Greilickville, Leelanau and the Bohemian Exodus

Greilickville MarkerThe Leelanau Enterprise has a cool article about the impact of the “Bohemian Exodus”, a migration of pioneers escaping troubles in central Europe during the 19th century. The migration had a big impact on Leelanau County and Traverse City, even to the point of causing a Leelanau village to be renamed:

“Godfrey Greilick was the patriarch of the pioneer family that contributed so much to the development of the local area,” Robert Wilson wrote in Grand Traverse Legends. “The little town of Norrisville was renamed Greilickville in honor of Godrey Greilick. Each of the six Greilick children made significant contributions to the community helping to establish a legacy for the Greilick name.”

Godfrey, according to Wilson, was “a well known architect and building contractor in Kratzau, Bohemia.” Godfrey, who was “born in about 1810,” and his wife Theresa, left Europe with the family in 1847, arriving in New York on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, a son, Ferdinand, died during the voyage and was buried at sea.

Also see our Leelanau on Location article about Greilickville!