Wisconsin’s Door County “Cherryland” and Apples Too

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Iconic Wilson's Cafe, Ephraim Wisconsin
Wilson’s Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor, Ephraim, Wisconsin. Where Cherries are filling–in ice cream and more. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Cherries and apples have been an integral part of Wisconsin’s Door County Peninsula for close to 150 years. At one time Door County was the country’s largest producer of cherries with an annual harvest of more than 50 million pounds, and the realm became fondly known as “Cherryland”. Cherries are still king in the county and you’ll have no problem finding cherry pie, cherry wine, cherry juice, dried cherries, cherry French toast for breakfast, and bushel loads of fresh cherries to munch fresh off the tree. I’m correspondent, Tom Wilmer, come along and join me in Door County for an exploration of everything cherry as well as the fresh apples. We’ll start our visit at the Door County Historical Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay where we’ll join Assistant Curator, Ginny Hain. And then it’s off to Seaquist Orchards for a visit with eighty-something Dale Seaguist, who’s family has been producing sweet and tart cherries for close to 130 years—not long after his grandfather emigrated from Sweden. Seaquist Farms is a family-run operation, and at present the sixth generation is being groomed to take their turn at the helm. And then it’s off to visit with apple grower, Steve Wood at his family run, Wood Orchard Market in Egg Harbor. And a visit to Cherryland’s iconic Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor in Ephraim, Wisconsin, where Seaquist Orchards’ fresh cherries are a house specialty.


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Seaquist cherry harvest
Mechanical harvesting at Seaquist Orchards. Photo Tom Wilmer
Circa 1939 Door County Museum
Door County Museum.
Sturgeon Bay. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Fresh Cherries. Wood Orchards
Fresh Cherries for sale at Wood Orchard Store, Door County WI. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Back in the Day when Sugar Was King!
Back in the Day when Sugar Was King! Courtesy Door County Historical Museum
Dale Seaquist
Dale seaquist inspects cherry harvest at Seaquist Orchards, Door County Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer