Traveling the roads in Door and Kewaunee counties

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | June 22, 2015

Do you have a bathtub shrine? You know the ones: a cast iron tub set on end and half buried in the ground, with a religious statue — usually of Mary — inside.

I don’t have a bathtub shrine, but I do have both a statue of St. Joseph and of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my backyard.

St. Ghiselane Chapel in Misere, located in St. Michael Cemetery. Patricia Kasten | The Compass
St. Ghiselane Chapel in Misere, located in St. Michael Cemetery. Patricia Kasten | The Compass

In the Foundations of Faith feature for June 19 (http://bit.ly/1FwsYsb), I wrote about wayside and roadside shrines around the world. These include bathtub shrines, as well as roadside chapels in Door County. These little chapels, sometimes compared in shape to toolsheds and (yes, I blush to say it) like outhouses, dot the landscape of the Door Peninsula thanks to families of Belgian descent.

After the article appeared, I took a trip around Kewaunee County and lower Door County, where I located nine of these little wayside shrines. From St. Odile Chapel in Thiry Daems with its little stained glass window over the doorway, to the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel in Tonet with its little blue cross above the door, to the St. Ghiselane Chapel in Misere which stands exactly where the St. Michael Church stood until the mid-1970s, each chapel has its rustic charm. Some have candles you can light, though I think their small size – most are about 8 x 10 feet — might pose a fire risk. Others have holy water fonts. Many have guest books; I signed in right below a lady from England who was also there this month. Most of the local people will notice you around, should you have any questions: the tavern across the street or the pickup truck that slows down as it passes you, or the farmer who mows the grass in the cemetery where a chapel sits, all are willing to share some local stories.

If you are out and about this summer, here is a link to a map showing the locations of some of these Door County treasures: walloonbelgiansdoorpeninsula.weebly.com/chapels-map.html

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