More exhibits coming to the Door County Maritime Museum
Shipwrecks floor at the Door County Maritime Museum, January 27, 2022 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

STURGEON BAY (WLUK) -- New exhibits are coming soon to The Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

Inside a cramped ceiling space on the seventh floor, workers from Southern Custom Exhibits needed drill power Thursday morning to help get the job done.

Museum exhibits (WLUK video)

"We're here, right now, putting in floors two and seven. We've got a few more floors in design phase right now that should follow right behind and just taking it step-by-step," said Derrick Palmer, Southern Custom Exhibits.

The exhibit dedicated to navigation is the newest addition to the 10-story tower.

"What's happening in the background right now is work on every single other floor within the tower. Floor one has been open. Floor 10 has been open, but we're in the process of developing exhibits and the content for everything in between," said Kevin Osgood, Door County Maritime Museum executive director.

Osgood says the second floor of the tower recognizes the 275 known shipwrecks around the Door Peninsula, like the schooner Alvin Clark, which sank in the waters of Green Bay in 1864.

"We wanted to tell that story so people understand how important it is to preserve the amazing artifacts that we have around us in Door County," he said.

Osgood says supply chain issues and the pandemic caused delays in construction, but he expects the new floors to be ready in a couple weeks. Workers say opening the exhibits gradually keeps the maritime history fresh.

"It kind of brings people wanting to come back, the fact that they know something else new is going to happen, and now that things are actually happening, it will intrigue them to maybe make multiple visits, instead of just one big visit," said Palmer.

Museum officials say if everything goes well, they expect all 10 floors to be open and ready for visitors in late May or early June.

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