Built in 1877, the inn was constructed as the family home of local entrepreneur Thomas H. Smith.  Orphaned at age 14, Thomas Smith was a Civil War veteran and a self-made man.  He started as a machinist and eventually worked his way to Sturgeon Bay, where he financially backed the lumber mill and partnered with John Leathem.  He later went on to found the quarry, the shipyard, build bridges and other business ventures.

In 1874, Thomas H. Smith married Anna Daley.  They raised six children in this stately home:  Maude, Sidney, Winifred, Marietta, Leathem D., and Theresa.  The Smith children were well educated and the family was influential and well respected within the community.

Leathem D. Smith, was named after his father's friend and business partner, John Leathem.  He earned his degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1909, after which he took interest in several of the Smith's business ventures.  They were at the forefront of securing the most technically advanced machinery in their trades.  Leathem D. Smith is most noted for the shipbuilding that occurred during WWII.  He made his fortune building U.S. Naval vessels and revolutionized the shipping industry by inventing the first shipping containers. The Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum has fascinating and extensive exhibits of the wartime contributions of our local shipyard.  Leathem D. Smith lobbied for and was instrumental in the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  He made a bid for U.S. senate in 1944, losing to Joe McCarthy.   He also opened a country club which now bears his name, The Lodge At Leathem Smith.

The Smith Family  (Leathem D. Smith shown on left)

The Smith Family (Leathem D. Smith shown on left)

The home was first converted into an inn in 1956. Thereafter it was purchased and used as a family home from 1960 until 1996.  After major renovations in 1996, it was turned back into an inn, The Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast.  It went through a handful of owners and managers until it's purchase by it's current owners Carri Andersson and Kelly Catarozoli in September of 2013.  The two sisters lovingly updated the home and reopened as The Foxglove Inn in April of 2014.

The home itself was constructed by shipbuilders using notch and peg construction in typical shipbuilding fashion.  It's massive supporting timbers were undoubtedly from the Smith's own lumberyard.  It is a grand victorian home overlooking the working waterfront to which it's ties run deep.  We are very proud of it's history.