Door County Maritime Museum - Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Maritime Speaker Series

The Maritime Speaker Series offers an assortment of monthly programs dealing with everything from historical topics to current issues affecting the Great Lakes and the economy that relies on it. The programs are held the first Thursday of each month November through April beginning at 7:00 pm at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

UP NEXT – “Lighthouses of Door County”

Due to a winter storm, this speaker series has been rescheduled for Monday, February 25 at 7pm.
The Maritime Speaker Series continues at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Join Wisconsin independent filmmaker Jake Heffernan for a rare look inside Door County’s historic lighthouses. Jake will share his experiences and the exclusive images taken of the lighthouses during the production of his documentary film Lighting the Door. His presentation will feature his experiences while filming the eleven Door County lighthouses, including his amazing opportunity to spend the night at several area lighthouses.
Jake Heffernan is a Great Lakes maritime historian and producer of Lighting the Door, a documentary about the eleven lighthouses of Door County, set to premiere summer 2019. He’ll share some experiences he had while filming, including sleeping at the top of Cana Island’s lighthouse tower, and an overnight camping trip on Plum Island that included filming interior video of the abandoned and dangerous Keeper’s Quarters. He’ll also share his experience traveling to the Waugoshance and White Shoal lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinaw.  FIND OUT MORE

2018 Schedule:

November 2, 2018 Todd Gordon Speaks about the SS Eastland
December 6, 2018 Frederick Stonehouse, “US Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes”
January 3, 2019 Patrick Forsyth, “Great Lakes Fish”
February 25, 2019 Jake Heffernan, “Lighthouses of Door County”
March 7, 2019 TBA
April 4, 2019 TBA

Visit our calendar for speakers and dates

We’re on TV!

See videos of our Maritime Speaker Series on Public Access Cable TV!  Selected presentations in the series will be recorded and added to the Sturgeon Bay Public Access TV Online. We will also post the links here:

The Grand Traverse Islands: Our Next National Lakeshore?

February 16, 2016

John Bacon, Chair of the Friends of the Grand Traverse Islands. A presentation on this unique area – stretching from Door County, Wisconsin, to Upper Michigan’s Garden Peninsula – and the reasons for protecting it through the creation of a national park.

Richard Purinton

November 29, 2011

Richard Purinton, who serves as the CEO for the family-run Washington Island Ferry Line, will present a program about life on Washington Island during the winter months.

Plum & Pilot Island

March 3, 2011

Tim Sweet, of the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands, discusses current preservation efforts.


February 3, 2011

Umberto Vianello, Chief Engineering Officer for Fincantieri, presents an overview of one of the world’s largest shipbuilders and its anticipated impact on Wisconsin Shipbuilders.

Guardians of the Inland Sea

January 5, 2011

Guardians of the Inland Sea: Bob Desh gives a brief history of the U.S. Coast Guard on the Great Lakes.