Heritage Garden was one of the first projects at Crossroads at Big Creek. Established in 1998 by the Sturgeon Bay Home and Garden Club as a memorial to honor two of their members, June Mackey and Gertrude Olson, the original planting was only a little herb garden, but gardens have a way of growing.
Since there were no reference books describing rural gardens of 1900, the garden club members filled the plot with cuttings and bulbs from their grandmothers’ gardens and planted seeds they saved from one year to the next. Over the years, dozens of volunteers from the Home and Garden Club, Master Gardeners, and students from the Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol have kept the garden growing, each year striving to make a garden more historically correct.
At approximately the same time their garden started growing, Lee Somerville, the head gardener at Heritage Hill Historical Park, was struggling with the same questions of authenticity because, as she wrote in the introduction of her book Vintage Wisconsin Gardens, “Over time, I found myself more and more involved in the history of the gardens surrounding the homes, and began a quest to discover how they were originally planned and planted.”
Free family programs are offered in the Collins Learning Center Monday through Thursday during the summer season and the Heritage Village is open daily from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.
Crossroads at Big Creek and Heritage Village at Big Creek offer a plethora of family programming throughout the summer such as programs on fossils, 1890 store merchandise, migration habits of birds and butterflies, garden herbs, and more. For a full schedule of family and historical programs visit crossroadsatbigcreek.com/events-calendar.