The Door County Historical Society will host its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming with “The Peil Family – An Immigrant Door County Family,” presented by Lynn Mattke Aug. 5 at 2 pm in the Collins Learning Center at 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay, at Crossroads at Big Creek.
The history of the Peil family in Door County began 146 years ago when Karl, Augusta and five of their children arrived from Germany. The family settled on an 80-acre farm in Baileys Harbor at the corner of county roads EE and F. When Otto, the oldest son, turned 30, he took over the farm and sought a wife. Receiving assistance from a friend, a letter was sent back to Germany to ask if the granddaughter of an old friend was interested in coming to “the land of opportunity.” After an exchange of photographs, Otto helped arrange Hedwig’s trip from Germany, and their plans to marry were established. Arriving in Door County, Hedwig became the “force extraordinaire” of the Peil family and raised 10 children on the family farm.
Mattke is the retired Director of Independent Senior Housing at Scandia Village, and the granddaughter of Hedwig and Otto Peil. Her mother, Adeline Edmunds, wrote The Loving Spice of Life, depicting the story of Hedwig’s life. Realizing her rich family history, Mattke is happy to share her family’s stories.
There is no cost to attend, but an offering will be taken to support Heritage Village at Big Creek. The Door County Historical Society’s next program in the Yesteryear series is a German Festival Aug. 12, 10 am – 3 pm, at Heritage Village. For more information, call 920.421.2332 or visit DoorCountyHistoricalSociety.org.