Wealthy Americans had long summered at resorts, but in the late nineteenth century, they increasingly flocked to rustic getaways like Door County, seeking contact with nature to reinvigorate their bodies and minds. Growing crowds of vacationers spurred Jacob and Josephine Barringer, owners of a local hotel, to open the Maple Tree Café. Gobert of Chicago designed the clapboard-clad, Craftsman restaurant, which was built by Matt Reilly. The building recalls the form of a pagoda with a second story smaller than the first and both levels crowned with hipped roofs, wide overhangs, and flared eaves. Exaggerated brackets support the first-story roof. Ice-cream cones whimsically flanking a wreath adorn a plaque over the transom. The second-story’s expansive windows resemble the rooftop sleeping rooms found on many Craftsman houses. This sun-drenched loft accommodated private bridge parties for guests at area hotels. In 1938, Roy and Virginia Kinsey purchased the café, renamed it the Summertime, and added a gift shop. They built a one-story wing to the north around 1959.
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The Summertime Restaurant (Maple Tree Café)
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