From First Americans to Euroamericans
Archaeology and History of the WIS 57 Transportation Corridor
Paleoindian Time Period (10,000 - 7000 B.C.)
The earliest human inhabitants of Wisconsin are known as Paleoindians. These small groups of highly mobile hunter-gatherers probably arrived as soon as the land was free of glacial ice. These people would have followed the high ground along the many sandy ridges over which present day WIS 57 is routed. Paleoindians hunted large animals of the Ice Age like mammoth, mastodon, and caribou. Like all hunter-gatherers, Paleoindians diets also included native plants, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. Only nine Paleoindian sites have been found on the Door Peninsula but many early sites have been destroyed
Archaic Time Period (7000 - 500 B.C.)
As the Ice Age ended, the large game preferred by Paleoindians became extinct. The climate became milder and dryer and more like modern conditions. Archaic Period foragers replaced the Paleoindians as the Ice Age was ending and fishing and wild plant use became more important. Archaic groups developed distinct regional identities, occupied larger camps for longer periods of time, and buried their dead in cemeteries. These changes are reflected in the great diversity of Archaic point styles, the increased use of ground stone tools, and heavy use of native copper.
Door Peninsula Archaic groups may be descendants of the earlier Paleoindians or migrants from elsewhere. Archaic transportation routes were likely more varied than those of the Paleoindians and would have included use of watercraft as well as overland trails. Archaic sites have been found in 40 locations on the Door Peninsula. The WIS 57 project excavated Archaic occupations at the Delfosse-Allard site in Kewaunee County and the Heyrman I site in Door County.
Woodland Time Period (500 B.C. - A.D. 1400)
Two important developments
Lifeways remained firmly rooted in the cycles of hunting and gathering, but gardening with native plants like sunflower became more important. By A.D. 1000, corn horticulture, supplemented by hunting, fishing, and gathering, was the major subsistence focus of most groups in the eastern United States. Settlement patterns shifted from seasonal mobility towards lifeways based on year round occupation of large villages.
Door Peninsula Woodland groups fished along the Lake Michigan shoreline and hunted and gathered in the interior. More than 140 Woodland sites have been found on the peninsula and many are situated along the route of present WIS 57 or linked by overland trails. WIS 57 archaeologists investigated Woodland occupations at Beaudhuin Village, Christoff, Delfosse-Allard, Fabry Creek (Boss Tavern), Heyrman I, and Holdorf sites.
Oneota Time Period (A.D. 1000 - 1400)
The Oneota are generally considered to have been village farmers with an economy based on corn horticulture, fishing, and hunting. Oneota people appear to have replaced Late Woodland groups on the Door Peninsula after A.D. 1200.
Oneota sites are relatively common on the Peninsula and are generally located along the Lakeshore and the fertile uplands west of the WIS 57 corridor. Door Peninsula Oneota groups are part of a regional Oneota tradition known as the Mero Complex. Some 50 Oneota sites are known from the Door Peninsula and the WIS 57 project investigated Oneota components at the Delfosse-Allard, Fabry Creek (Boss Tavern), and Holdorf sites.
Historic Time Period (A.D. 1600 - 1900)
Many Indian groups moved through or temporarily occupied the Door Peninsula during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. However, the major tribal groups in the area were the Ho-Chunk, Menominee. and Potawatomi. While water travel was often used, particularly on the important route from the Straits of Mackinac to Green Bay, the network of overland
When Jean Nicolet arrived in the Green Bay area in 1634 he encountered sizable settlements of Ho-Chunk and Menominee at the site of present day Green Bay. After 1650, large numbers of Potawatomi moved onto the Door Peninsula from their Michigan homeland in an attempt to escape the Iroquois who were raiding throughout the eastern Great Lakes. All of these groups practiced a mixture of corn horticulture, hunting, and fishing. With the beginning of the fur trade, Indian groups throughout the Great Lakes were transformed by their participation in a global market economy and the various wars of the French, British, and Americans.
Euroamericans settlement of the Door Peninsula began in the early 19th Century. The area's resources attracted loggers, fishermen, and farmers and small communities sprang up along the route of present day WIS 57. Little Sturgeon Bay was settled in 1835 and Irish fishermen established a village on Washington Island by 1838. Ephraim and Sturgeon Bay were settled by Norwegian immigrants after 1850. Belgian farmers arrived in southern Door County in 1855 and settled in towns like Brussels and Namur.
At least 77 Historic Period Indian sites are reported from the Door Peninsula. However, the Delfosse-Allard site in Kewaunee County was the
WIS 57 archaeologists excavated Historic Period Euroamerican sites at Williamsonville and Vandermissen Brickworks.
Erected by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, U.S. Department of the Interior, Wisconsin Department of Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Native Americans.
Location. 44° 34.084′ N, 87° 52.779′ W. Marker is in Scott, Wisconsin, in Brown County. Marker is on Bay Settlement Road north of VanLaanen Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3426 Bay Settlement Road, Green Bay WI 54311, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fabry Creek (Boss Tavern): A Multi-component Site (here, next to this marker); The Beaudhuin Village Site: A North Bay Middle Woodland Camp (here, next to this marker); Delfosse-Allard: A Multi-component Site (here, next to this marker); The WIS 57 Reconstruction Project in Brown, Kewaunee, and Door Counties (here, next to this marker); The Holdorf Site: A Chipped Stone Workshop/The Christoff Site: A Prehistoric Campsite (here, next to this marker); Transportation Archaeology on the WIS 57 Project
More about this marker. This marker is part of the group of markers at this location titled From First Americans to Euroamericans: Archaeology and History of the WIS 57 Transportation Corridor. The markers are a few steps from the southern parking lot in the Wequiock Falls County Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 8, 2019, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 8, 2019, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. 7, 8. submitted on December 9, 2019, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.