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Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County
(1933)

Preface,   pp. [3]-[5] ff. PDF (167.8 KB)


Page [4]


           WISCONSIN'S BELGLAN COMMUNITY
trict. He therefore had the best opportunity of writing a
comprehensive account of this great migration of his
countrymen. However, while his sketch is valuable, it falls
far short of what might be expected in the circumstances.
He mentions only ten pioneers, and none of these are from
Door County.    Comparatively little is told of the early
struggles, and too much space is devoted to the so-called
successful Belgians in the more recent years.
    In 1917 the undersigned compiled a History of Door
County of 450 pages in which he has a chapter on the Bel-
gian Settlement in Union, Brussels and Gardner townships.
As the book attempted to cover the whole county, the treat-
ment of the Belgian Settlement was necessarily very brief.
    These three modest contributions, covering all together
about thirty-five printed pages, are all that have been made
to tell the story of one of the largest single groups of for-
eign settlers in Wisconsin. It is an unusually interesting
group, being the only Belgian settlement of importance in
the Northwest, remarkably compact, and preserving more
of the mother country's speech, customs and characteristics
than almost any settlement of foreign origin that may be
mentioned.
    With a view to preserve a more complete record of this
extensive community, the Door County Historical Society
undertook to compile as complete a record as possible of
that part of the settlement which lies in Door County. The
settlement is now almost eighty years old and much valu-
able material is irretrievably lost. The following account,
which is the fruit of this endeavor, is therefore presented
with a keen realization of its deficiencies.  Fortunately
there are still a half dozen old pioneers left who came here
among the first in their early boyhood, and the writer is


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