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

Island Paradise

Horseshoe Island

Island Paradise Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 8, 2014
1. Island Paradise Marker
Inscription.  Northern white cedar trees cling to the rocky rim of 38-acre Horseshoe Island. A tangle of birch and balsam fir, with pale blossoms of climbing fumitory, grow on the island, too. Long ago, people lived on Horseshoe Island.

Indian people, including the ancestors of the Menomini, have lived in this area for over 2,500 years. In historic times other tribes visited Horseshoe Island, including Potawatomi. They fished for sturgeon and lake trout, no doubt finding refuge from storms in Horseshoe Island's south facing harbor. In 1850, Norwegian immigrant Ole Larsen settled here. Larsen supplied boiler fuel wood for vessels sailing Green Bay waters.

Later, the island captured the imagination of a wealthy Nebraska family, the Foldas. Bankers by trade, they purchased Horseshoe Island for $500 in 1888. When the State of Wisconsin established Peninsula State Park in 1909, E.F. Folda negotiated a selling price of $5,000 and a life estate for himself as well as his wife and sister. In time, he built an impressive summer lodge, Engelmar. But Folda fell on hard times during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He sold and moved the
Island Paradise Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 8, 2014
2. Island Paradise Marker
Horseshoe Island (center)
Bay of Green Bay (left)
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lodge and all other island possessions. When he died in 1944, his widow, Alma, relinquished ownership.

Today, Horseshoe Island is part of Peninsula State Park. Only the alert visitor will detect the lodge foundation, a root cellar, and openings where gardens once thrived.

You are traveling around Welcker's Point. About 1900, German immigrant and physician Hermann Welcker established a health spa and resort in Fish Creek. Select guests enjoyed cherry kuchen, friendly card games of bridge and mah-jong, and Peninsula hikes.

Old maps identify Horseshoe Island as Eagle Island. The majestic birds once nested there and may one day return again.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 45° 10.464′ N, 87° 13.297′ W. Marker is near Fish Creek, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker is on Shore Road, 4½ miles north of Main Street (Wisconsin Highway 42), on the left when traveling north. Marker is at Welcker's Point in Peninsula State Park. Fee area; a vehicle admission sticker is required. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9462 Shore Road, Fish Creek WI 54212, 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. Oak Leaf Anchor (approx. 0.8 miles away); Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
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(approx. 0.8 miles away); A State Park System is Formed (approx. 1.3 miles away); Life on the Ledge (approx. 1.4 miles away); A Road Less Traveled (approx. 1.6 miles away); Why Green Bay? (approx. 1.7 miles away); Privilege in the Park (approx. 2.3 miles away); Anderson Dock (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fish Creek.
More about this marker. captions:
• Ole Larsen
• Dr. Herman Welcker, his wife Henriette, and only child Mathilda.
• Climbing Fumitory
• E.F. Folda's yacht, docked at Horseshoe Island. From Horseshoe Island: The Folda Years.
Also see . . .  Peninsula State Park. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on June 15, 2014.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 482 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 15, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Dec. 4, 2022