Egg Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Prosperous Village on the Bay
Blessed with good farmland and a deep water port, Egg Harbor has thrived since its beginning in 1861.
In the early years, Egg Harbor served fishermen, farmers, and lumbermen. It was the first community in Door County to hard surface its road. The Kewaunee House, a tavern and boarding house, was the village gathering place where residents and travelers alike swapped stories.
The Great Egg Battle
According to legend, a fleet of boats departed Green Bay in 1825 to deliver furs to the Mackinac Island trading post. The men stopped at this unnamed harbor for the night. While landing, the boat crews raced each other to reach the shore first. Eggs were thrown at the leading boat and quickly returned. When the boats reached the shore, the battle continued until the eggs were gone. In honor of the battle, the men named this bay "Egg Harbor."
John Bertschinger bought the Kewaunee House in 1904, added dining and hotel accommodations, and renamed it the Harbor Inn. In 1922, he and his brother Paul opened the Alpine Resort on 300 acres overlooking Green Bay. The resort offered golf,
Horseshoe Bay Farms
The fertile lands around Egg Harbor supported productive farms and orchards. Horseshoe Bay Farms, just south of the village, dates to 1917. The progressive dairy farm was once a breeding site for Holstein-Friesian purebred stock and its orchard operation was the largest fruit producer on the peninsula. In the early 1920s, the farm was Door County's largest employer.
• Kewaunee House, Circa 1882, The Kewaunee House was Egg Harbor’s first saloon. Today it is the Shipwrecked Restaurant, Brewery & Inn. (Photo credit: Egg Harbor Historical Society)
• View looking south toward downtown Egg Harbor, 1923 (Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)
In 1871, village founder Levi Thorp built this impressive family home. He paid for it with gold dust from the California Gold Rush of 1849. Today, the building houses shops and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
• Mackinac boats on Washington Island, (Photo credit: Dennis Jenesen)
• The Alpine Resort, circa 1930. It is still owned and operated by the Bertschinger family. (Photo credit: The Alpine Resort)
• Horseshoe Bay Farms was placed on the National Register
Erected by Door County Coastal Byway, Federal Highway Administration, and Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 45° 2.975′ N, 87° 16.852′ W. Marker is in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker is at the intersection of Horseshoe Bay Road and Egg Harbor Road (State Highway 42), on the right when traveling south on Horseshoe Bay Road. Marker is located in a small plaza and bicycle parking area, just south of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7821 Horseshoe Bay Road, Egg Harbor WI 54209, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cupola House (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Halfway to the North Pole (approx. 4 miles away); Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. 4.1 miles away); The Thorp Cabin (approx. 5.6 miles away); The Alexander Noble House (approx. 5.7 miles away); Shorelines and Sedge Meadows (approx. 6.3 miles away); The Episcopal Church of the Holy NativityHalfway to the North Pole (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Egg Harbor.
More about this marker. This marker consists of two large, rectangular, composite plaques, mounted at eye-level, on the north-facing side of a heavy duty wooden-frame kiosk.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Door County Coastal Byway
Also see . . . History of Egg Harbor. In 1855, Jacob Thorp and his brother Levi settled in Egg Harbor where they bought about sixteen hundred acres of land including and surrounding the present village. A pier was soon built by them. After a few years Levi Thorp bought out his brother's interests and did a big business shipping cordwood and cedar. For a few years the population of Egg Harbor consisted chiefly of Indians and Belgians that the Thorp brothers employed in cutting cordwood. The cordwood was all cut with axes in those days - no saws were used no matter how big the maple. Wagon loads of big chips left by the choppers could be picked up anywhere in the woods. The men received 50 cents per cord for chopping. The wood was frequently sold for only $2 per cord. (Submitted on March 2, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 2, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.