Rosiere in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The 1858 Rosiere Kermiss
The fall harvest was in and excitement reigned in the community! Cleaning, cooking, baking, sewing — it was time to celebrate and thank the Lord for the good crops and other blessings. Hardships, homesickness, and loneliness were forgotten, at least for a while.
By the fall of 1858, the Belgian settlers in this area, the first of whom arrived in 1853, were ready to celebrate. Days were spent preparing for the kermiss, a centuries old Belgian custom that is a combination of religious and secular celebration, which usually lasted for three days.
Their kermiss, reportedly the first in America, was held in Rosiere, Wisconsin, on the same Sunday in September 1858 that the kermiss was held in Rosiere in their native Belgium.
Father Daems from Bay Settlement said mass. When mass ended, a band was ready to lead the people to an improvised hall. Along the way, the procession paused and people danced on the unpaved road.
Dancing, eating (freshly baked bread, kaset, chicken booyah, trippe, jut, and those famous Belgian pies), drinking homemade beer, and playing games (catching
As the Belgian community grew, new settlements developed, new churches were built, and more kermisses were held — eventually there was a kermiss from the last Sunday in August until November, each community taking its turn. Over the years, the celebration of kermiss changed.
Erected 2001 by the Kewaunee County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Entertainment. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1858.
Location. 44° 40.53′ N, 87° 36.84′ W. Marker is in Rosiere, Wisconsin, in Kewaunee County. Marker is on County Highway X west of Church Road, on the left when traveling west. Marker is approximately 9 driving miles north of Casco. Marker is near the northwest corner of the St. Hubert Catholic Church parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: E3085 County Road X, Casco WI 54205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bottkolville (approx. 4 miles away); Belgian Settlement in Wisconsin (approx. 4.8 miles away); The WIS 57 Reconstruction Project in Brown, Kewaunee, and Door Counties (approx. 4.8 miles away); Transportation Archaeology on the WIS 57 ProjectNamur and the Norbertine Fathers: Community, Education, and Religion among Belgian-Americans (approx. 4.8 miles away); Architecture and History in the WIS 57 Project Area (approx. 4.8 miles away); Historic Euroamerican Settlement of the Door Peninsula (approx. 4.8 miles away); After the Fire: The Vandermissen Brickworks Site (approx. 4.8 miles away).
More about this marker. photo caption: Rosiere Kermiss — 1937
Although many changes had occurred in the community of Rosiere in the 79 years since the first kermiss was held, many of the original traditions were still observed.
Also see . . .
1. Kermiss - A Belgian Harvest Celebration. RootsWeb entry (Submitted on September 27, 2014.)
2. Kermesse (festival). Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on September 27, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 27, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 423 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 27, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.