Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin

This Door County Coastal Byway kiosk tells the history of Gibraltar (Fish Creek).

Historical Markers / Sites
Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin
In his two-volume History of Door County, Wisconsin, The County Beautiful (1917), my great-uncle, Hjalmar Rued Holand, wrote of the European settlement of Fish Creek ~ "Fish Creek was so named by Increase Claflin who settled there . . . in 1842. For a few years he and his family lived here in solitude, the only one on the peninsula north of Sturgeon Bay. In 1847 he was joined by Van Renssalaer Marshall . . . with his two sons.  The elder Marshall froze to death in November, 1862. He was returning from Ephraim to Fish Creek by boat and as night drew on he for some unknown reason anchored at Eagle Island which was then deserted. He wrapped up in his sail and laid down in his boat to sleep. During the night it turned very cold and the old man did not again wake up. There were no other settlers until Asa Thorp came a few years later and opened up the country by his pier."
Today, the friendly residents of Fish Creek proudly embrace the heritage and beauty of their Door County Peninsula home. Historical buildings are meticulously restored and serve as hotels, cottages, restaurants, specialty and gift shops. "Wild . . . unspoiled" Peninsula State Park offers hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, nature programs, outdoor theatre, and breathtaking views of Green Bay and the islands that dot its waters. There is something for everybody at Fish Creek, Wisconsin!

Below are links to several historical markers / sites located in Fish Creek. Enjoy! 
1868 – 1926

Downtown  Fish Creek
At the heart of Fish Creek is the historic Alexander Nobel House (honored with a State Historical Society "official" marker and filled with Nobel family artifacts) and the original log cabin of Asa Thorp, built in 1849.


Click here for Fish Creek, Wisconsin website


Peninsula State Park
Fish Creek is also home to Peninsula State Park, its beauty described in 1909 as ". . . wild and as yet unspoiled, with alternating interests of woodland and cliff, bay and land . . . It sweeps from point to point, here a beach of fine sand, there of gravel, then in contrast precipitous limestone bluffs, rising to a height of a hundred feet or more . . . It is no exaggeration to say that the broad beauty of the scenery is not surpassed in Wisconsin." On June 9, 1909, Wisconsin Governor Davidson signed a bill, officially creating a system of state parks. Of the four parks originally proposed for the system, Peninsula was the first to be established.
 Peninsula State Park contains several historical markers / interpretative signs:
A Road Less Traveled / Eagle Terrace

Click here for Peninsula State Park website


Peninsula State Park: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
In the center of Peninsula Park is charming Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, in operation from 1868 to 1926, now listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Open seasonally for tours, experienced docents tell the stories of the families who lived there and the keepers who manned the light.


Veterans Memorial

 In Memory of Pvt. Charles H. Drengberg / Korean War Veterans Memorial


Fish Creek is located in Door County, Wisconsin.


A jolly good town is old Fish Creek,
The best on the pike, I know;
With its back to the rock and its face to the sea
Where the rollicking breezes blow.
As snug as a bug in an old woolen rug
It lies there embowered in green;
You may go where you like, on any old pike
No cosier village is seen.

When old Father Claflin discovered "old Door,"
Some four score years ago;
With Indians and black bear it was galore
And sturgeon -- a wonderful show!
He roamed the timber and cruised the shore
Delighted with all he did see,
But when he saw Fish Creek he roamed no more;
But said: "My house here shall be!"

Do you know the folks of Fish Creek town?
A merry stout lot are they.
Their wives are sure some famous cooks --
Just look at their men, I say!
Why nearly every man in town
Has a waistband of forty or more.
With a happy old chuckle around they go,
Grand boosters to the core.

-Author unknown

This ditty appears on page 357 of Volume I of
History of Door County, Wisconsin, The County Beautiful (1917),
written by my great-uncle, Hjalmar Rued Holand,
and is transcribed here with the spelling and punctuation used
in that publication.
Click here to read more interesting anecdotes about the early days of Fish Creek.

1 comment:

lauriesflowers said...

What a great blog and so informative!

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