Fox River Trail: The Little House with a Big History

Photographed April 22, 2014
Erected by Green Bay Chamber of Commerce Leadership Green Bay Program
Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin
44° 30.084′ N, 88° 1.226′ W
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FOX RIVER TRAIL
The Little House with a Big History
The Roi-Porlier-Tank Cottage . . .
has an extraordinary (sic) rich history in Green Bay, as it was home to a fur trader, schoolmaster, judge and missionary.

In 1803, a French Canadian fur trader by the name of Joseph Roi built the small cottage along the west bank of the Fox River directly across from here. Two years later the cottage was sold to Judge Jacques Porlier. Porlier was the first schoolmaster in the early 1790s and by 1820 had been named chief justice of the Brown County Court.

Nils Otto Tank was a missionary who led a colony of Moravians to Green Bay in 1850 with his wife, Caroline Louisa Albertina van der Meulen, daughter of a wealthy Dutch clergyman. Upon their arrival, they purchased 969 acres of fertile timberland for the Moravian mission on the west bank of the Fox River, including the parcel of land Joseph Roi's cottage was built on.

The Tanks remodeled the interior of the small cottage and added a wing on each end, for church services and a dining room.

Following a disagreement with Tank about land ownership, most of the Moravian colonists eventually relocated to Ephraim in Door County, and Otto Tank became a Fort Howard business leader with extensive real estate holdings on the west side of the river. Mrs. Tank outlived her husband by 27 years, living in the cottage until 1891. 
The marker is located on the east bank of the Fox River, on the Fox River Trail. The marker is accessible from the intersection of southbound South Madison Street and westbound Eliza Street, where both streets dead-end at the Fox River Trail, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301.

Heritage Hill State Park: Tank Cottage

See also, Marker 542: Roi-Porlier-Tank Cottage, located at nearby Heritage Hill State Park.

See also, Marker 156: Hazelwood, Fox River: Hazelwood, and Fox River Trail: Port of Green Bay's Economic Impact, very close to this location.

Fox River Trail

Fox River State Recreational Trail

This marker is one in a series of 12 interpretative signs placed along the Fox River Trail from downtown Green Bay to the Village of Allouez. These signs feature topics related to the history of the Green Bay area associated with the Fox River and also focuses on the importance of the Port of Green Bay in our community. Click here for a list of all markers included in the series.



Very nice views of the Fox River from this location!

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