In the Beginning

Bob Davidson, Principal Manager
Profile reprinted from the Regional Bayfield Conservancy Newsletter
Written by Dennis McCann

Bob Davidson, the principal manager behind Brickyard Creek, laughs at the suggestion the “forest cabin community founded on active stewardship” just might give developers a good name. That, he said, citing over-developed tourist destinations like Door County, the Wisconsin Dells and even the North Shore, would be asking a lot. Still, Davidson makes clear his pride in the development of some 70 cottages in a wooded setting two miles north of Bayfield for the manner in which it settles into the landscape with minimal intrusion.

While providing cottage owners with a true North Woods experience, the community also works to preserve native plants and trees and disturb the native environment as little as possible. Brickyard Creek has developed an extensive labyrinth of walking trails, has brought in students from Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute to work with plants and lead “learning walks” and otherwise strives to make Brickyard Creek the “low-impact cottage neighborhood” Davidson and partner David Culberson, who met in the Caribbean while working on an eco-tour resort, had envisioned.

Writing in the Boreal Forest Citizen, the community’s newsletter, Culberson noted the lake, the woods, wildflowers and hiking trails and told owners, “You were all attracted to something here, and it wasn’t just our good looks.” Davidson said what he is most proud of is that so many cottage owners have bought into the concept as well. “If you can be a developer and make money and also be proud of what you are doing,” he said, “you’re doing a pretty good thing.”

There has to be, and there will be, development but it can be in the right place…and fit in.” Brickyard Creek’s reasons for supporting the preservation efforts of the Bayfield Regional Conservancy are just as obvious as it would seem, Davidson said. “We can only do a little part in our community, but BYC has the potential to do (preservation) on a much larger basis.