Congratulations to the Blacksmith Inn!

The Sunday Chicago Tribune featured a story, ‘Round the lake in a green circle’ In search of eco-conscious sleeps and eats. Reporter Cliff Terry circled Lake Michigan and picked 5 eco-aware lodging spots in which to take rest. Among them, Baileys Harbor’s Blacksmith Inn is featured as a “green” hospitality provider.

Heading into Wisconsin, we sought out the Blacksmith Inn on the Shore in Baileys Harbor, Door County. Containing seven guest rooms, the inn originally was a private house, finished in 1912, next to the still-extant blacksmith shop. Today Joan Holliday, a former inn manager, and her husband, Bryan Nelson, own the Blacksmith, as well as the Harbor House, which they built in 2000, and the newest acquisition, the Orchard House.

The Blacksmith Inn, part of Travel Green Wisconsin’s pilot program, was certified in spring 2006. “We’ve never used pesticides on the property, we’ve always used organic fertilizer and we’ve bought locally where we can,” she said. “We also find products that come in reusable containers, such as milk in glass bottles. And we bought a Toyota Prius—50 percent less gas right off the bat.”

November and December, as expected, are quieter times. “There certainly aren’t as many entertainment options, ” Holliday noted, adding with a laugh, “So we always suggest to people that it’s good to be a self-entertainment personality in the winter time. And a lot of guests who come that time of year want exactly that—to decompress a little bit. Sleep in, read that book, go for a hike.”

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