“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jacksonport in Door County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Erskine Root Cellar

Erskine Root Cellar Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
1. Erskine Root Cellar Marker
Inscription.  In 1873 Royal Erskine purchased a boarding house by the lake from Mr. Logan. He moved it across the road and combined it with two other vacated buildings to make one large building, painted it red, and called it the Eureka House. Royal sold the Eureka House in the 1880s to his brother Lincoln. Lincoln and Caroline (Carrie) Erskine raised their family in this house and operated a post office and thriving boarding house for guests.
There was no basement under the Eureka House, so to provide food storage for the family and boarders, this root cellar was built not far from the house.
The root cellar had a shingled roof insulated with newspapers, built onto a stone foundation sunk about three feet into the ground. The steps at one end were in an enclosed entryway. While the construction was very primitive, it served the purpose. Temperatures had to drop to 25 to 30 degrees below zero before any frost was seen, so there was never a worry about anything freezing.
Potatoes, carrots, beets, and cabbage were stored in bins in the back part. Shelves in the front held canned berries, meats, and vegetables. There were thirty-gallon crocks
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filled with sauerkraut. Wide-top milk bowls were filled with fresh milk daily. The cream rose to the top, was skimmed off, and once a week butter was made using a wooden barrel churn turned by hand crank.
Lincoln and Carrie's grandchildren remember helping make head cheese, blood sausage, and liver sausage. They also helped smoke bacon, hams, and hocks, all were stored in the root cellar. The granddaughters would slide down the roof in their dresses and bloomers. Twice down the roof and they were sliding on bare skin. Many the spankings for wearing holes in their bloomers! A grandson planted flowers on either side of the entry. They grew very well and were a beautiful sight.
On May 21, 1976, Katherine L. and Robert C. Onan donated this parcel of land to the town of Jacksonport to be maintained as a green area.
It is through the efforts of the Jacksonport Historical Society, Inc. that this root cellar has been restored in 2003 to preserve its history for future generations.
Erected by Jacksonport Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 44° 58.719′ N, 87° 11.145′ W. Marker is in Jacksonport, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker is at the intersection of Wisconsin
Erskine Root Cellar & Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
2. Erskine Root Cellar & Marker
Route 57 and County Road V, on the right when traveling south on State Route 57. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sturgeon Bay WI 54235, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town of Jacksonport (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Reynolds' Pier (about 600 feet away); Anchor & Capstan (about 600 feet away); St. Michael the Archangel (approx. ¼ mile away); The Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity (approx. half a mile away); Jacksonport United Methodist Church (approx. half a mile away); Halfway to the North Pole (approx. 2 miles away); Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonport.
More about this marker. Marker is located in the Erskine Rest area to the left of the entrance to the root cellar.
Regarding Erskine Root Cellar. In the early years local history, the Eureka House was a place for travelers to rest their horses, get something to eat and drink, and stay overnight.

Royal Erskine bought the Eureka House, which was two buildings joined together, from Charles Reynolds in 1875. He ran it as a saloon, boarding house, and dance hall. Lincoln Erskine bought it from his brother in 1883, discontinued the saloon, and ran the Eureka House as a boarding house for the
Erskine Root Cellar image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
3. Erskine Root Cellar
growing number of travelers going north on muddy, rutted trails from Sturgeon Bay by horse and buggy. The front part on the right became the Jacksonport Post Office in 1897. Lincoln was the Postmaster until his son Fred took over as Postmaster in 1915. The building had to be torn down in 1959 after the roof was set on fire by sparks flying from Carmody’s grocery store across the street, which burned to the ground.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 20, 2020, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 20, 2020, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 11, 2023