Archaeology, WIS 57,
and the Door Peninsula

Vandermissen Brickworks Site

What does the Vandermissen Brickworks site represent?

On October 8th 1871, the Peshtigo fire jumped across Green Bay from the mainland to the Door Peninsula destroying many of the Belgian farms and small towns along the west side of the Door Peninsula.

The Belgians rebuilt after the fire using bricks instead of logs for construction. A household brick making industry developed to produce the bricks. Many of these distinctive red brick structure survive today and give the region its architectural character.

The Vandermissen Brickworks was operated as early as 1899 and ceased operation between 1905 and 1917.  Other small brickworks in operation during this time include the Macco Brickworks to the south  in Kewaunee County and the G. Peters Brickworks located northeast of Vandermissen.


Overview photo of site area

Archaeology at the Vandermissen Brickworks Site

The Vandermissen Brickworks was the first late 19th and early 20th century brickworks to be excavated in the region.  Archaeology at the site recovered evidence of the steps typically associated with the process of hand-making bricks.

Local brickworks would have been very common during the rebuilding period following the Peshtigo Fire. However, very few are documented archaeologically.

Historic Well Historic Brick Clamp Historic Pug Mill


Archaeological Sites


Beaudhuin Village

Fabry Creek (Boss Tavern)



Heyrman I


Vandermissen Brickworks