Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Traveling Tuesday: Green Bay, Wisconsin in the Early Days

Traveling Tuesday: Green Bay, Wisconsin in the Early Days 

What do you think of when you think of Wisconsin? Milk? Cheese? Lakes? Football? When I decided to set my upcoming release Vanessa’s Replacement Valentine in Green Bay, I knew I had my work cut out for me. What I knew about the state fit on the head of a pin. Join me for a virtual trip to this fascinating and beautiful area of the United States. 
Located at the mouth of the Fox River, Green Bay is considered a sub-basin to Lake Michigan. Because of the water and rich soil, the area is abundant in fish, waterfowl, and wildlife. Native Americans lived in this area for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European explorers. 

The earliest documented contact between the Native Americans was in 1634 when Frenchman Jean
Nicolet came. Twenty years later fur traders Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medart Grosellieres arrived followed by missionaries Claude Allouez and Jacques Marquette. Another century would pass before the first permanent white settlers, the de Langlade family, set up their home. Unfortunately for them, a short time later the British defeated the French and took control of the area until 1783 when the Americans won control in the American Revolution. 
Fort Howard was built in 1816 to guard the entrance to the state, and a community quickly grew up around the fortress. With its diverse geography, the state attracted immigrants from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Eastern and Western Europe. Wisconsin’s first newspaper, the Green Bay Intelligencer was founded in 1833. Created in 1838, the borough of Green Bay is the center of the present-day city which was incorporated in 1854. 

Green Bay’s early history was dominated by the fur trade, but after gaining statehood in 1848, there was a shift toward lumbering. The population grew exponentially with census records showing 2,275 inhabitants in 1860, 4,666 in 1870, and 7,464 in 1880 (which is larger than my village here in New Hampshire). By the turn of the century, there were nearly twenty thousand residents of the city. 
In 1871, great fires encompassed Brown County and the surrounding counties of Door, Oconto, Shawano, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc kill at least one thousand people and rendering thousands more homeless and destitute. Contributions of money, food, clothing, and tools came from all over the world. 
Trains displaced steamboats as the main form of transportation during the 1870s, and the city became a manufacturing hub with five iron furnaces, and numerous lumber and paper mills. In addition, the
marshes along the bay consisted of huge beds of wild rice and wild celery that attracted large numbers of waterfowl. Men known as market hunters paddled through the marshes and flats hunting the birds which were sold to local meat markets as well as Milwaukee and Chicago. 
Do you find it surprising that Green Bay was such a hotbed of industry? 


About Vanessa's Replacement Valentine (releasing February 10, 2021, and now available for pre-order):

She’s running toward the future. He can’t let go of the past. Will these two hurting souls experience love in the present? 
Engaged to be married as part of a plan to regain the wealth her family lost during the War Between the States, Vanessa Randolph finds her fiancĂ© in the arms of another woman weeks before the wedding. Money holds no allure for her, so rather than allow her parents to set her up with another rich bachelor she decides to become a mail-order bride. Life in Green Bay, Wisconsin seems to hold all the pieces of a fresh start until she discovers her prospective groom was a Union spy and targeted her parents during one of his investigations. Is her heart safe with any man? 
Eight years have elapsed since the Civil War ended, and Miles Andersen has almost managed to put the memories of those difficult years behind him. He’s finally ready to settle down, but the women in town are only interested in his money. A mail-order bride seems to be the answer until the woman who arrives brings the past crashing into the present. 
Can two wounded hearts find healing in the face of doubt, disappointment, and distrust? 

Vanessa’s Replacement Valentine: A Christian Mail-Order Bride Romance is a heartwarming addition to the Brides of Pelican Rapids and easily read as a standalone.

Pre-order Link: https://amzn.to/3sbWfts


  1. When I think of Green Bay, I think of home that doesn't look like home anymore. I returned in June of 2019 for the first time in a couple decades. So much is changed. My grandfathers worked in one of the paper mills.

  2. It's difficult when places we know and love change. Thanks for stopping by.