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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

Folda, marcelle wedding dress

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

Edgar Goodlet, One of Ephraim’s Dearly Departed

Leif Erickson portraying Edgar Goodlet on the Dearly Departed Cemetery Walk, September 14, 2015.

Leif Erickson portraying Edgar Goodlet on the Dearly Departed Cemetery Walk, September 14, 2015.

On September 14, 2015, the Ephraim Moravian Church and the Ephraim Historical Foundation co-presented the annual Dearly Departed Cemetery Walk.  We were lucky to have a beautiful Ephraim Day, and all our guests seemed to enjoy their trip through the early history of Ephraim, as reported through the eyes of long-ago residents.

Most of the personalities who were portrayed were from Ephraim’s earliest history. The most recent personality who was depicted this year passed away in 1970, so if you are 50 years old, or less, you probably don’t remember one of Ephraim’s colorful old-timers. His name was Edgar Goodlet, and his life was quite interesting.

Edgar was born in 1884, the son of Cornelius and Hedvig Goodletson, the third oldest of TEN children!  His last name was Goodletson at birth, but as the years passed, the family dropped the last syllable, probably to make it easier to spell and pronounce. Read More

Annual Cemetery Walk

The 2014 Cemetery Walk

The 2014 Cemetery Walk

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to hear someone talk to you who lived on this earth 50 to 100 to 150 years ago?

If you come to the Ephraim Moravian Cemetery on September 14, you will have the opportunity to do just that. Read More

The Duchess and Ephraim

Envelope from the EHF collection

Envelope from the EHF collection

In the collection of the Ephraim Historical Foundation is a nondescript envelope that is battered, taped, and has yellowed with age. Addressed to Miss Lizzie Anderson, Ephraim, Wisconsin, the envelope has no street address and is stamped Baltimore, M.D. Oct 19, 2 AM 1916. Read More

Copyright Ephraim Historical Foundation, Inc., 2015. The Ephraim Historical Foundation and the Ephraim Foundation Heritage Fund are both 501(c)3 organizations. Donations to these organizations are tax-deductible.