MANITOWOC AND KEWAUNEE COUNTIES
The Czech Republic is a region in Central Europe, formerly called Western Czechoslovakia. Thousands of Czechs came to Wisconsin in the early 1850s, contributing significant folk architecture and farming practices. As Czechs settled in the United States, they brought with them many of the ideas, customs and dreams they had in their homeland.
Czech settlements can be recognized by these obvious indicators in architecture, building use, crops grown and special events. Large log drive-through threshing and cattle barns are still located in the Bolt area along Hwy. BB. Now covered with modern siding, log farmsteads originally displayed expertly hewn and fitted timbers. Some of the houses and barns used a cantilevered second floor design. North of Francis Creek along Old Green Bay Road (Hwy. R) are the remains of split rail fencing. Some area farmers still use large three-legged split ash feed baskets for daily chores. Smoke houses, root cellars, summer kitchens and second houses for older family member are still to be seen.
Every small Czech village always had a saloon and dance hall. Music and dancing provided a basis for their lifestyle expressions. Bands usually included percussion, woodwind, and brass instrument players. Strings were not commonly used. Dancing music was a set of polkas followed by a set of waltzes. Beer was the basic drink. In many instances, the dance halls became the training ground for Czech Sokols. Calisthenic exercises were performed with music, followed by training on gymnastic equipment, a central part of youth development programs that had been common in Czechoslovakia.
During the growing season one could always see poppies in a Czech garden. The seed was commonly used in baking for articles like kolaches and buchteh. Caraway was grown, to be used as a popular ingredient in caraway rye bread. Hops, used in making beer, could always be found. Flax was grown not only for the grain but to provide fiber for linen thread. Linen was used in fine handiwork. Rosemary was used for special activities to identify invited guests or family.
For More Information . . .
Stop in for more information concerning ethnic foods, festivals, historical tours, self guided cassette tours and group coach tours at:
Algoma Visitors Center, 226 Lake Street (Hwy. 42), Algoma, WI 54201. Stop for a free guide book to ethnic food and festivals, historical tours and things to do. (920) 487-2041.
Manitowoc County Visitors Center, 4221 Calumet Ave., Manitowoc, WI 54221. Kathleen Gallas/Bonnie Pankratz, 1-800-627-4896.
Wisconsin Czechs, Inc., 1516 N. 23rd Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220. Sandra Hynek, (920) 682-1672.
Days Inn. 53 guest rooms, whirlpool rooms, free cable. 908 Washington Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220. 1-800-329-7466.
Inn on Maritime Bay, Manitowoc.
Westmoor Motel, Manitowoc.
Norman General Store and Bed & Breakfast.
Visit the Kewaunee County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square in Kewaunee, WI. Open 10:30-4:30 Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, other times by appointment. Call (920) 388-4410 ext. 176 or (920) 388-4906.
Natural Ovens/Farm Museum, Manitowoc.
Pinecrest Historical Village, P.O. Box 574, Manitowoc, WI 54221. (920) 684-5110.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Wisconsin's largest Maritime Museum featuring the USS Cobia, a W.W. II submarine. 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, WI 54220.
Food & Beverage
Cedar Ridge Restaurant. Daily specials, home cooked meals, mini-farm site, excellent view from dining area. 9215 Hwy. Z (I-43, exit 164), Maribel, WI 54227. (920) 863-8691.
Perkins Family Restaurant, Manitowoc.
Rusch's Country Inn. Kellnersville.
The Cheese Nook. Friendly service-large variety of delicious cheeses-reasonable prices. 3826 Branch Driver Road, Manitowoc, WI 54220. (920) 684-3302.
RiverEdge Galleries Fine Art & Antiques. 2 floors, regional artists and antiques within a historical building. Open May-October 11-5 daily. 12-4 Sunday, closed Monday. Winter hours: weekends only. 432 E. Main, Mishicot, WI 54228. Telephone/FAX (920) 755-4777.