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(Opposite page) Jorns’ Sugar Bush produces as many as fifty 55-gallon barrels of syrup each year. All that syrup ends up in bottles like this wearing the familiar Jorns’ label. (Top row) Roland and Donna Jorns on their wedding day, and in front of their Egg Harbor store in October of 2011. (Bottom row, left to right) Roland’s grandfather, Ferdinand Jorns, immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1857, eventually settling on a 240-acre parcel in the Town of Egg Harbor; Ferdinand’s kettle, which was used to boil sap over a wood fire, now spruces up the grounds of the sugar bush; the Jorns’ sugar shack and retail store are unassum- ingly tucked in the woods off of County T.


Grandfather Ferdinand Jorns arrived


in Door County in 1857, according to Roland Jorns’ account of his fam- ily in the book Celebrating Egg Harbor: 1861-2011. A son of August Jorns, a shipbuilder in Hamburg, Germany, Fer- dinand sailed the world, eventually ar- riving on the Door Peninsula where he purchased 40 acres of uncultivated land in Baileys Harbor. After farming a few years he sold his property and moved to Chicago, where he made enough money


doorcountyliving.com


to return to Door County and purchase 240 acres in the Town of Egg Harbor.


He married Dora Dow, also of Ger-


many, and fathered 12 children, the youngest named Ferdinand, Jr., but he felt an urge to return to the sea, sailing as Captain Harry Jones (family records reveal no explanation for his assumed sailing name) on his schooner the Jones Elizabeth that was named after his mother.


His nautical career ended when he re-


turned home, his cargo was stolen, and he was beaten by a mob of local ruffians; the following spring of 1896 he died.


Ferdinand, Jr., was three at the time


and grew up to marry Olga Schnick and fathered six children; the youngest son Roland stayed on the farm. His father suffered a debilitating farming accident that “put him out of commission for several years. He did not want the maple syrup making to stop,” Roland recalled,


Winter 2011/2012 Door County Living 35


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