June 15, 1948, Green Bay Press-Gazette
Besides claiming its share of resort facilities, with unusually well-developed commercial facilities for its summer guests, Sister Bay claims a new attraction in the county, the “Three Springs Nature Center,” the project of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Wilson of Ephraim.
Two and a half miles east of Sister Bay on County Trunk ZZ, the nature center was opened last July 12 and remained open until Labor Day. This year its opening will be in mid-June. Formerly a farm of 160 acres, the center displays native animals in cages. Some of these are black bear cubs, a fawn, a red fox, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, and beaver. Some of the lesser inhabitants of the center are rabbits, squirrels, mice, frogs, toads, turtles, and snakes.
Information concerning each species is posted beside its cage, and the most important bit is that concerning Door County snakes. There are no poisonous snakes in the county. Those which are here are harmless.
Trees, shrubs, flowers, and ferns are labeled. In a pond from which a stream runs into North Bay, beavers are working free of the confining cage.
Wilson is a prominent ornithologist, having himself banded several hundred different birds in and around Ephraim. He is state treasurer of the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology.
Although it opened late last season, the nature center attracted 1,470 visitors before it closed on Labor Day. There was almost no publicity or advertising accompanying its opening, apart from modest posters placed in hotel lobbies and similar places.
Although adults pay a quarter, and children 14 cents to enter the area, Wilson states that this revenue does not begin to pay for the project. It is his aim to have it be self-supporting eventually.
The old barn has been converted into a museum where mounted species are displayed to supplement the live show. As live animals are obtained, their mounted counterparts will be removed.
Henry Bevry, a retired lighthouse keeper, is caretaker, and thoroughly enjoys conducting the visitors to and around the various exhibits.
The land adjoins the area of the new Sister Bay branch of Fruit Growers cooperative, which includes a pickers camp and a canning factory.