Welcome to the EHF Blog

Welcome to the Ephraim Historical Foundation’s brand new blog. We thought it would be fun to publish little snippets of information every so often to keep you abreast of upcoming pleasures, events, and happenings, and to remind you of stories from Ephraim’s past. There is so much history in our little village, and since we love every single bit of it, we simply have to share it.

I remember that when I was a little girl, the “old timers” would talk about past happenings with great pleasure and interest, but I didn’t give it much thought.

Store Summer exterior


Anderson Store

As I got older, I began to realize the value of old stories, often repeated, and I began to store them in my own memory bank. Now I am fast approaching “old timer” status, certainly “long timer” status.

Here are a few things from my memory bank:

Did you know that: at one time there were three general stores in our little Ephraim?

That after finally getting one sawmill, there were suddenly five of them?

That our post office is currently occupying its sixth location, and that the first one was just a metal box on a shelf in the bedroom of a private home?

People often ask if we have written it all down, or recorded it. The blog will be our answer to that. Jotting down some stories for you to read will provide something of a local historical journal and may cause some of you to recall stories as well! Please let us know when that happens, as we hope to have guest bloggers occasionally to keep things fresh. Send an email to EHF Marketing and Volunteer Director Emily Irwin at eirwin@ephraim.org.  We will move from one topic to another, and from one time period to another to keep interesting.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Carey

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Miss Munda’s Dress

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Miss Munda in the dress on her 80th birthday

Winter is the perfect time for working in the Archives and the EHF staff started an important collections project last week—cleaning Munda Anderson’s dress.  Miss Munda helped run the store for many years and is an important figure in the Anderson Store’s history.  She made this cotton dress in the mid-1880s and even wore it for her 80th birthday in 1949.  The dress has been on display for many years and is an important artifact in sharing the history of the Andersons and the store.

Miss Munda’s dress on the mannequin

We decided it was time to take the dress off exhibit for a thorough cleaning, as well as cataloging and photographing, before it goes back on display for the 2017 season.  As we removed the bodice, we discovered that the mannequin was made of chicken wire and covered with cotton batting.  It was custom-made to display the dress, since Miss Munda was a petite woman and the dress will not fit on traditional mannequins or dress forms.  The mannequin is showing its age and has a few rust spots, so we’ll be exploring other options for displaying Miss Munda’s dress.

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The mannequin after the dress was removed

The mannequin was fully outfitted, with the dress in three parts (bodice, overskirt, and skirt), three petticoats, stockings, and shoes.  The dress is in excellent condition for its age, with only one split seam, one small tear, and a few water stains.

Fabric is especially sensitive to light and over the course of its life, Miss Munda’s dress has faded.  You can see the color difference in the fabrics below: the fabric on the left was covered by the overskirt and the fabric on the right has been exposed to light.  UV filters on the lights and limiting exposure to sunlight will help minimize further fading.

At left - original fabric At right - fabric after light exposure

At left – original pattern
At right – pattern after light exposure

Now that the dress has temporarily returned to the EHF Offices, the next step will be a careful washing to remove dust buildup.  Look for a future blog post about the cleaning process and returning Miss Munda’s dress to the Anderson Store!

-Guest Blogger Emily Irwin

A Shoe Collection

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Shoes in the Anderson Store Museum

If you’ve ever visited the Anderson Store Museum, you’ve likely noticed the display of shoes in the back corner.  These shoes were once available for purchase in the Store and vary widely in type and style.  This winter, the EHF staff decided to undertake a big project: inventorying the shoe collection which, at last count, consisted of 173 shoes (81 pairs and 11 single shoes).

We began by collecting all the shoes from the Anderson Store and bringing them to the EHF offices.  Here is the process that each shoe or pair of shoes will undergo to be properly documented and cleaned. Read More

Log Cabins in Ephraim…and the World

The Goodletson Cabin (photo by Tad Dukehart)

The Goodletson Cabin (photo by Tad Dukehart)

Because Ephraim was settled a long time ago, (in 1853), we are sometimes surprised to discover that there are still some very old log cabins in our little town.  With all the modern building going on, who would want such an old dwelling? The answer is MANY people. There are old buildings that have been wonderfully refurbished, as well as brand-new-but-made-to-look-old cabins. Read More

Cemetery Walk 2016

Visitors at the 2015 Cemetery Walk

Visitors at the 2015 Cemetery Walk

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to visit with someone who lived on this earth 100 to 150 years ago?  If you come to the Ephraim Moravian Cemetery on September 12, you will have the opportunity to do just that.

For the last several years, the Ephraim Historical Foundation, in conjunction with the Ephraim Moravian Church, has presented a cemetery walk called the “DEARLY DEPARTED.”

Each year, several people agree to enact the part of a specific person from Ephraim’s past, while wearing appropriate costuming.  An effort is made to portray both men and women, and to choose personalities who have been gone from Ephraim for various lengths of time. Read More

The 2016 Ephraim Geo Trail

The 2016 Geo patch

The 2016 Geo patch

Ephraim has a new activity this summer involving geocaching. Geocaching is the outdoor treasure hunt that uses a GPS enabled device or smartphone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and try to find the hidden container at that location. The 2016 Ephraim Geo Trail consists of four separate geocaches placed (very discretely) in the village. Within each cache is a piece of information that is only available at that geocache. When you have all four answers, you can submit them to the Ephraim Business Council’s Information Center or to the Ephraim Historical Foundation’s office to be awarded an embroidered patch featuring the Fyr Bal logo. Only 100 patches were made and as of mid-August there were only about 35 left. Once all the patches are awarded, the four caches will be deactivated. So if you want one of these patches, you better get moving. Read More

Beyond the Horizon

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Marcelle Folda on her wedding day

This blog post was inspired by a photograph from the Ephraim Historical Foundation collections.  The black and white image features a young woman in her wedding dress, with a long, white train and a floor-length veil.  Her name is Marcelle Francesa Folda and she was once a summer resident of Ephraim.  For more than twenty years, she spent summers with her family on Horseshoe Island.

Marcella Folda 1 in 1907

Marcelle Folda, c. 1907

The Folda’s history on Horseshoe Island cannot be covered in a single blog post, so today’s story will instead focus on one resident, Marcelle, and her life in Ephraim and after.  Born on July 24, 1906, to Engelbert (better known as E.F.) and Alma Folda, Marcelle spent her early years in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1909, the Folda family purchased Horseshoe Island and began building an estate known as Engelmar. Read More

Camp Peninsular

Camp Peninsular (photo courtesy of Peninsula State Park)

Camp Peninsular (photo courtesy of Peninsula State Park)

In early 1935, speculation began that Door County was about to receive its own CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camp, and when three federal employees visited Peninsula State Park, the creation of a camp seemed certain.  After months of discussion, the first group of CCC enrollees arrived at the newly established Camp Peninsular on August 10, 1935.  The name Peninsular comes from the park, which was sometimes called Peninsular State Park in early writings. Read More

Camp Meenahga

Alice Clark

Alice Orr Clark

In 1915, two St. Louis women named Alice Orr Clark and Francis “Kidy” Woodward Mabley hatched a plan to open a girls’ camp in Door County.  The women selected a site in Peninsula State Park, an abandoned farm on Shore Road that provided the perfect location for the camp.  Several existing buildings were easily converted; the barn became the “One-Hundred-Foot Lodge,” with a recreation area, kitchen, and dining room, and several cow sheds were converted to cold storage buildings.  With the arrival of a five-seater outhouse, the construction of wooden platforms for tents, and the addition of a diving raft and clay tennis court, the camp was ready to open. Read More

Two Roads Diverged

2016 is an important year in park history.  Nationally, it marks the centennial of the National Park Service.  On a local level, it’s the 100th anniversary of Camp Meenahga’s founding in Peninsula State Park.  In recognition of these two anniversaries, this year’s Anderson Barn Museum exhibit is Two Roads Diverged: Camp Meenahga and Camp Peninsular in Peninsula State Park.

Tents at Camp Meenahga

Tents at Camp Meenahga

For over 100 years, Peninsula State Park has been a destination for locals and tourists alike. With its beautiful views of Green Bay and the surrounding villages, the park continues to draw thousands of visitors each year. Read More