If you visited one of the three”ports of call” for the Door County Maritime Museum this summer, chances are you saw them like you have never seen before. This summer was one of changes for the museum’s Sturgeon Bay, Gills Rock, and Cana Island campuses because of the work being done. The Jim Kress Maritime Tower brought in more visitors to the Sturgeon Bay museum and is down to just a few more floors that need to be finished before the entire 10-floor structure is complete. After limiting visitors for much of the season, the museum finished its restoration work of the Cana Island lighthouse tower and keeper’s quarters in August. That allowed visitors full rein of the island for the first time in a few years while they, along with the county, completed other tasks. The Death’s Door Museum also saw higher attendance than it has in years’ past because of some of the improvements and changes that were made. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director and Development Manager Sam Perlman is happy that much of the heavy lifting is over, but says some of the extra space will allow them to tell stories of the region that have never been told before.
Perlman says the museum is planning to do more exhibit updates at Gills Rock for next year. Now, the Door County Maritime Museum is preparing for its halls to get decked out for the holidays beginning next weekend with the start of the Merry Time Festival of Trees.