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Often called a ”hidden treasure” by guests, the Eagle Harbor Inn is an intimate bed & breakfast offering elegant vacation suites with thoughtful touches and honest hospitality. The property itself is deeply entwined with the history of Ephraim and has a rich story to tell.
Eagle Harbor Inn began as a cottage resort in the late 1930s, but the land ownership can be traced from 1920 when Pedar Knudson first purchased the land with the Svalhus Log Cabin.
The Svalhus Log Cabin had been moved to this property from the interior of the Door Peninsula sometime in the early 1900’s. Svalhus means “Cool House” which allows for a cool space for grain storage on the second floor. At the time it was already one of the few remaining “cool houses” in Wisconsin.
In 1938 rental cottages were added to create a cottage resort business known as Eagle Harbor Cottages. Ultimately 12 cottages made up the resort with the main house being built later as the owner’s home. The cottages primarily contained a double bed, chair, dresser, private bathroom, and a sink. The decor featured natural wood wainscoting and ceilings of matching bead board. The exterior was classic white clapboard with cement bricks as a foundation.
Over the decades, the property continued to undergo updates with each new owner. From the 30s until 1994 there were seven owners who each made specific changes and improvements, with the most major change turning the building at the center of the property into the Bed & Breakfast it is today, by Dick & Celeste Wegman. This was when B&Bs were first becoming popular in the early 1980s and Eagle Harbor Inn was among the earliest established in the county.
In 1994 Craig (who goes by Nedd) and wife Natalie Neddersen had been working in the hotel industry for years. They were living in Kona, Hawaii, and raising two young daughters, but felt the pull to be closer to family in their home state of Wisconsin. While looking for a new place to call home, they visited Door County in February, 1994, and fell in love with Ephraim and the Eagle Harbor Inn.
On July 1, 1994 the Neddersens took ownership of the property and they ran 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 slap of the screen door, but not everyone loves the double beds and critters living underneath the cottages!
Their renovation plan encompassed a two year build out on the five acres, starting with the front of the property. The sleeping cottages were purchased and removed from the property, making way for the inn as it looks today. The Svalhus was requested to be donated to the Ephraim Foundation, and it was donated with the stipulation that it be rebuilt in the public domain. Today it is part of the Ephraim Foundation across from Anderson Dock.
After 25 years the Neddersen family is looking back in wonderment; they have dedicated the last quarter century to this beautiful inn, the inn that they had re-built with their daughters’ tiny hands working alongside. Nedd & Natalie, and daughters Kelsey & Ava, are proud to shepherd the Eagle Harbor Inn into the future, being aware to maintain the fine balance of the Door County tradition with heightened guest expectations.
The staff at the helm continue our tradition of warm hospitality, offering excellent local smoked fish, cheeses, jams, honey, & breads, along with Wisconsin sourced foods, from Sartori & Nueske offered for breakfast. We thrive on providing a memorable experience for our guests & we will be here to welcome them for another great season in charming Door County, WI.
For more information on Eagle Harbor Inn, visit EagleHarborInn.com.
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