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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

Chapter IV: Pioneer experiences,   pp. [46]-57 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page [46]

EVENTUALLY the trail to the pioneer's cabin became
familiar, for it was in long use before a wagon road was
opened up. In the meantime all the possessions and supplies
of these backwoods pioneers were carried in on foot. First
came their emigrant chests, laboriously lugged for many
miles over windfalls and broken ground. Then came their
women and children. A few who were able bought stoves,
which likewise were carried in, but most of them cooked
over an open fireplace.
    Felix Englebert, who was seventeen years old when
he came to Door County with his parents, says that it was
late in November (1856) before they were able to get a
scout to find their land for them. A foot of snow had fal-
len. For thirty miles the father led his little flock through
snow and slush. A shack in the form of an inverted V was
built of brush and served as their home for a while. The
cooking was done over an open fire, and water was obtained
from a hole dug in a nearby swamp. When they needed
bread, they went ten miles to get it baked.
    Other settlers came from Green Bay in rowboats and
sailing vessels. One large company who were bound for
the town of Gardner took passage on a small steamer which
had just started to navigate the waters of the bay. A mile
or two before they reached their destination, Sugar Creek,

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