Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sturgeon Bay, WI 8/12/14

We began our adventure in the campground, which was actually located in Egg Harbour, WI.  We were assigned our camping spot and when we drove there it was obvious to both Bob and Teri, and gee probably Tiger too, that there was just no way our big rig was being backed into the spot we were assigned.  The desk was being run by a couple of high school students that just kept saying I am sure you will fit with no idea of the situation. We were so far from fitting that this situation we found to be almost comical, and oh it was raining too.  We realized that our 'teen' management team was not going to understand the mechanics of this situation, so we finally got the them to agree that we would take a site that we actually fit in, we would clear out prior to the weekend (2 days sooner than we had booked), and they would refund us a couple of days.  As they happens, but this was a first for us, and just shows how fortunate we have been in our travels.  Bob has gotten us into some really tight camping spots, but that spot was just simply not happening....not even close.

First day out we drove into Sturgeon Bay, WI.  We visited an absolutely wonderful small town museum-the Door County Historical museum.  We were impressed at what a wonderful job they did at displaying the local flare.  After visiting we saw an article where the Chicago Tribune Travel rated this museum as the best small museum in the Midwest and we fully understand why.  They had a huge display of animals and birds from Wisconsin.  There was an area devoted to patents by locals dating back to the mid 1800's.  We enjoyed their various guess what this was used for throughout the museum with answers found around the corner.  There were areas devoted to farming, dairy, medicine, printing, telephone industry, ice fishing, you name it they had it.  And their information and video on Fish Boil's, a local favorite with a long history we found interesting as well.  Last, the fire engine house had some beautiful vehicles, all in great condition. 

We included the chicken plucker in our pictures (never having seen one before).  The black extrusions, on the drum that spins, are flexible and made of rubber.

We also are posting a picture of the Reginaphone.  The Reginaphone (yes the same company that later brought us the Regina canister vacuum cleaner), was created in response to the competition that the phonograph was putting on the Regina Music boxes.  The Reginaphone was a hybrid machine that played both music box discs and also phonographs.  Want to know what one sounds like? Reginaphone

Fish Boil's are a huge part of WI we learned.  We watched a video in the museum that explained it all.  To do a fish boil, a large stainless steel kettle  is set in a rack and placed over a fire of cedar slabs.  The pot is filled half way with water and brought to a boil.  A stainless steel basket, containing small scrubbed potatoes, is then placed in the pot.  Five pounds of salt is then added.  After 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, small peeled onions are added and a basket containing chunks of white fish is fitted inside the first basket in the boiling water.  The flames are then doused with kerosene and the flames soar high, causing the scum formed on the water surface to be flushed from the now churning water (boiling over the sides of the pot).  When the fire subsides to normal, the fish, potatoes and onions are removed to the serving line.  In the serving line everyone traditionally receives, white fish, potatoes, onions all with melted butter poured over, coleslaw, bread, pickles and Door County cherry pie.  Wish we had been in the right place, at the right time to enjoy one of these fish boils that happen at least once a month in this area during the summer months.

The fire engine area in the museum had several vehicles displayed.  First up was the 1920 Oldsmobile fire truck.  This was the first motorized fire truck in Door County.  It was purchased in 1920 for $1465 and was in action until 1951.

Next up was the 1938 FWD Pumper.  We were surprised to learn that this engines was in service through 1979.

Also, in the same area was the 1913 Horse Drawn Hearse used by the local funeral home-Sloan and Stoneman.

The museum, which looked like not much from the outside, turned out to be a real gem.  We both enjoyed the variety and quality that this small museum had to offer.

Chicken Plucker
- Door County Museum
- Door County Museum

The Beginnings of a Fish Fry- Door County Museum
1920 Oldsmobile Fire Truck
- Door County Museum
1938 FWD Pumper
- Door County Museum
1913 Horse Drawn Hearse
- Door County Museum


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