Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (March 6, 2023) – The Door County Historical Society will host a luncheon program on Saturday March 25, 2023 at Door Country Event Venue (Schmitz Insurance) in Sturgeon Bay. The event will feature a program presented by Barb Chisholm entitled Roadside Chapels of Southern Door. Attendees will learn about the small roadside chapels that dot Door, Brown and Kewaunee counties. A lunch, catered by Renards, will be served at noon and the presentation will follow. Everyone is invited. Cost is $30 ($25 for DCHS members). Participants can register online at www.doorcountyhistoricalsociety.org or by calling 920-421-2332. The deadline to register is March 17, 2023.
Early Belgian immigrants settled in southern Door County and brought with them their culture and customs. Mostly devout Roman Catholics, the settlers made their homes in a wilderness where crude roads and few churches made it difficult to assemble and practice their faith. To compensate, many people built small family chapels, often to give thanks for prayers answered or to honor a special saint. At first glance, these sacred places may be mistaken for a simple garden shed or privy, were it not for the small cross hung above the door or on the roof.
Barb Chisholm is a fifth generation Belgian and very proud of it. She grew up in the suburbs of Brussels and is a 1964 graduate of Southern Door High School. Many of you may recognize her as the nurse in the emergency room who always wore her nurse’s cap. After retiring from the hospital after 47 years, Barb became very involved in spreading the history of her Belgian ancestors. In addition to roadside chapels, she also offers presentations on the Great Fire of 1871, which her ancestors survived.
Founded in 1926, the Door County Historical Society strives to collect, maintain, and share the history and heritage of Door County through preservation, education and programming. The Society operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. For information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.