Originally published in 1966, the previously out-of-print Living in God’s Country: Ellison Bay, Door County, WI traces the growth of Ellison Bay over the past 150 years.
Originally titled A Century in God’s Country, the updated version explores the area’s Potawatomi origins prior to European settlement and then moves forward through the changes wrought by economic development, tourism, agriculture, and the arts. The faces and brief capsules of the lives of almost 700 people who contributed to the changes are strung throughout the book. Readers new to the region’s overall history will likely be surprised by how many current residents’ ancestors feature in this hyper-local book.
Newly-recounted family histories are covered as well, tying past to the present. For instance, the log house built by Ellison Bay founder and namesake John Eliason came to be owned by Judy and Bert Scherb. When attempting to move the one-story building to install a new two-story addition, the structure collapsed. Revealed underneath were the original cedar logs, one signed “Bernt Jorgeson Landricht 1856,” an act of pride by the friends who helped to erect these pioneer homes.
Re-published in 2022 by the Liberty Grove Historical Society, Living in God’s Country can be found at businesses and libraries throughout Door County and at Liberty Grove Historical Society’s sponsored events and openings. For more info, visit: libertygrovehistorical.org.