Door County Communities

Door County Communities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Door

Southern Door County retains a rural, small-town charm that lets visitors know they are leaving their urban stress behind them. Rolling fields are dotted with distinctive red brick Belgian farmhouses. READ MORE....


Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay, named Wisconsin's friendliest small town, is the county seat and the only city on the peninsula. Settled in 1835, its economy originally was based on lumbering. That changed, however, when the canal linking Green Bay and Lake Michigan opened to shipping in 1882. READ MORE....

Jacksonport

In 1869, Jacksonport became the last of Door County's communities to be formally organized. Settled in 1848 as a lumber town, the community was named after Andrew Jackson, a logger and prominent business owner in the community.

Today this quiet little community offers visitors old-fashioned hospitality and a relaxing break from the pressures of everyday life. READ MORE...

Baileys Harbor 

In October 1848, a cargo ship loaded with lumber and carrying several passengers left Racine, bound for Detroit. That evening the ship, commanded by Capt. Justin Bailey, encountered a violent storm. Buffeted by high winds and heavy rain, the ship pitched and rolled in the angry Lake Michigan waters. Concerned for his passengers and cargo, Bailey kept watch for a place in which to ride out the storm. Late that night he found a quiet cove where he could drop anchor until the storm passed and his journey could be resumed. That act of nature assured Capt. Justin Bailey a measure of immortality; the village that sprung up there the following year was called Baileys Harbor. READ MORE...

Egg Harbor

There are several conflicting stories about how Egg Harbor got its name. One of the favorites, however, has to do with an incident that allegedly occurred in 1825, 28 years before the village was founded and 36 years before it gained official status. As the story goes, six boats owned by Pierce Roulette, a French fur trader, were headed for Mackinac Island. Along with other supplies, the boats carried a large number of eggs. One day, Commodore Roulette ordered the paddlers to put ashore for lunch in a sheltered cove.  READ MORE...

Fish Creek

Sturgeon Bay, Door County's first community, was settled by Increase Claflin in 1835. Nine years later, following a frightening confrontation between his son-in-law and local Indians, Claflin moved his family north to Fish Creek. Although Claflin was the first settler, Asa Thorp is regarded as the man who founded the village. By 1853 Thorp owned much of the land in the Fish Creek area and had begun building a pier from which he could sell cord wood to Lake Michigan steamers.  READ MORE...

Ephraim

In the spring of 1853, 40 Norwegian Moravians, led by the Rev. Andrew Iverson, settled the area around Eagle Harbor. The hardy pioneers named their community Ephraim, a biblical term that means fruitful. Modern villagers, mindful of Ephraim's rich heritage, have preserved a good deal of its history. Many buildings still reflect the elegantly simple architecture painted white that is a hallmark of Moravian tradition.  READ MORE...

Sister Bay

Sister Bay, Door County's largest community north of Sturgeon Bay, was settled in 1857 by Norwegian immigrants. Originally two communities, Big Sister Bay and Little Sister Bay, the Village of Sister Bay was formally created in 1912. From 1859 until 1912 both communities were governed by the Town of Liberty Grove.  In those early days, Sister Bay's economy was built on the lumber shipping business. Today, as in other Door County communities, Sister Bay's economy is tourism driven. READ MORE...

Ellison Bay / Gills Rock

Ellison Bay was founded in 1866 by Johan Berndt Eliason, who came to America from Denmark. In 1848, Eliason reached Buffalo, New York, where he bought a sizeable piece of land in Door County through the U.S. government. The U.S. Land Office later reported the land belonged to "John Ellison" and that the cove on the property was called "Ellison Bay". As in the past, Mother Nature has something special in store for visitors traveling north of Sister Bay: a breathtaking vista of Ellison Bay from the crest of a 200-foot-high escarpment. The sight is particularly beautiful when fall wears its fancy dress.  READ MORE...

Gills Rock was originally known as "Hedgehog Harbor," the name given it by Washington Island fisherman and boat builder Amos Lovejoy. In 1855, Lovejoy decided to winter his sloop on the shores of a cove he liked to fish. Over that winter, a family of hedgehogs, also known as porcupines, moved on board. When Lovejoy launched his sloop again in spring, he didn't notice the numerous holes the hedgehogs had chewed in the hull. The boat began taking on water through those holes and Lovejoy was forced to abandon the sloop and come ashore. The cove was "Hedgehog Harbor" until 1870 when it and the settlement on it were renamed Gills Rock in honor of Elias Gill, a prominent lumberer.  READ MORE...

Washington Island

Washington Island is the largest of Door County's islands. In 1815, the island was named "Colonel John Miller Island" after the leader of the first white men to set foot on the island. Later settlers changed the name to honor George Washington. Many of those later settlers were from Iceland, and today Washington Island is the oldest Icelandic community in the United States. The island lies northeast of the peninsula just beyond the straits of Death's Door. This name was given to the six-mile-wide passage between Lake Michigan and Green Bay by Native Americans. The name was translated by French explorers as "Porte des Morts" because the treacherous currents and unpredictable wave action claimed war canoes and schooners alike.  READ MORE...

Contact Information

Door County Realty, Inc.
4027 Main Street, PO. Box 340
Fish Creek WI 54212
(920) 868-3245
(800) 962-4161
Fax: (920) 868-2269
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