updated 29 Mar 2010
See: HISTORY OF DOOR COUNTY for more History of Door County including early settlers.
FORMER NAMES: Gibraltar.
1861, set off from Gibraltar 9 Jul 1861, enlarged in 1870 by addition of more Gibraltar Territory.
-Bailey's Harbor was the county seat, under the name Gibraltar, about 1851 or 1852 when the legislature passed an act to organize Door County. No steps were ever taken to carry out the organization-no county or town officers ever elected there. "The early settlers of Sturgeon Bay soon resolved to carry out the organization, and proceeded to take the necessary legal steps to remove the county seat from the 'Harbor to Sturgeon Bay. To accomplish this, it was necessary to call a meeting at Bailey's Harbor, and go through the forms of posting notices, etc., as required by law. Msssrs. A. G. WARREN, W. H. WARREN, and myself (Joseph HARRIS, Sr.) made two journey's on foot to the 'Harbor to effect the removal. As there was no trail through the woods, we had to go to the head of Sturgeon Bay, cross the Portage, and follow the Lake shore, footing it to Bailey's Harbor and back in all sorts of weather"* *Source: Martin's 1881 History of Door County p. 37-38.
All these men came in 1849:
W.L. BROOKS-born in New Hampshire and from Peshtigo, Mechanic-builder;
GRIFFIN - from Peshtigo, Builder;
CARRINGTON - from Peshtigo, Builder;
Soloman BERRY - born in Ohio and from Milwaukee, Machine Dealer-Woodcutting Supervisor;
ETHNIC GROUPS: Polish, Irish, German.
OCCUPATIONS: Farming, Woodcutting, Fishing.
(1) Alanson SWEET-Proprietor-Captain Bailey’s Employer, (1849), Quarrying, Piering and Shipping (of Milwaukee)* "A Mr. SWEET, of Milwaukee, who got the above named act passed (see act to organize Door county; locating the county seat at Bailey's Harbor-p. 37, Martin's 1881 History), had projected opening up a settlement at the Harbor. He built a saw mill and a dock, the mill burned down, the dock went to ruin, and Mr. SWEET abandoned the enterprise"*-*Source: Martin's 1881 History of Door County, P. 37-38.
(2) S.B. WARD - Proprietor, (1853), First Storekeeper on the Peninsula.
(3) DURGAN & STEWART - Proprietors, (1853), Sawmill.
SOME FAMILIES ASSOCIATED WITH TWP:
KILGORE, HIGGINS, EATOUGH, McARDLE.
MORE TOWN OF BAILEYS HARBOR PEOPLE-Biographies found in: History of Northern Wisconsin-1881
ARLT, Fred (proprietor of grist & saw mill, Bailey’s Harbor)
EATOUGH, Roger (proprietor Globe Hotel, blacksmith & wagon shop, dealer in agricultural implements, Bailey’s Harbor)
FARRELL, Thomas (dealer in general merchandise, Bailey’s Harbor)
HANSON, Hans L. (lighthouse keeper, Bailey’s Harbor)
HENDRICK, Adam (proprietor Bailey’s Harbor House)
MCCULLOUGH, Thomas W. (proprietor of National Hotel, Bailey’s Harbor)
ROTTMANN, John B. (wood, ties & posts, Bailey’s Harbor)
TOSELAND, William (farmer, PO Bailey’s Harbor)
WAGNER, John (boot & shoe manufacturer & dealer in harness, Bailey’s Harbor)
CHURCHES: (see the CLERGY INDEX for listings of pastors/priests/ministers)
1. St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church-address: 8013 Highway 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202. Records Start Dates: Baptisms-1875, Marriages-1903, Funerals-1902. To find records up till 1920, see Green Bay Catholic Diocese Archives.
2. Immanuel Lutheran Church -ELCA- address: 7973 Highway 57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
*The Immanuel Lutheran Church records were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1990 and are available on inter-loan through your local Family History Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and on site at The Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
FHL US/CAN Film #1597665: Items 5-7: Early records are in German and later ones in English. Includes historical information in the form of letters, clippings, etc.
------From the Door County Advocate Centennial Edition-22 Mar 1963, S3K P.1. (Partial quotation):-------
"IMMANUEL LUTHERAN NOW 70; BUILDING PROGRAM LAUNCHED
The congregation at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Baileys Harbor will celebrate its 70th Anniversary this year. Fifteen families met on May 1, 1892, to form the congregation and immediately afterward building operations began.
The charter members were the families of Carl PEIL, William HEIN, Fred KRAUSE, August RADEMACHER, John OLDENBURG, Charles ABRAHAMSON, Fredrick EHRKE, Fredrick LEHMAN, Andrew POLZIN, Otto OHNESORGE, Fred REH, Emil KRAUSE, Sr., Herman OLDENBURG, William TISCHLER, Sr., and Henry KIRCHNER.
The Church building was constructed by the church members, the workers cutting their own lumber and timbers from logs they took from their own woods, and hauling stones for the foundations from their own fields. These people did all their own carpenter and mason work.
The first pastor was called and he began work on Oct 1, 1892. He was the rev. Immanuel BRACKEBUSCH, who also served the Zion Lutheran Church at Jacksonport.
Some of the leading events which took place during these many years are as follows:
1892 - gifts of land for church site and for cemetery by Mrs. WOHLTMAN and Mrs. John OLDENBURG.
1893 - congregation incorporated and obtains its charter.
1914 - steeple added to first structure.
1923 - congregation withdraws from Wisconsin Synod, becoming independent.
1930 - congregation joins the English Evangelical Synod of the Northwest of the United Lutheran Church in America.
1931 - church building again improved, this time being moved, remodeled and enlarged.
1934 - congregation becomes self-supporting, requiring no further Mission Aid.
1955 - purchase of a parsonage.
1961 - purchase of scenic Grove Resort property from the Anclam estate.
1961 - union parish formed with St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Fish Creek."
3. Bjorklunden Chapel (Boynton)-address: 7603 Chapel Lane, Baileys Harbor WI 54202.
Baileys Harbor was “discovered” by Captain BAILEY about 1847. The first Town Meeting was held in the school house in April 1862. Baileys Harbor was the first village site in Door County and also had the first pier in Door County.
LOCATION AND ADDRESS OF TOWN HALL:
Baileys Harbor Town Hall- address: 2392 Highway 57, Baileys Harbor Village. Records are located with the Town Clerk.
Baileys Harbor (1860 - present).