The sign is no lie, Carlsville is a small community, but most of their businesses are open all year! And in Carlsville, they know how to throw a party. The village’s annual Carlsville Days, a weekend festival held at the end of July, features tours of an award-winning winery and the peninsula’s largest dairy farm, as well as great food, arts and crafts, live music, kids' games, a parade, and a Wild West Reenactment. But wait, there's more!
For more adventure and entertainment for the whole family, experience the dragons, dreams, and daring deeds of the Door County Renaissance Fantasy Fair. This 2012 recreation of a festival in 12th – 16th Century Europe, takes places on June 30th & July 1st and July 7th & 8th. Enjoy arts, crafts, and sporting events, including archery, jousting, weaving, coin minting, spinning, and blacksmithing, and music played period instruments. For the Renaissance Fantasy Fair schedule visit doorcowirenaissance.com.
Festivals aren't the only fun in Carlsville! Spend a day touring Schopf’s Hilltop Dairy and Country Store and learn about the Wisconsin dairy industry. View milking operations, milk “Cookie” the cow and taste the result – 30 flavors of homemade ice cream in the Dairy View Ice Cream Parlor. And from late summer through October, try Schopf's Corn Maze, featuring a new theme each year! dairyview.com.
Grab a grownup and indulge in Door Peninsula Winery's tasting room, open 9 am – 5 pm daily. Best known for its fruit and sweet/semi-sweet wines the winery also offers grape wines sure to please. And what could be more pleasing than a wine tasting? Now the winery is also home to the Door County Distillery. Completed in 2011, the distillery offers a view of vodka and other spirits, also available for sampling. dcwine.com.
Too early for wine and vodka? Across the way, find the Door County Coffee and Tea Company. A small, family-owned business that only uses Specialty Class 1 Arabica beans, Door County Coffee and Tea is the only on-site roaster in the county. Take your favorite home with you of course, but don't rush through, the cafe offers one of a kind meals and fabulous pastries. doorcountycoffee.com.
Just next door, find Pet Expressions, the perfect place to find the perfect gift for your pet. Owner Verna, travels the United States searching for and hand-selecting the items her store carries. Trendy and elegant collars and coats, toys for all types and sizes of cats and dogs, treats, and fanciful food dishes are just a few of the unique items in store. petexp.com.
Candleworks of Door County, started by Mike and Tonya Felhofer in 2003, boasts the only candles actually made in Door County. For another fun family activity, stop by and watch candles being made or dip your own colorful candle creation to create a special and unique memory of your visit to Door County. candleworksdc.com.
Trying to beat the heat? Harbor Village Campground boasts Door County’s largest water park, featuring a 6,000 square foot pool, two 350 ft. water-slides, a children's wading pool, a large Jacuzzi, and a separate adults-only pool. Day passes are available to the public, so you can enjoy this water wonderland even if you're staying elsewhere. harbourvillageresort.net.
Tragedy struck Carlsville last year when a fire burned the 106 year-old Roadhouse building to the ground on July 14, 2011. An historic structure was lost that day, but the owners wasted no time in deciding to rebuild and reopen. They aim to open by Mayfest 2012. This traditionally no-frills pub, serves up tasty charbroiled steaks and burgers, broasted chicken, and a Friday Night Fish Fry. After a long day of swimming, or tasting, or touring, you're sure to be hungry, so save some room for the Carlsville Roadhouse, and visit their new digs! 920.743.4866
(From History of Door County, Wisconsin/The County Beautiful—Volume I, by Hjalmar R. Holand, originally published in 1917, re-published in 1993 by Wm Caxton Ltd, 12037 Hwy 42, Ellison Bay, WI, 54210; 920.854.2955.)
…Egg Harbor had received an important addition to its population in the southern part of the town. These were the two brothers, Thomas and William Carmody. They came from Limerick, Ireland, and lived for a time in Pennsylvania. In 1857, they came to Door County. At that time, entire townships lay vacant, waiting for their first settlers. Most of the best land near Sturgeon Bay was still open for pre-emption. Thomas and William Carmody, however, chose to go as far back into the timber as it was possible to get at that time and settled 10 miles north of Sturgeon Bay. Here, far beyond any roads, trails or neighbors, they settled on some rather low lands just north of the present Carlsville, which are even now considered of little value. Their purpose was not farming, however, but to get out cedar. Whether this was found profitable is not know. But here they lived year after year without schools, churches, markets, or neighbors. It was in the heart of the wilderness. No daily or even weekly mail came to tell them of the world’s progress. Beefsteak was not often on the bill of fare but bear meat took its place, and the boys found wolf hunting better sport than pool playing.
Both Thomas and William Carmody had a number of husky boys and girls, and the Carmody family is now numerous in Door County. Thomas had five sons and two daughters. These were Jack, Thomas, Michael, Dennis, Patrick, Mary, and Olive. William had five sons and four daughters. These were John, James, Dennis, William, Henry, Mary, Bridget, Ellen, and Johanna.
After 12 years of life in their cedar slashings, Thomas and William Carmody moved north to what is now called Carmody Prairie—then a big forest. Here, they found other Irishmen and quite a settlement of Irish was formed back in the woods of Egg Harbor...
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