The Foldas: A History in Photographs

Today, Horseshoe Island, located in Green Bay off the shores of Ephraim, Wisconsin, is mostly tree-covered and uninhabited.  Part of nearby Peninsula State Park, the island’s harbor remains a popular summer spot for boating and swimming.  It’s hard to imagine that one hundred years ago, this island was home to a grand estate, including a main lodge, a variety of outbuildings, and boats to carry guests to and from the property.  One of the owners of this estate (named Engelmar) was Engelbert (E.F.) Folda, a wealthy Nebraska banker who spent his summers in Door County with his wife, Alma, and two children, Marcelle and Engelbert, Jr. (Bert), for twenty-five years. 

This exhibit features a series of photographs of the Foldas and their lives, both in Nebraska and on Horseshoe Island.  For more information on the history of the Foldas, please see Stanford H. Sholem’s book, Horseshoe Island: The Folda Years, which is an invaluable resource on the history of the Folda family.  Thank you to Ina Roessler for her assistance with the creation of this exhibit and to JoAnne Rankin for proofreading and editing the exhibit text.  

How to access this online exhibit:

Exhibit navigation controls can be found at the bottom left and bottom right on each image.  The inner, single arrows move one photograph to the left or right.  The outer, double arrows move to the first or last image. 

Clicking on the image will expand the photograph, which also allows for a slideshow effect that can be played or paused.  The photo description can be accessed by clicking the button with an i icon.  The next image can be accessed in this expanded view by either clicking the arrows to the left and right of the image or by clicking on an image at the bottom of the screen.  Click the x in the upper right corner to close the larger images.

Please click here to contact Ephraim Historical Foundation staff with questions or comments.

Horseshoe Island, 1943 (1993.348.0001)
The Folda family's connection to Door County began long before the construction of their summer estate, Engelmar. In 1855, Czech immigrant Frank Folda arrived in Wisconsin with his parents and siblings. Years later, he came across Horseshoe Island while travelling around the state, and the island's beauty made a lasting impression.
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