Belgium


Click the image to learn more. The Village of Belgium, located within the larger town, was incorporated in 1922 and maintains its own village hall, pictured here in 2006.

The Town of Belgium, located in the northeastern corner of OZAUKEE COUNTY, contains the Village of Belgium. The unincorporated communities of Lake Church, Dacada, Holy Cross, Decker, and Sauk Trail Beach are also within the Town of Belgium’s boundaries.[1]

Belgic LUXEMBOURGERS were among the first Europeans to settle the area in the late 1840s.[2] According to the Luxembourg Society of Wisconsin, the Town of Belgium was home to four of seven historic Luxembourger settlements in the state of Wisconsin.[3] These early settlers converted dense forests into open fields for agriculture and grazing land for dairy cows.[4] The Town of Belgium was created in 1848 out of a portion of the Town of Port Washington. The Town of Belgium’s population grew to 2,223 residents by 1860.[5]

Transportation links connecting Belgium to other parts of the region spurred Belgium’s modest population growth. The Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railway connecting Milwaukee to Sheboygan passed through the Town of Belgium in 1872. The completion of the railroad prompted a concentration of population in the area that incorporated as the Village of Belgium in 1922. The Village’s population reached 268 by 1930.[6] The Milwaukee to Green Bay extension of Interstate Highway 43, which runs just east of the Village of Belgium, was completed in 1981.[7] The Village’s population grew to 2,245 in 2010.[8] In 2010 the Town’s population (excluding the Village) had fallen to approximately 1,415.[9]

The Luxembourg-American Cultural Center and the accompanying Roots and Leaves Museum in the Village of Belgium commemorate the Town’s early settlers. The cultural center and museum, which opened in 2009, are located in a refurbished Luxembourger stone barn originally built in 1872.[10]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, 2020, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin (Waukesha, WI.: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, 2000), 3.
  2. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, 3.
  3. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, 3.
  4. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, 3.
  5. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, 3.
  6. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Master Plan for the Town of Belgium, , 8.
  7. ^ Interstate 43, Wisconsin Highways website, last accessed July 10, 2017, http://www.wisconsinhighways.org/listings/WiscHwys40-49.html#I-043
  8. ^ American Fact Finder. “Village of Belgium
  9. Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010,” http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table, accessed  August 5, 2012.
  10. ^ American Fact Finder. “Town of Belgium Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010,” accessed  August 5, 2012, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table.
  11. ^ Luxembourg-American Cultural Society, Inc. “Historic Overview of the  Roots and Leaves Museum Project  (Continued),” accessed  August 5, 2012, http://www.luxamculturalsociety.org/BuildingHistory.htm, now available at http://www.lacs.lu/roots-leaves-museum/overview/, accessed July 10, 2017.

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