Farmers from the Brabant province of Belgium began immigrating to Northeastern Wisconsin around 1853, lured by Antwerp advertisements of farmland at $1.25 an acre, and the promise of a French speaking population. These groups built sturdy houses, cultivated the land, and adjusted to life in America. With the exception of the native cultures, all who came to this country were immigrants in some fashion and can trace their roots back to brave souls, such as these.
Belgian Farmhouse and Outbuildings
It is believed that the farmhouse was built after the October 10, 1871, Peshtigo Fire. The Charles Massart Family originally owned the farmhouse, the summer kitchen and the small log structure, which were located in Rosiere, WI. The barn originally belonged to the Lampereur family from Brussels, the pig barn to the Ivan Draize family from Luxemburg, and the chicken coop to the Julian Romwald family. All were located in Kewaunee County. The farmhouse is a log house with brick veneer. The brick is red, probably from the area, and cream, probably from the lakeshore, possibly Milwaukee area, and added after the house was constructed. It is laid in a “quoins” design, typical of homes in Belgium.
- Original Build Date: Circa 1872
- Original Owner: John Baptist and Theresa Massart
- Original Location: Near Rosierre, Wisconsin
- Moved to Heritage Hill in 1984
- Construction Style: Log with brick veneer, Other building and Log, the summer kitchen is limestone
The Cheese Factory was built in 1894 and located in Kewaunee County at a crossroad, one mile southeast of Slovan, WI. The original owner is listed as A. Anashek who sold it to Joseph Adams and his wife Mary in 1895. They and their family operated it for many years. It eventually switched hands again to become the Clyde Cheese Factory. The cheese industry was integral in the development of these small communities. The small cheese factories of Northeastern Wisconsin were a familiar sight in the rural landscape at the turn of the 20th century.
- Original Build Date: 1894
- Original Owner: A. Anashek
- Original Location: Near Slovan in Kewaunee County
- Moved to Heritage Hill in 1994
- Construction Style: Wood Framed
This Chapel was given to Heritage Hill by the Laluzerne Family of Duvall and was restored to it’s original style and look. Joseph Derenne, Mrs. Laluzerne’s father, built the Chapel after he was miraculously cured of cancer, a common reason for building roadside chapels. Chapels such as this were often seen near many of the Belgian farms in northeastern Wisconsin and can still be found, mainly in door county. They were a tradition brought over from Europe (where they also can still be seen). Roadside Chapels also served as a place for the family to say daily prayers, and even for travelers to stop for prayer and rest.
- Original Build Date: 1871
- Original Owner: Laluzerne Family
- Original Location: Duvall, Wisconsin
- Moved to Heritage Hill 1983
- Construction Style: Wood Frame