Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012
Schooner Days in Door County (Wisconsin Marine Historical Society), by Walter M. and Mary K. Hirthe
The little harbors of Door County are tourist resorts nowadays, but a century ago they were commercial ports visited only by hardy fishermen and burly sailors. The 25th anniversary edition of Schooner Days in Door County reflects on an era when lumbering and shipbuilding were the industries of that scenic peninsula. Milwaukee authors Walter and Mary Hirthe knowledgeably examine the post-Civil War era, when graceful schooners supplanted the square-riggers that had previously plied the Great Lakes. The new ships were fast and economical, but they were pushed aside in the 20th century by larger, swifter steamers. Many photographs illustrate Schooner Days, showing the ships that once moved people and cargo between the ports of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.