Warehouse Graffiti

Anderson Warehouse Graffiti

Anderson Warehouse Graffiti © 2008 Bo Mackison

When I was in Door County, Wisconsin last weekend, I stopped in the village of Ephraim and visited one of the more famous buildings on the peninsula. (The county is the northeastern bit of Wisconsin that sticks out into Lake Michigan like a thumb.) The building is famous enough – it’s even on the National Register of Historical Landmarks.

Historically, here at the Anderson Warehouse – built in 1895 – visiting boaters have “signed” the warehouse walls with their boats’ names and the year or years they have docked here.

The city fathers of Ephraim have even posted a sign which “encourages boaters and visitors to continue the tradition by being creative but tasteful when adding nautical names to the walls.”

They give some instructions: “Inappropriate words or symbols will not be tolerated. Do not use spray paint, carve or scratch the wood.”

And then they give a warning: “Persons caught defacing public property inappropriately will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

NOTE the word inappropriately. You have everyone’s blessing to deface the public property all you wish, as long as you do it appropriately.

Anderson Warehouse Graffiti

Anderson Warehouse Graffiti © 2008 Bo Mackison

I love some of the boats’ names: Desire III, My Sin, Big Bender III, Easy Rider. I really do understand the temptation to be creative when naming your craft. I own half of a little fishing boat and I have always wanted to christen it King Lure, but the other owner refuses. I don’t understand why . . .


Grafitti © 2008 Bo Mackison

Lots of birthdays, marriages, anniversaries are noted. It’s rather fun to read.


Bo © 2008 Bo Mackison

And look, I even found my own name! I’m thinking every town should have a graffiti wall of their very own.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. great shots!

  2. Gandalf says:

    Wonderful shots & great story. BTW did you see Gandalf anyplace on the walls?

  3. That is way, way, way cool!!! I would have enjoyed seeing that. Yes, I agree, that every town should have a graffiti wall of their very own. I know of several old buildings that would suit for where I live. It would be an attraction, for sure.

    You know, what I love about blogging… especially photo blogging… is the wealth of what is shared from other people’s neck of the woods.

    I enjoyed this post–the information and neat photos–Bo! 🙂

  4. This is so cool. Very cool. I agree. Every town should have a graffiti wall (a legal one, that is). I like graffiti, to a certain extent. It livens up some areas that could use a little livened up.

    I like Door County, too. I was there once (a long, long time ago) when my husband and I decided to take a camping trip and travel around Lake Michigan. Lots of pretty places can be found around that lake.

    Great post, Bo. 🙂

  5. Joanna Young says:

    I loved this – the picture, the words, your description, my imagination starting to form stories from the scrawls…

    Thanks for sharing it


  6. yeah, community sanctioned graffiti brings people together!

    nice post!

  7. montucky says:

    That’s a great idea and it makes a very interesting place to visit. I enjoyed seeing that

  8. It would be so cool to have a graffiti building in every town.

  9. King Lure is so cute~!

  10. hmmm interesting, love #1

  11. lady.percy says:

    I love the graffiti wall.

Leave a Reply