The Door County Historical Society will host its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming with “The Peil Family – An Immigrant Door County Family,” presented by Lynn Mattke on Saturday, August 5 at 2:00 in the Collins Learning Center at 2041 Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay, adjacent to the Heritage Village at Big Creek.
The history of the Peil family in Door County began 146 years ago when Karl, Augusta and five of their children arrived from Germany. The family settled on an 80 acre farm in Baileys Harbor at the corner of county roads EE and F. When Otto, the oldest son, turned 30, he took over the farm and sought out a wife. Receiving assistance from a friend, Herr Jischke, a letter was sent back to Germany to ask if the granddaughter of an old friend was interested in coming to “the land of opportunity.” After an exchange of photographs, Otto helped arrange Hedwig’s trip from Germany, and their plans to marry were established.
Arriving in Door County, Hedwig became the “force extraordinaire” of the Peil family. A change maker who impacted the community with her sharp business-minded attitude, much of the family history is centered on Hedwig. Raising ten children on the family’s farm, Hedwig was also a midwife, the head gardener at Bjorklunden, a cake decorator, and land developer.
Lynn Mattke is the retired Director of Independent Senior Housing at Scandia Village, and the granddaughter of Hedwig and Otto Peil. Her mother, Adeline Edmunds, wrote the book “The Loving Spice of Life” which depicts the story of Hedwig Peil’s life. Realizing her rich family history, Lynn Mattke is happy to share her family’s stories and entertain guests with the humorous accounts of her grandmother’s life.
“Peil Family History” will be held on Saturday, July 29, at 2:00 pm in the Collins Learning Center, adjacent to the Heritage Village at Big Creek, at 2041 Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay. This program does not have an admission fee, but a free will offering will be taken to support the Heritage Village at Big Creek. The Heritage Village is an interpretive site of the Door County Historical Society and is open prior to the presentation, and on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 until 3; Adult Heritage Village admission is $6.
The Door County Historical Society’s next program in the Yesteryear series will be a German Festival on Saturday, August 12, from 10-3:00 in the Heritage Village at Big Creek.For additional program information contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332, www.DoorCountyHistoricalSociety.org, or email Director.DCHistoricalSociety@gmail.com
Founded in 1926, the Door County Historical Society keeps history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The Society is a membership organization that operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.