It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
If you scroll through RV Charters’ photo album, you’ll spy dozens of proud fishermen standing on the deck of charter boats, straining to lift massive salmon and steelhead above their chests. The success of these fishing trips stems partially from RV Charters' top-notch equipment—captains monitor sonars, GPS, and radars, and equip their charges with electric downriggers. They also offer tips to novice fishermen, from selecting the proper bait to imitating the salmon’s mournful mating call. In addition to hosting fishing charters, RV Charters' staff rents out lakefront condos, thereby facilitating multiday excursions across Lake Michigan.
Fishing guide Bret Alexander's professional charter service offers fishing fans the chance to search Wisconsin's waters and find the ultimate meaning for their lures' lives. For a full day, a pair of anglers can explore Sturgeon Bay's frozen terrain in search of wild walleye, pike, perch, and whitefish. Alexander will also regale fishing duos with tales of his television appearances on different nature shows, such as the Outdoor Channel's Legends of Rod & Reel and John Gillespie's Water & Woods. Each fishing trip is customized to fit your personal preferences, whether it be a quest to catch a heavyweight or a chance to simply enjoy a day of hunting frozen water fauna.
Comfy sofas, a full kitchen area, an ample back deck: the amenities of the 1984 Chris-Craft Commander sound like those in a spacious home. But the Commander is actually the 33-foot boat that U.S. Coast Guard-certified Captain Matt pilots on relaxing journeys along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Setting sail from Algoma City Marina at 6 p.m., Captain Matt whisks away upward of six passengers on leisurely 45-minute cruises to Kewaunee. Once there, his guests have 90 minutes to enjoy an indoor or outdoor feast at Port O'Call, whose menu options range from shrimp scampi to chicken wraps with parmesan peppercorn dressing. Afterward, Matt returns passengers to Algoma by 9 p.m. or their fairy godmother-enforced curfew. He invites his guests to bring their own beverages for the journey, and offers picturesque seating on his back deck or the boat's fly bridge.
For the past 29 years, John and Loie Laimon have proudly contributed to the tight-knit fishing community that surrounds them by running their own fishing-and-bait business. Whether they are selling U.S.-made, handcrafted baits or other handpicked products, renting pontoons for small groups, or winterizing boat motors by fastening Santa hats to them, the Laimons approach each service personably and attentively. This approach has helped them grow to two locations on Pewaukee Lake.
USCG-licensed Captains Kevin Williams and Paul Krause, known as the Ice Guides, are experts at hunting fish, even when said fish are hidden under a thick sheet of ice. Armed with extensive knowledge of the area as well as Polaris Ranger off-road vehicles and top ice-fishing gear by St. Croix and Shimano, they lead visitors out onto the wintry surface of Green and Sturgeon Bays to catch native whitefish. The captains and guides remain on-hand throughout each trip to answer guests' questions and demonstrate ice-fishing techniques. All trips include the use of a heated fishing shack, and full-day trips include a hot lunch prepared on mobile grills.