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Meet your Neighbors: Peter Nye

Meet Peter Nye! Born 100 years too late, Peter was the son of a backwoods anesthesiologist and raised in the wilds of Chicago’s north shore. There was nothing misspent about his 1970’s youth attending a top suburban high school by day and pickin’ and singin’ bars and clubs in Evanston and Chicago at night. After his college scholarship dreams were sidelined by injury, he leaned on a lifetime of horsemanship to cut a path to the Oklahoma Farriers College and became a blacksmith. After a time spent blacksmithing each day and playing country music in the dance halls all night he jumped at a job in Chicago’s financial markets. It was a great run. Twenty years at the Chicago Board of Trade ended with the advent of electronic trading, and the trading floor was no more. ready for a new start, he looked east…to Indiana. With his hillbilly heart, a love of animals and a gift for music, Peter’s roots are planted now on a small farm in a picturesque valley near LaPorte. Surrounded by his horses, chickens, sheep, ducks and dogs, he works a desk from home as a headhunter and troubadour taking his music out to an appreciative local audience whenever he can. 

What brought you to the dunes? I was on my way to Nashville when my ‘99 Volvo broke down. I fell in love and decided to stay.

How long have you lived here? Ive been coming to the Dunes to hunt and fish for over 25 years but made the area my permanent residence 4 years ago.

What is your favorite thing to do in the area? I love driving my team of Belgian Horses along the fields and back roads. The Dunes and surrounding areas are like a Grandma Moses Painting. As a practitioner of the ‘field to fork” philosophy, I enjoy foraging wild edibles and raising my own food. The bounty is full for an amateur gourmet chef like me.

Tell us a secret about the Dunes. The area has a really rich historical past. For a short period of time it was part of the Spanish Empire under King Carlos III. In Feb of 1781,  a party of 24 Spanish raiders led by French Captain. Eugene Poure, came up from St. Louis  and made a sneak attack capturing Le Peite Fort (Michigan City) and then Ft. St Joseph in Michigan.

Give us your three hidden treasures…

1) Garwood Orchards for hot maple glazed doughnuts and apple cider. I’ve tried many others but theirs is THE BEST.

2) Porter Beach at sunset, enjoying impromptu drinks and hors d’oeuvres with the Looney Duners is better than Key West.

3) Fishing Lake Michigan for perch and salmon when the lake is like glass. There is a magical interplay of light between the water and sky at dawn and dusk when conditions are right.

What would you like to teach people about the Dunes? I would like them to really be aware of the fragile balance that needs to be maintained between nature and development. The Dunes are a very unique environment to be cherished and protected so the very things that make it so special are not lost.

Anything else? With so many great local venues and exceptional opportunities to make live music a part of the dunes experience, I encourage everyone to get out and support the hard working musicians who share their talent with such enthusiasm.  And as a working musician in the area, I’ll ask you to please like my Facebook page at Peter Nye Music so we can connect for some great live local music together.

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