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Crossroads Hosts “Great Fire of 1871” Presentation

On October 9, 1871, about 2,000 people died when the forests of Northeast Wisconsin erupted into flame. Details of The Great Fire of 1871 will come to life Sunday, October 3, in a presentation by Barb Englebert-Chisholm, a fifth-generation American of Belgian decent, whose ancestors survived the disaster. The presentation will begin at 1:30 pm in The Historical Village at The Crossroads at Big Creek.

Englebert-Chisholm’s relatives made homes in the southern Door County area now designated as a National Landmark to honor the culture and heritage of the Belgian settlers. She became interested in the fire while listening to stories from her grandfather, who was relaying what his father – who survived the fire by taking his family down a well – told his relatives and friends.

“It is a story of great hardships, faith in God, miracles, and eventual triumph,” Englebert-Chisholm said. “The story of people surviving a great calamity is always very interesting.”

Englebert-Chisholm, secretary of the Peninsula Belgian-American Club, has given numerous educational presentations about the Great Fire.

The Crossroads at Big Creek is located at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. The Historical Village is open every Sunday from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.

For more information, call 920.746.5895. To contact Engebert-Chisholm, email [email protected].