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belgian heritage

Belgian settlers helped put this town on the map

Four Belgian immigrant families founded Brussels, which bears the Belgian capital city’s namesake, in 1858. Many more Belgians followed, settling in the surrounding areas, including the town of Union. The entire Belgian settlement was destroyed when a firestorm known as the Peshtigo Fire ravaged the area between Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay on Oct. 8, 1871. In Williamsonville, east of Brussels, Tornado Memorial Park stands as a memorial to 60 people who were burned to death in an open field. Today, Brussels has a population of just over 1,100. Area residents have kept Belgian heritage alive by studying and speaking Walloon, the Belgian language of the original settlers, and celebrating the harvest with the traditional Kermiss festival, held on the first Sunday of September.  Learn more at

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Did you know?

Celebrate Belgian heritage in Brussels, which remains home to one of the largest populations of Belgian Americans in the country!

Captured in Brussels

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