Did you ever wonder about the road design on the final stretch of Highway 42 from Charlie’s Smokehouse in Gills Rock to the Washington ferry? If you’re in a rush, you probably don’t appreciate it, if not, you probably stop to take pictures or enjoy the fun drive.
The Zig-Zag road is one of the most-photographed stretches on the peninsula. Jens Jensen, a well known landscape artist and founder of The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay, actually played a role in designing the 1.5 mile stretch of the road. His goal was to make people notice their surroundings as they headed north on Highway 42.
I’m not sure if Jens Jensen design was to preserve trees or to slow down traffic. No matter what, it does slow down traffic, preserved trees and provides tourists with a fun picturesque drive!
Posted by: Jill
I have traveled Bay Shore Drive many times passing an abandoned resort known as Chateau Hutter. Yesterday, as I drove by, I decided to stop and take a look at what was left of Chateau Hutter.
The resort was built by John Hutter who was an account from Chicago. John loved to travel. John had dreamed of creating a European-style resort in Door County. In the 1940s, John bought 320 acres. In 1950, John opened his beloved resort. It was a beautiful resort. John marketed it as a step up, similar to what you might find along the French Riviera. It included a 27 hole golf course that John never finished. The resort never lived up to John’s dreams.
In 1965, the Door County Chamber of Commerce refused to accept his dues and expelled him from membership. John believed he was a victim and filed suit against the Chamber, claiming their expulsion put him out of business. Unfortunately, John lost. His later years were absorbed by legal and tax fees.
In the late 1980s, Hutter’s attorney, Al Beaver, had a plan to use the resort for a music school for disabled children. He lent John $200,000 to fix up the resort. A good idea, but the school never materialized. Al foreclosed on the loan, and assumed ownership of the property. John Hutter died in the mid-80’s. Al continued Hutter’s habit for litigation, challenging tax assessments and law suits. Al Beaver died October 31, 2015 leaving his property to his daughter. The property has sat empty for the last 50 years. John’s grand resort still remains on the shores of the bay, but unfortunately, no vacancy!
Posted by: Jill