“German Prisoners of War on Our Soil” is the title of Door County Historical Society’s Sunday program scheduled for 2 pm on Sept. 20 at Crossroads at Big Creek. That topic seems entirely fitting because there actually were German prisoners of war on Crossroads’ soil.
When Crossroads collaborated with the Door County Historical Society to present “Celebrating Orchards” in 2010, they found out about the WWII connection. In 1911, Moulton Goff (son of Emmett S. Goff, the University of Wisconsin professor who helped pioneer orchards on the peninsula) purchased Crossroads’ land from the Hans Hanson family. The Goff family raised cherries, plums, apples and small fruits. And during the war years, POWs helped harvest the fruit.
Dr. John J. Beck, the speaker on Sept. 20, was just a child during the war, but his father, Dr. John G. Beck, was the physician who provided medical services for the German prisoners held in Door County. Dr. Beck has done extensive research to complete his story of how the prisoners lived and how we treated them. His illustrated lecture will evoke memories for some and provide insights for others.
On Sept. 19, hike Big Creek Cove and the Cedars on the Crossroads’ property at 10 am. This hike will start at the little bridge on Utah Street. Following a gentle ramble to the shoreline, the group will have the option of hiking into the “Cedars,” the forest around Big Creek on the original Crossroads property. Meet at the Bridge on Utah Street by the Hanson House. This hike is free and open to the public.
On Sept. 22, 10 am – 2 pm, Friends of Crossroads are holding a Work Day, laboring to remove honeysuckle from the property and to work on new trails. Lemonade and granola bars will be provided. Meet at the parking lot at the intersection of Canal Road and Buffalo Ridge Trail. Workers should wear long pants and work gloves. Those wanting to explore the trails should arrive at 9 am for a pre-work session hike.
Trails at Crossroads, the Ida Bay Preserve, and Big Creek Cove are free and open to the public. Click here for more information.