Marker 321: Belgian Settlement in Wisconsin

© Photographed September 1, 2012
Erected 1993 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Namur, Door County, Wisconsin

Wisconsin's and the nation's largest Belgian American settlement is located in por­tions of Brown, Kewaunee and Door counties adjacent to the waters of Green Bay. Walloon-speaking Belgians settled the region in the 1850s and still constitute a high proportion of the population. A variety of elements attests to the Belgian American presence: place names (Brussels, Namur, Rosiere, Luxemburg), a local French pat­ois, common surnames, unique foods (boohyah, trippe, jutt), the Kermiss harvest festival, and especially architecture. Many of the original wooden structures of the Belgian Americans were destroyed in a firestorm that swept across southern Door County in October 1871. A few stone houses made of local dolomite survived. More common are 1880s red brick houses, distinguished by modest size and gable-end, bull's-eye windows. Some houses have detached summer kitchens with bake ovens appended to the rear. And the Belgians, many of them devout Catholics, also erected small roadside votive chapels like those in their homeland.
The marker is located at the Namur Belgian Heritage Foundation Center (the former Our Lady of  Snows Church and Cemetery) on westbound County Road DK, between Pit Road (to the east) and County Road N (to the west), Brussels, Wisconsin 54204.

The marker is on the grounds of the Belgian Heritage Center.

Cemetery at marker location.

Revisited May 18, 2014:

 Follow the signs to the marker location. 

The marker is located in Namur, Wisconsin.

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