By Nina Botting Herbst, Museums Director
What a year 2023 has been with another packed season at Jacobsens, and the first season back, after the 2020 flood, at Jackson Harbor Maritime. The second year of Door County History Days, the week of events in June overseen by the Heritage Alliance of Door County, also kept our Island museums well connected with historical organizations on the peninsula.
On the docent front we welcomed back Patty Nikolai and Howard Scott, with Gretchen Misselt joining again after a few years off at Jacobsens. The team at Jackson Harbor were Robert Mazibuko and Tom Taylor, with Robert Herbst joining towards the end of the season. As most of you know, finding enough staff on the Island can be an issue and if there are any budding docents out there please contact me! In the meantime, thank you to Patty, Howard, Gretchen, the two Roberts, and Tom, for your sterling work this season, and Tom especially for his ability to mend almost anything!
The actual numbers are always intriguing and now there are three years to compare for Jacobsens. This year showed a drop in total visitors from 2022 but the museum still saw over 8,000 people come through from 40 states and 21 countries, including one visitor who lives in Australia! Jackson Harbor opened later in June than Jacobsens and had fewer weekly open days and still saw almost 4,000 visitors from 32 states.
Some of you will have noticed a new Jens at his cabin on the path down to Little Lake. The manikin that has been representing Jens for many years put in for retirement, and Jennie Kokes kindly made the donation that enabled the acquisition of a life size cut-out photo of Mr. Jacobsen in one of his trademark plaid shirts. Thank you, Jeannie!
We also received a wonderful donation of a beautiful telephone that had belonged to Magnus and Christina Gunnlaugsson and was in their kitchen on Townline Road. Thank you to Brian (the Gunnlaugsson’s grandson) and Lila Justinger for making that donation and Herb Justinger and Daryl Johnson for delivering it to Jacobsens. This enabled us to move the phone that had been hanging at Jacobsens to the Christianson House at Jackson Harbor.
As always, we thank Jeannie Hutchens for her visits and support of both Jacobsens and Jackson Harbor, even as she turned 90! I also want to acknowledge the advice and support received from former Jackson Harbor director, Kathleen Morris, and the many other Island residents that helped and came by to see us at the Maritime, including Vicky Young Rupiper for the donation of her beautiful photo cards and Fair Isle Books for including the museums in their 20th anniversary benefits summer. If I’ve missed out any specific thanks due, please accept my apologies.
Looking forward to seeing you in June 2024!
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