ 2017 Door County Local Producers Guide, UW-Extension, January 2017
  123. ^ The Ephraim Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies' Aid Society of the Moravian Church at Ephraim, Wisconsin, 1921, page 126 (page 134 of the pdf)
  124. ^ Southern Door’s Dessert: The Belgian Pie by Gina Guth, Door County Living August 1, 2018 and Belgian pie entry in the Dictionary of American Regional English, Quarterly Update 4, Spring 2016, UW-Madison
  125. ^ Immanuel Cookbook: from members and friends of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. Compiled by Immanuel Luther League, Printed by On Time Publishing, Sister Bay, Wisconsin, 1996, pages 174, 193, 199, 41, 161, 187, 183, 7, and 125
  126. ^ Northern Door County (#213), YouTube, Around the Corner with John McGivern, April 11, 2013, Milwaukee PBS
  127. ^ Mango, W.P. (1994). Grandma's Home Kitchen: Where Lessons and Life Were Mixed with Love : Family Recipes & Traditions of Grandma's Swedish Bakery, Door County. Wan'a Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-942495-38-6.
  128. ^ Door County's Quiet Side (#811), YouTube, Around the Corner with John McGivern, March 21, 2019, Milwaukee PBS
  129. ^ Abelskiver and Community on Washington Island by Heidi Hodges, February 18, 2015, Wisconsin Life, PBS
  130. ^ Underwater & Underground, Henriksen Fisheries & Door County Underground, Wisconsin Foodie, February 7, 2019
  131. ^ Baked pears with cheese, YouTube, April 29, 2013, Renard's Cheese
  132. ^ Cheese Curds: A Wisconsin Delicacy by Brittany Jordt, Door County Living, November 15, 2012 and Take a Cheese Tour of Door County, Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Cheese Talk, July 13, 2017
  133. ^ Booyah, a hearty Belgian soup-stew, is revered tradition in Green Bay by Molly Bergin, September 25, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  134. ^ Brussels Countryside Diner entry,, accessed December 10, 2019
  135. ^ Savory Spoon Cooking School video, YouTube, Explore the Door, July 15, 2011, Door County Visitor Bureau, also see Cooking classes: The Flour Pot, Travel Wisconsin Website, Accessed December 31, 2019 and Private Hands On Cooking Classes at Eagle Harbor Inn with Chef Terri Milligan, April 23, 2013, Door County Chefs website
  136. ^ Five State Parks in Door County Archived March 31, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Travel Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
  137. ^ Gardner Swamp Wildlife Area, Mud Lake Wildlife Area, Reibolts Creek Public Access, and Schuyler Creek State Fishery Area
  138. ^ Interactive map of State and County Parks
  139. ^ Parks (list)
  140. ^ Far From the Madding Crowd: Liberty Grove Town Parks
  141. ^ Camp Zion listing in the CCCA campgrounds directory, accessed December 10th, 2019
  142. ^ Ice Age Trail Guidebook 2014, Points of interest: Cardy Paleo-Indian Camp Archaeological Site, page 353 (page 6 of the pdf)
  143. ^ "Explore Our Preserves". Archived from the original on 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  144. ^ Lands enrolled in the tax program are shown on the DNR Private Forest Lands Open for Public Recreation interactive map.
  145. ^ a b Door County’s Islands by Sally Slattery, Door County Living, July 1, 2014
  146. ^ See map at bottom of "Door County, Wisconsin, - Sperling's BestPlaces". Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  147. ^ Map of Door County Beaches on Lake Michigan
  148. ^ Bicycle and other silent sports map 2016, Door County Visitors Bureau
  149. ^ Lyttle, Bethany (September 11, 2008). "The Cape Cod of the Midwest". New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  150. ^ Wisconsin Beach Advisories on the Wisconsin Beach Health website; counties are located in the dropdown menu
  151. ^ Detection of escherichia coli in northern Lake Michigan waters using QPCR method C by Roland Hernandez Jr, May 2018, M.S. thesis, UW-Oshkosh
  152. ^ Evaluation of Avian Waste and Bird Counts as Predicators of Escherichia coli Contamination at Door County, Wisconsin Beaches by Gregory T. Kleinheinz, Colleen M. McDermott, and Vinni Chomeau, J. Great Lakes Res. 32:117–123 Internat. Assoc. Great Lakes Res., 2006
  153. ^ Impact of Rainfall on Escherichia Coli Concentrations at Beaches in Door County, Wisconsin, Amanda M. Griesbach, unpublished M.S thesis, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2013
  154. ^ Implementation of BMP’s at Beaches to Improve Water Quality, Final Report, Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department, March 29, 2016
  155. ^ Kewaunee/Door Peninsula Again Top in Chinook Harvest by Kevin Naze, Peninsula Pulse, May 1, 2019
  156. ^ It’s No Fish Tale… Charter Boat Captain Is Living His Dream by Joel Waldinger, November 5, 2015, Wisconsin Life, PBS
  157. ^ a b c Wisconsin Record Fish List, September 2018, Wisconsin DNR (The records are current as of September 2018.)
  158. ^ The Salmon Experiment: The invention of a Lake Michigan sport fishery, and what has happened since, Updated Jan 21, 2019; Posted Apr 18, 2011 By Howard Meyerson, The Grand Rapids Press
  159. ^ Chinook Salmon Program at Strawberry Creek by Jim Lundstrom, Peninsula Pulse, October 16, 2015, also see the brochure for the Strawberry Creek Strawberry Creek Chinook Facility, Wisconsin DNR
  160. ^ Red flags signal possible trouble for Lake Michigan salmon where chinooks are king, by Howard Meyerson, The Grand Rapids Press, Updated Jan 21, 2019; Posted Apr 17, 2011
  161. ^ Charter Captain Meeting March 12, 2015, see pages 56-57, Archived November 1, 2019 also see Lake Huron’s Chinook salmon fishery unlikely to recover due to ongoing food shortage by Jim Erickson, March 14, 2016
  162. ^ Wisconsin Sea Grant documents value of recreational fishing in Lake Michigan by Aaron R. Conklin, Wisconsin Sea Grant, July 10, 2017
  163. ^ Can Native Species Compete with Valuable Exotics? Measuring Willingness to Pay for Recreational Fishing in Lake Michigan by Raynor, Jennifer and Phaneuf, Daniel, Presentation for the 2018 International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade
  164. ^ Edsall, T. A., M. E. Holey, B. A. Manny and G. W. Kennedy 1995 An Evaluation of Lake Trout Reproductive Habitat on Clay Banks Reef, Northwestern Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 21 (Supplement 1):418-432
  165. ^ Commercial Ice Fishing Has Door County Resident Hooked by Joel Waldinger, December 15, 2017
  166. ^ 2012 Wisconsin Boating Program Report, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Law Enforcement Pub-LE-314-2012
  167. ^ Boating Pressure on Wisconsin's Lakes and Rivers: Results of the 1989-1990 Wisconsin Recreational Boating Study, Phase 1, 1991, Technical Bulletin No. 174 Department of Natural Resources: Madison, Wisconsin
  168. ^ Jon Gast: It's safe to say Sturgeon Bay's Sikaflex 'boat' race is like no other by Jon Gast, Green Bay Press Gazette, August 7, 2018
  169. ^ Sturgeon Bay (#405), YouTube, Around the Corner with John McGivern, February 4, 2015, Milwaukee PBS and Sailing Classes - Info and Schedules, Sail Training Foundation website, Accessed December 31, 2019
  170. ^ Marine Recreational Uses of Green Bay: A Survey of Human Behavior and Attitude Patterns of High School Juniors and Seniors. by RB Ditton and PK Johnsen, UW-Wisconsin Sea Grant Program, February 1974, page 29 (page 36 of the pdf)
  171. ^ Keeper Of The Light: A Modern Lighthouse Keeper by By Patty Murray, September 25, 2017 Wisconsin Originals, PBS
  172. ^ Women Learn Life Skills While Preserving Maritime Landmarks by Joel Waldinger, October 15, 2015, Wisconsin Life, PBS
  173. ^ More Door County Lighthouses Archived 2018-05-07 at the Wayback Machine. Door County Maritime Museum.
  174. ^ Maritime Trail video, July 15, 2011, Explore the Door, Door County Visitor Bureau and also see the Maritime trail markers for Door County listed by the Maritime Preservation Program of the Wisconsin Historical Society
  175. ^ On the Wisconsin DNR website, see Door County/Green Bay Trail (Marinette, Oconto, Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties)
  176. ^ Official List of Wisconsin’s State Historic Markers by the Wisconsin Historical Society, June 21, 2018
  177. ^ Wisconsin Shipwrecks: Door County
  178. ^ Guide to Door County Shore Dives by Chuck Larsen and Wisconsin's Door County Full of Treasures for Scuba Divers by Brian E. Clark, July 7, 2012, updated November 9, 2015, Twin Cities Pioneer Press
  179. ^ Wisconsin DNR. "Door". State natural areas by county. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  180. ^ Wisconsin DNR (November 27, 2009). "Page 20 of the pdf, Tables 4.15 and 4.16" (PDF). Door County Comprehensive Plan 2030: Chapter 4, Agricultural and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  181. ^ United States designates its 37th Ramsar Site, April 27, 2015 United States of America
  182. ^ Document RIS 2218: Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands, Ramsar Information Service, March 25, 2015, also see Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands in the Ramsar Sites Information Service
  183. ^ a b Emmet Judziewicz and David Kopitzke (September 1999). "Wisconsin's Lake Michigan Islands Plant Survey-II" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  184. ^ A Guide to Significant Wildlife Habitat and Natural Areas Of Door County, Wisconsin, March, 2003, by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Sturgeon Bay Service Center, page 127
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  408. ^ Arlington National Cemetery. Robert C. Bassett. "Bassett, who was born in Sturgeon Bay on March 2, 1911"
  409. ^ Gene Brabender by Rory Costello, Society for American Baseball Research
  410. ^ Traveling Back: In 2003, Door County was 'football capital of the world' by Robert Johnson, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, November 16, 2018
  411. ^ Henry Killilea by Dennis Pajot, Society for American Baseball Research
  412. ^ Five worst fires in Packers history by Cliff Christl, Green Bay Packers, May 6, 2015
  413. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  414. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 2008-12-16.

Further reading

  • Holand, Hjalmar R. History of Door County, Wisconsin, The County Beautiful. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1917.
  • Martin, Chas. I. History of Door County, Wisconsin. Sturgeon Bay, Wis.: Expositor Job Print, 1881.

External links

  • Door County travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Door County Weather Radar
  • Door County government website
  • Door County map from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Door County Historical Society
  • Door County Visitor Bureau
  • Road Trip to Door County Video produced by Wisconsin Public Television

Coordinates: 45°01′N 87°01′W / 45.02°N 87.01°W / 45.02; -87.01

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