After leaving Harrington Beach State Park, drive north along Sauk Trail Road and cross from Ozaukee County into Sheboygan County. This is Dutch country, with neat farms, fat cows, and well-tended fields attesting to pride of ownership. After all, many of these Sheboygan County farmers are fourth- or fifth-generation landowners. The first non–Native American to see this territory was French explorer Jean Nicolet, who canoed along the Lake Michigan shoreline in 1635.
Although assorted other adventurers and missionaries meandered through the neighborhood in the ensuing years, the first European to settle here permanently was William Farnsworth in 1814. Only 227 people lived in the county in 1842, but by 1850 the number had grown to 8,836. The new arrivals were mostly Germans and Dutch, with a sprinkling of Irish. Rural roads with names such as Walvoord, Hoftiener, Smies, Risseeuw, and Weedmans attest to the Dutch influence. This eTrail from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Milwaukee. Each Day Trip includes destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping.
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