Scenic USA - Wisconsin

Eagle Harbor - Ephraim

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Eagle Harbor - Ephraim, Wisconsin

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Wisconsin's Door County, a very large peninsula which juts out from the mainland, is surrounded by Green Bay waters on northern side and Lake Michigan on the other. Natural bays and harbors are scattered along the peninsula's 300 miles of intricate shoreline, inviting European exploration in 1634. Fur traders combed the area for beaver pelts for the next 200 years, but never established any permanent settlements.
   The first wave of settlers arrived in the mid 1800s, encouraged by John Elliason. By 1853 Norwegian Moravian Reverend Andrew Iverson and his followers settled in a village on Eagle Bay, calling it Ephraim. In just a few years more Norwegians, Swedes and Prussians moved into the area, bringing their ethnic cultures, traditions and Scandinavian heritage.
   This view across Eagle Harbor from Ephraim Beach captures the cozy little seaside village, flaged by two prominent white steeples of the Ephraim Moravian Church and Free Evangelical Lutheran Church. This quaint little town, with a population under 300, is proud of its roots and its well preserved historic district. Celebrating the Fyr Bal Festival, a Scandinavian ritual of summer, the citizens of Ephraim enjoy music, traditional dances and ethnic food. The festival names a Fry Bal leader who is responsible to light the ceremonial bonfire. Symbolizing an old tradition of burning the winter witch, more bonfires circle the harbor. Ensuring a bountiful summer and fall harvest, the festivities are highlighted with a fireworks display.

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