Community, Education, and Religion among Belgian-Americans

The Belgians who emigrated to Door County in the 1850s, came from the provinces of Brabant, Hainaut, and Namur in rural Walloon-speaking Belgium. These Roman Catholic immigrants, led by Father Edward Daems, a Belgian priest of the Crosier Order, celebrated the first Catholic mass in Namur, Wisconsin in the home of Guillaume Delwich, and soon after built places of worship. One of these was a simple log cabin, built in 1860 on land donated by Alexander Evrad and now occupied by the former St. Mary of the Snows' church. The modest 30' by 40' log structure was among the few that survived the Great Fire of 1871.