At the heart of Door County's peninsula, historic Fish Creek-established on the shores of Green Bay in 1857, embraces a heritage that began with lumberjacks, farmers, and fishermen more than a hundred and fifty years ago. Today, the history and hometown atmosphere is preserved throughout the village. Walking tours recall the adventures of early settlers; strolling Main Street, white clapboard buildings are a reminder of yesteryear. Hop on the trolley, tour an orchard, ride a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh to complete the history lesson. The snug harbor and inviting waterfront lure visitors with promises of boating, fishing and swimming activities.
Each season Fish Creek is a delight to the senses. Winter Festival features a schedule of cold weather activities throughout the village. Spring blossoms scent the air, and the spirit of July 4th shimmers in the skies above the bay each summer. Fall breezes blow over the harbor as the village's shops celebrate autumn's color with the annual inside/outside sale and Top of the Hill Shops festival. With an expansive choice of lodging, restaurants, galleries, orchards, winery, outdoors activities, boutiques and novelty shops, Fish Creek is the destination for a romantic getaway, family vacation, or a retreat from city life. Come for a day, stay for a week...from beginning to end, Fish Creek is the perfect location from which to enjoy a Door County adventure.
As immigrants arrived on the eastern seaboard in the early 1800s, stories of the frontier's riches lured the newcomers westward. Rivers dense with fish, virgin forests, and prairies ripe for cultivation tempted the immigrants arriving from countries around the world. Recognizing opportunity, Asa Thorp was one of Fish Creek's earliest settlers. Building a simple log cabin on Green Bay's shoreline, the copper (barrel-maker) purchased land, established a lumbering business, constructed a pier on the waterfront, and built the second summer tourist hotel in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurial by nature, he generally encouraged settlement and enterprise.
In 1858, the Township of Gibraltar-consisting of the villages of Fish Creek, Juddville and Maple Grove-was established. Farmers, lumbermen, and fishermen settled their families on the surrounding fields, scrapping out homesteads bordered with the rocks they cleared. But the settlers' efforts were rewarded...and the community prospered. Three general stores supplied goods to the settlers. Several churches, a school, and library fulfilled the spiritual and education needs of the villagers. With the establishment of a post office the United States government officially acknowledged the Township of Gibraltar.
By the turn of the 20th century, visitors from Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee "discovered" the virtues of Door County. Dr. Hermann Welcker's resort, organized in the tradition of the European spa, offered a regimen of food, rest and healthy meals. Within a few years, the resort's guests were building homes on Cottage Row. Soon enough, where horses had pulled wagons over dirt roads, Model Ts were transporting visitors to their accommodations.
Today, the essence of Fish Creek and its surrounding countryside is reflected in the people and places that echo with a unique history. Walk through Founder's Square and visit Asa Thorp's original cabin. Step through the door of the Fish Creek General Store where the wooden floors creak with the footsteps of generations of settlers. Walk down the road to Sunset Beach Park and applaud the setting sun. Explore the back-roads where historic barns and grazing livestock recall days all gone. The names of the early settlers-Asa Thorp, Increase Clafflin, Alexander Noble, Alexander Lundberg, the Hill brothers, and Peter Weborg, among others-appear throughout the pages of Fish Creek's history. It is a story of perseverance and fortitude that continues today.
Throughout 2008, the Town of Gibraltar will celebrate its Sesquicentennial Year. The communities of Fish Creek, Juddville, and Maple Grove will host activities and events for the entire family to enjoy. Visit an orchard and pick cherries, observe an artist at work, attend a rousing band concert, or sit under the stars as the 4th of July fireworks light the night sky...the Town of Gibraltar will be bustling with activities to honor the traditions and history of the community's legacy, as well as its future. The Town of Gibraltar's Sesquicentennial calendar of events will be regularly updated; visit www.gibraltar150.org for a complete schedule.
Things to Do:
Fish Creek is known for its diverse offering of activities from the arts and shopping to park adventures and water activities. Some of our favorite Fish Creek things to do are listed here but for additional information and a detailed events calendar please visit www.fishcreekinfo.com/events-and-activities/.
Peninsula Players Theatre:
America's oldest professional resident summer theatre. Performing our 74th year in our new stage house & audience pavilion at the beautiful theatre in a garden on the shores of Green Bay. Late June-mid-Oct. Reservations recommended. At the Peninsula Players Road, south of Fish Creek off Hwy. 42. Call 920-868-3287.
Fish Creek Public Beach:
As the only designated public swimming beach, this half-acre park is a hot spot to be in the summer! Children can play on a small jungle gym & enjoy making sandcastles in the sand. Port- a-potties are open for use in the summer. Beach access is off of Hwy. 42 in the downtown.
Classic Boat Tours of Door County:
Enjoy a classic cruise in a modern power boat. See Door County Islands, shorelines, bluffs, lighthouses, harbor towns & sunsets from the water. Cruises leave the Fish Creek Municipal Harbor. We don't mix groups so the boat & Captain Gerry are yours alone. " We go where you want, when you want, for as long as you want." Refreshments welcome. May 1-Oct. 15. Call 920-421-2080.
Free Concerts in Noble Square every Tuesday in the Summer:
Noble Square is filled with blissful music Tuesday afternoons in June, July and August for the weekly free Concerts in the Park. The 2009 concert schedule is currently being developed and will be released as soon as we have musicians set and ready to play.
Nor Door Sport & Cyclery:
The County's only complete bike rental service. New bikes in rental every season. Hybrid, road, recumbent, tandems & serious mountain bikes for all age groups; children's carts & tag-alongs. Qualified service department for all bikes. New bikes from Trek, accessories, parts, clothing & service. Cross-country skis & snowshoe rental. Call 920-868-2275.
Orchard Country Winery & Market:
Surrounded by orchards and vineyards, tour our family owned winery. Market and wine shop featuring handcrafted wines with free tastings, an array of cheese, cider, bakery, cherry preserves & gifts. Fresh fruit or pick your own. Winter sleigh rides, gift baskets, & online shopping. Visit today and taste the best that Door County has to offer! Call 920-868-3479.
For a comprehensive overview of Fish Creek including lodging, dining and a detailed events calendar please visit: www.fishcreekinfo.com