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Enjoy Door County at its finest when you spend summer on Ephraims main street, tucked into 5 acres just one block to the beach. Eagle Harbor Inn has lovely accommodations for couples and families year-round. Stay in a one or two- bedroom suite outfitted with luxurious beds, a fully-equipped apartment-sized kitchen, whirlpool, fireplace, living and dining space, and private deck. Or dine on complimentary breakfast made with Wisconsin ingredients, served garden side, when you reserve one of nine distinct rooms in the historic bed & breakfast. Amenities for both suites and bed & breakfast guests enhance your stay. The year- round indoor pool, sauna, fitness room, bike room, playground, croquet, and bocce sets will help you stay active on your trip. For quieter days, free WiFi, a common area, and Adirondack chairs allow you to settle into your time away. And fresh lemonade, homemade treats served daily, and access to gas grills and picnic areas will ensure all appetites are satisfied.
Categories: Hotel/Motel/Inn, Resort/Condo, Bed and Breakfast
2019 Rates: $108-$189 off season; $127-$294 peak season. Travel Green Certified.
HISTORY OF EAGLE HARBOR INN
1920’s to present
The Eagle Harbor Inn began as a cottage resort in the mid-late 1930’s, as shown in an ad in the Green Bay Press Gazette however the land ownership can be traced from 1920 when Peder Knudson purchased the land with the Svalhus Log Cabin on it & the deed was first recorded.
At some point in the early 1900’s the Sval Hus or ’Cool House’ Log Cabin had been moved to this property from the interior of the Door Peninsula judging from the nail holes per our log expert, Jack Opitz. Sval Hus means ’cool house’ which allowed for grain storage on the second floor, facing north. In later years the Sval Hus housed the first or second art gallery in Northern Door County, known as Cabin Craft, owned by Doris Heise Miller. Doris was a jeweler by trade whose custom silver signature rings & bracelets expressed the chunky initials of the wearer & are highly prized for those who were lucky enough to have had one made by her. It is said she put her lunch in the stream, on the south side of this property, to keep it cold.
The Gorskis who purchased the property in 1938 added several rental cottages to create a cottage resort business known as Eagle Harbor Cottages. Ultimately 12 cottages made up the resort with the main house being last added in approximately 1948 as the owner’s home. The cottages ranged from sleeping cottages offering a double bed, chair, dresser, private bathroom & sink in the room. See the price list from 1973! There were One & Two bedroom Cottages, and one Three Bedroom Cottage, located where the current day playground is. We still have several families that continue to come who had stayed in that cottage annually, and they can attest that it had more than a little tilt to it, where if you put something on the kitchen counter it might not be there when you went back for it! The cottages were not winterized, however they were very well done with natural wainscoting & ceilings of matching bead board. They were the classic white clapboard sitting on cement bricks as their foundation. In the photo, see how the car parked next to the sleeping cottage is nearly as big as the cottage itself!
There were seven owners of Eagle Harbor Inn from 1930-1994 and their years of ownership are listed separately with corresponding photos in the frame if we were able to get them. Each owner loved their resort and made specific changes & improvements, the most major change being the renovation in 1983-4 by Dick & Celeste Wegman who turned the ’home’ at the center of the property into the B&B, one of the earliest B&B’s in Door County. The Wegmans have put their creative spirit into ’City Farmer’ at the north end of Ephraim.
In 1994 Nedd (Craig) & Natalie Neddersen who had been in the hotel business around the country living in Kona, Hawaii at the time, decided to relocate their young family back to Wisconsin where they are from and take advantage of the ’home court advantage’. They made their list of priorities, with education for their girls & proximity to family being top of the list. There were 5 regions of the country they would consider but Door County kept popping up to the top of their list for meeting all of their criteria. They visited from Hawaii in February 1994 with their two young daughters to serve as a reality check and fell in love with the Eagle Harbor Inn.
July 1, 1994 they took ownership of the property and it is now 20 years that they look back in wonderment at having re-built this resort with their daughters’ tiny hands working alongside them in many a capacity! They ran it as the cottage resort the first year, with the intention of changing it to keep up with customer demand. Everyone likes the idea of hearing the screen door slam, but it also means double beds & possibly snakes under the cottage, which people definitely don’t want to experience on their vacation! The plan encompassed a two year build out, starting with the front of the property. The cottages were sold to Kathy Navis of Egg Harbor, who moved them one by one on her sailboat trailer; the electric company raising the power lines as she moved them out to Peninsula Center. The County zoning had changed since the cottages were first built requiring her to tack together two or three cottages in order to comply with the minimum 750sf required of a home. As moving them took the most time, all the cottages were stacked in the back parking lot until Kathy could get to each one. (See photo) It was the beginning of our ’recycling effort’ on a major scale!
From October 1994-May 1995 the front of the property was created: the Tamarack, Hawthorn & Hollyhock Houses, opening May 6, 1995 as one & two bedroom whirlpool suites, each privately owned but rented out and managed by Nedd & Natalie who owned the B&B and other buildings on the property. In this second season, Eagle Harbor Inn consisted of the 9 room B&B, Whirlpool Suites and Cottages-a hybrid able to accommodate all tastes! In the fall/winter of 1995-96, the back half of the property was completed and opened in May of 1996. The Eagle Harbor Inn was completed as you see it today with the Bed & Breakfast Inn serving as the ’main lodge’ at the center of the property. Ephraim has very strict zoning requiring conservative architecture in pure white, thus the ’old Ephraim farm house’ look of the adjacent homes.
Nedd & Natalie Neddersen & daughters Kelsey & Ava (now 28 & 26) are proud to shepherd the Eagle Harbor Inn into the 21st century, always making upgrades in hope of an even better stay for you, our beloved guests!
I:2879 W:1625 S:5 R:551
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