DOOR COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
1926 – 85 YEARS PRESERVING DOOR COUNTY HISTORY – 2011
MEETING NOTICE AND NEWSLETTER
Our Mission: The Door County Historical Society strives to collect, maintain and share the history and heritage of Door County through preservation, education and programming.
Our Vision: We envision a Door County Historical Society that is committed to keeping history alive for future generations through collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door Co
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I think you would agree that time is flying – we’re talking August meeting. For your Society, nearly half of our season is over. Have you visited the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse or stopped by the Village at Crossroads on a Sunday afternoon? At the lighthouse, the season has been better than we had expected. Even the hot weather has not discouraged visitors. Each Sunday at the Village from 1:30 until 3:30 we have programs that you will find interesting – volunteers talking about subjects that are very informing. I have missed only two Sundays. I can tell you that nothing warms a volunteer’s heart like visitors, particularly Society members.
August is filled with historical activities. For example: August 13th there will be a Belgian Chocolate Buffet and Christian Country Music program at the Belgian Heritage Center at the Old Church at Namur. It opens at 6:15 and the cost is $15.
Also mark August 27. Glenn and Barb Timmerman are opening up their Horse Shoe Bay Farm for tours and the famous Cave at the Bluff will be available for the curious. This is the first time the barns and grounds have had an open house. I’m sure everyone has driven by the famous barns. Now stop in and visit. This is part of Egg Harbor‘s heritage, food and music celebration.
And finally, the Hanson House project is moving along. Recently we finished the basement with a new cement floor. We are rebuilding the cellar walls and replaced some old beams. The next step, already underway, will be removing the additions that were added over the years. Soon you will be able to see the progress.
George Evenson, President, DCHS
COME TO THE HISTORICAL VILLAGE
As you know, our Historical Village at the Crossroads is open now, every afternoon, 1:30-3:30. Bring your friends and family to meet costumed interpreters, to share historical learnings about our farming ancestors. Participation has been up this year over previous summers. Dan Olson has arranged special events for every Sunday afternoon:
Aug. 14 “Belgian Heritage Day” – Of the various ethnic groups that settled Door County, the Belgian community has given our culture significant traditions about everyday life, deep religious devotion, and interesting cuisine. Barb Chisholm will highlight the history of the Belgians in Door County with her engaging talent of storytelling. In addition there will be real “Belgian Pies”.
Aug. 21 “The New Day Singers” is an outreach group of the Peninsula Chorus, but they have garnered a name for themselves in their own right. This small ensemble of vocalists present a wide variety of music for every taste. Cake and Coffee for sale. The Blacksmiths will also be in action
Aug 28 “The Role of Women in the History of Ephraim” — Perhaps it’s overdue to give the women of Historic Ephraim their proper credit. Noted scholars, Paul Burton and Thea Thompson, will provide their wealth of knowledge to explain the role of women in the settling of Ephraim.
Sept. 4 Henry Ford’s first Model A rolled out of the assembly plant in 1908, and it remained largely unchanged until it was finally succeeded by the update Ford Model A. The Cherryland A’s Model A Club will have several authentic and completely restored Model A’s on display at the village for everyone at which to marvel. In addition, The Bones Boys, a local Trombone troupe will be entertaining us. The Bones Boys have acquired a significant reputation as an excellent group with a wide range of music. A Raspberry Ice Cream Social will be held on this day.
Sept 11 Back in the earliest days of the 20th Century, children walked to school. Most people walked or used horses. But as school consolidation occurred over time, it became necessary to establish school transportation. Former educator and Superintendent of the Sevastopol Schools, Carl Scholz will give a presentation on the development of school transportation.
Many of you have donated items to display, and many of you have given money for the Historical Village. Thank you. Our next steps in the Schopf House will be to add wainscoting and interior wood trim on windows and doors. We are short about $2000 to do this, so small or large gifts will be helpful. We hope to begin furnishing the downstairs this fall, so we can begin interpreting the immigrant Lautenbach family that first built the log house. The next need for the village Maintenance Fund is to paint the front end of the Vignes School, which is too high for our volunteer painters. The Village Committee is grateful that every elected member of the Board of the Historical Society has offered their financial support. We hope that more members of the Society will join this effort.
Notes from the Curator:
Over the past two years, I have learned so much about lighthouses in general, and about Eagle Bluff in specific. And I have learned so much from our visitors, their questions and observations. One of the notable assumptions is that the lighthouse keepers were men. And truth be told, the majority of keepers were men. But in reality, the men keepers could never have completed their endless to-do list if not for the women in their lives.
William Duclon, the second Eagle Bluff Lighthouse keeper, could never have accomplished his multitude of responsibilities if not for his wife Julia. The daughter of a keeper, Julia Davenport was well aware of her role as the keeper’s wife, and assumed her duties without a moment’s hesitation. The mother of seven strapping boys, Julia sewed quilts for her sons’ wives and her grandchildren, baked cookies by the dozens, home-schooled her children, and taught them to play a variety of instruments.
Nearly two years ago, Kaaren Kopishke asked me to assist her with a women’s history project. I readily agreed. The project included writing first-person accounts of the lives of ten of Fish Creek’s founding mothers…Julia was one of those women. Her story is one of devotion, love, and fortitude and I hope I have honored her and her story in giving her a voice…
1845 – 1922
When my husband and I arrived at the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse there were only 30 families living in the nearby village. Can you even imagine? And there we were out on the bluff living in a lighthouse. Such isolation in the beginning…just William and my sons. And those boys, seven of them. They were a hand-full, I will admit. But there was so much to be done that they had to work at getting into mischief, not that they didn’t make the effort.
My days were long, what with all the chores. We didn’t even have a well in the beginning, so we had to go down the face of the cliff, fill our buckets, and climb all the way back up. I certainly did give that job to one of the boys, let me say. And the cooking; those boys were always hungry. And William could eat his share after working so hard keeping the light going from dusk to dawn. But I loved the look on the faces of my boys when they sat down at the table, all of them crowded close.
It wasn’t that we didn’t have fun. We did, really. Music was something I always loved, putting my hands on the keys of the piano. Oh, I remember so well the day my piano arrived. The men brought it by boat to the bottom of the cliff. And they hauled it all of the way up. And you know what, it was too big. I was mortified! But they were so kind, those men, and they just took that piano back down the cliff and brought me a smaller one. I smile every time I recall that day; I was so filled with happiness.
And all of the boys learned to play an instrument. I taught them myself. And they were really good, too. Later they even played for dances and folks called them “superb musicians.” I was so proud of my boys. We even had masquerade balls and the boys played and everyone danced. It was all so exciting. That was when we could get into town more easily, when the roads were better.
My boys were my pride and joy. You know I was called a mulatto, my grandmother being a full-blooded Chippewa Indian. Sometimes it wasn’t easy; I didn’t want that hurt for them. But they were strong. William and I made sure of that. And they married fine women, and they came to live with us for a time. It was lovely to have more women in the house. We talk to each other in a different way, more kindly than men do. It is tender to be with other women and I missed it before the girls came to me.
And then there were the grandchildren. So beautiful, they were. I always loved making quilts, mostly from left-over bits, and I made sure they all had their own quilt. Something from their granny, to keep them warm and to give them comfort on the stormy, cold nights. But I made them cookies, as well. They always grabbed for the biggest cookie. Those were the happiest times, my family all around the table. I remember it so well…
• Julia won awards at the Door County Fair for her cooking; she was especially noted for her “crazy” quilts.
• “Captain” William and Julia tended the lighthouse for 35 years. When they retired they moved into Fish Creek. Their former home is located on Pine Street.
• Julia succumbed to tuberculosis when she was 77 years old; she is buried next to her husband William in Blossomberg Cemetery in Peninsula State Park.
2011 MEMBERSHIP FORM
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP: $15.00 ________________________
HUSBAND/WIFE MEMBERSHIP: $25.00 __________________
INDIVIDUAL LIFE MEMBERSHIP: $150.00 __________________
I (we) would like to make an additional
donation to the DCHS __________________ TOTAL ENCLOSED: ____________________
MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: DOOR COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
SEND TO: PO BOX 71, STURGEON BAY, WI 54235