Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (November 27, 2023) – This holiday season, the Door County Historical Society will kick-off an event that’s destined to become an annual tradition for everyone. Heritage Village at Big Creek will host the inaugural Glimpse of Christmas Past, which will transform six of the historic buildings into a festive wonderland.
Local nonprofit organizations will go head-to-head in a friendly yet spirited competition, vying for the coveted title of Best Decorated Building. The event aims to celebrate the rich history of the region while ushering in the holiday spirit with creative and enchanting decorations. Participating organizations include Door County YMCA, Sunshine Resources, Operation Not Alone, Sturgeon Bay Historical Foundation, Crossroads at Big Creek, and Friends of Potawatomi Park. Each will bring their unique flair to the challenge, creating a visual feast for visitors.
The Door County Historical Society is offering free tours each Friday and Saturday in December from 4 pm – 7 pm. Visitors can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere, explore the beautifully adorned historic buildings, and cast their votes for the Best Decorated Building. Votes will be collected via donations to each building. The donations received will be shared amongst all the nonprofits.
“We are so excited to present a Glimpse of Christmas Past at Heritage Village this year. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the holiday season in a truly unique and historical setting,” said Amy Frank, Executive Director of the Door County Historical Society. “This competition not only showcases the creativity of local profits, but also allows visitors to immerse themselves in the charm and nostalgia of the past. Everyone is invited to join us for the public tours and cast their votes for the most enchanting Christmas display.”
Door County YMCA decorates The Greene Store
Volunteers and staff from the YMCA will decorate the Greene Store. “The Door County Y is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations to bring joy and holiday cheer to our community,” said Brett Cleveland, Mission Advancement Executive at the Door County YMCA. “As a free community event that’s perfect for families, a Glimpse of Christmas Past is something we are thrilled to be a part of and to work with the Door County Historical Society on.” Cleveland continued, “Our organization also used this opportunity to reflect on the history of our own organization during this time period (1880 – 1910), and realized how dynamic the YMCA was in this era. We cannot wait to see all the other decorated buildings and to share in the enjoyment with the Door County community.”
The general store at Heritage Village is named for Harry Greene and his son, Stanley Greene, both store owners in Sturgeon Bay. Harry and his wife, Emma, came to Sturgeon Bay from Michigan and built a general store that served as a very important landmark when Sturgeon Bay was just a crossroads community. Harry worked as a storekeeper for 40 years, with the help of his son, Stanley. Harry also got involved in local politics, serving on the county board, a Sturgeon Bay alderman, and mayor of Sturgeon Bay.
As a child, Stanley Greene, became very interested in history from hanging around his father’s store and listening to the men exchange stories of civil war and the pioneer days. After attended Sturgeon Bay High and Lawrence College, he returned to Sturgeon Bay where he served 12 years as the mayor until 1962. Stanley spent hours researching Northeast Wisconsin as a hobby. The library is where he met his wife, Jane, who was one of the leaders in making Door the first county in Wisconsin to have a countywide library.
The Greene General Store was built in 2005 with help from gifts and bequests from Jane Greene in honor of her husband Stanley Greene and his father Harry Greene. The building was designed as a composite of the general stores that flourished throughout Door County at the turn of the last century.
About the Door County Historical Society:
The Door County Historical Society, founded in 1926, is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation, and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The organization operates two interpretive sites: the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay and the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum in Peninsula State Park. DCHS offers a variety of programs, events, and exhibits that highlight the history and culture of the Door County peninsula.