Built in 1882 by George Barringer, the saloon that is now Shipwrecked was constructed to serve the growing number of lumberjacks, sailors, and travelers in the area. Originally named the Kewanee house, it was expanded in 1904 to include guest rooms and a full dining area. Back then, a meal and a room cost 20 cents each. It operated as such under various owners until 1912 when it was renamed the Harbor Inn.
In the 1920s, Door County became a favorite retreat for Al Capone. Tunnels that run underneath this building and all over Egg Harbor made the Harbor Inn a very attractive hiding spot for Capone. These tunnels are now closed for safety reasons. It is written that the caves originated in part from Chief Tecumseh, of the Ottawa Indian Tribe, who also used them for quick getaways from other tribes. Rumor has it those who crossed Capone, including two IRS agents, were shown these tunnels and were never seen again. This shadier era in Shipwrecked’s history ceased in 1931 with Al Capone’s arrest.
After a few more ownership changes, the Harbor Inn landed in the hands of Verna and Maurice Moore, who operated the Inn from 1945 to 1975. They dubbed it Murphy’s Harbor Inn and were greatly respected throughout the community. The Harbor Inn was sold and went through a few more name and look changes. Finally, in 1997, the current owners purchased the building and reopened it as Shipwrecked.
A fire occurred on August 2017 that went throughout the night causing a complete loss. The building was tore down in November, and rebuilt from the ground up. Shipwrecked re-opned in June of 2018. There are no longer rooms upstairs, but rather second story dining with a water view.
Shipwrecked Brew Pub prides itself on delivering nothing but 100 percent hand-crafted Door County beers. With several year-round and seasonal brews offered, brewmaster Nate Denzin is able to produce 1,100 barrels – or 34,100 gallons – of beer a year!
It all starts with our mash ton, where we add our malted barley to water. This helps bring out the fermentable sugars in the grain. While that sits, we then pump that into our brew kettle – basically, one big boiling pot. There, everything is boiled down to sterilize the wort – which is the extracted liquid.
It is at this point we add our hops, with only the finest ones going into our beers. Depending on the beer, the hops can range from the Chinook & Mt. Hood hops in our Door County Cherry Wheat and IPA to the Willamette hops which go into our Peninsula Porter.
The wort is cooled down to a temperature which the yeast can tolerate. Then, it gets moved into our fermenters, which are also 600 gallons. There, we add the yeast. The sterilized wort is basically food for the yeast for the next 10 days. The result – the alcohol comes out, the liquid is run through filters, and then our beer is ready to be tapped into your pint glass.
Talk to previous owners, employees and lifelong residents of the area, and you may hear some strange stories about Shipwrecked late at night. It is rumored the building is haunted by multiple spirits. Believe it or not, here are the reports we’ve heard or witnessed.
Verna Moore: Verna and Murphy Moore owned the Harbor Inn (now Shipwrecked) from 1945-1975. Verna died more than 20 years ago in her house/cabin on County EE. Verna usually appears when something is not up to pars or about to go wrong. She has been seen walking through the dining room, keeping an eye on things. She has also been heard in the basement. The current owner's son, alone in the basement one evening heard a woman talking. Thinking a customer had wandered down behind him, he turned around to find no one there. She is not to be feared, as she is very nice and gentle spirit.
Jason: Jason was a boy rumored to be the illegitimate son of Al Capone. He was found hung in Shipwrecked's attic in the 1920s. It is believed he was murdered because he was about to turn Capone in to the authorities. Jason has been seen in the attic (less frequently now that the attic has been renovated), and on the roof. He appears so lifelike, previous owners have reported calls from passersby, who upon spotting the boy on the roof thought he was trapped and called the bar to get him help.
Missing Federal Agents: During the 1920's two revenuers, or IRS agents, came to the Inn to question Al Capone. They were not seen again. Perhaps they were shown the tunnels.
Logger: A logger was rumored to have been murdered on the property where Shipwrecked now stands in the late 1800's. This spirit is reported to have a cantankerous disposition. Fortunately, he has not visited Shipwrecked for quite some time.
Crying Baby: The baby's Mother was known to be one of Capone's "girls." One day the baby went missing. The very next day the Mother disappeared. It is believed that the baby was an illegitimate child of Capone's. Whatever happened to the woman and baby remains a mystery. Every once and a while a baby’s cry can be heard on the upper floors late at night.
Female Traveler: Not much is known about this spirit. She appears dressed in Victorian era clothing and carrying a carpet bag, waiting in the entrance of Shipwrecked for the stage coach.