The Great Williamsonville Fire

Thomas and Fred Williamson, brothers who immigrated to the Green Bay tornado park signarea from Canada in the late 1860’s, settled in Williamsonville. Also known as Williamson’s Mill, the settlement grew around the steam powered shingle mill built next to the Ahnapee River in 1870.

In 1871, it would not have been uncommon to see fire within the forest. Winds fanned the flames of the small fires, turning into a firestorm that swept unmercifully through southern Door County killing 128 people. The horrors were the same for all those trapped by the flames but Williamsonville was wiped off of the map with only 19 survivors of its 76 inhabitants.