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which ran to Ephraim twice a day. For $3 extra they could get to the U.S. mail boat landing in Ellison Bay.


In an interview for the book A History of


Kangaroo Lake, the late Jim Finley recalled the fi rst trip he and his dad made to Door County in 1915, taking the Northwestern train from Chicago through Green Bay and transferring to the A&W at Casco Junction for the rest of the trip. Art Wil- son and Frank Kellogg met them in Stur- geon Bay in a 1914 Ford touring car to take them the rest of the way.


By 1917, Charlie Panter, owner of the


popular Panter’s Hotel in Baileys Harbor, acquired vehicles to meet the trains in Sturgeon Bay, and into the 1960s bus lines would provide service to Northern Door.


Regular passenger service came to an


end in 1937. T e Depression played a role, as did improved roads that made bus and auto traffi c more attractive op- tions. In the waning days of World War II, however, passenger service returned


briefl y to bring German POWs to work in the Door County fruit harvest.


Without passenger service the A&W


survived because it had predominantly focused on transporting goods, but by the 1940s it was struggling. As it began to lose money the parent railroad, the GB&W, wanted to sell or abandon it. Lo-


cal businessmen led by Vernon Bushman of Bushman Dock & Terminal Company fought to keep it alive, and in 1947 it again became an independent line.


Business continued to drop off dur-


ing the next decade, and in the 1960s service was reduced to three days a week. T e railroad was threatening to aban-


– A&W continued on next page >>


A postcard promoting Door County featuring “a whole train load of Door County cherries.” Image courtesy of Mark Mathu.


were numbered. By the 1970s both were nearly gone.


“It was sad when it closed,” Hulbert


said. “I had spent so much time riding the bus, driving busses, and working in the bus station all those years.”


Her father was an entrepreneur in the


truest sense, founding a business where there previously was none, inventing a vehicle to serve a community need, and serving as his own mechanic to keep the bus line running for 33 years without an accident. T e line had helped bring countless visitors to Door County and connected peninsula residents to jobs, services, and shopping trips far from the northern reaches of the county.


(Below) Ernest Isaacson with the fi rst two members of his Lake and Bay View Bus line fl eet in the 1920s.


doorcountyliving.com


Winter 2011/2012 Door County Living 27


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