History

Cambria and Friesland are both communities that originated and grew to service their surrounding farm economies. 

Cambria began in 1844 when Welsh settlers came to the area.  Two brothers, by the name of Langdon, settled on the site of the present village.  One built a sawmill on Duck Creek; the other opened a small stock and general store.  Four blocks were surveyed and platted, and the prospective village was named Florence.  However, most folks referred to it as Langdon’s Mill.  A Mr. Bell took over the Langdon’s milling operation in 1848 and platted a large addition to the town.  He renamed the village Bellville.  In 1851 the newest owners of the mill changed the name of the town to Cambria.  In April of 1866, the Wisconsin Legislature passed an act of incorporation and Cambria was officially chartered as a village.

At about the same time, more Welsh settlers established what is now Friesland.  At its beginnings, it was platted as the Village of Randolph Center.  In its early years it did not contain enough inhabitants to elect a full set of village officers.  However, Randolph Center grew to have churches, a public schoolhouse, post office, blacksmith and wagon shop.  Between 1893 and 1910, German and Dutch settlers arrived.  The railroad came to the village about 1900 and this spurred growth.  The village was renamed in 1915 because of mail delivery problems with the nearby Village of Randolph.  Because many of the Dutch settlers came from the Province of Friesland in the Netherlands, the name Friesland was chosen.

Over the years both communities have grown.  Cambria and Friesland remain strongly tied to the agricultural economy, with both heavily involved in the vegetable canning and grain storage industries.  The communities offer modern village parks for families and local sports teams to enjoy.  Cambria features a modern swimming pool in its park.  Friesland is known for miles around for its free, outdoor band concerts every Tuesday night during the summer, featuring the Friesland Band.  Cambria and Friesland have merged their school facilities into a modern school district offering a complete K-12 public education.  Cambria and Friesland offer safe, small town living with plenty to do.

 

Chamber History

 

In early 1995 a group of businesspeople representing enterprises in Cambria, Friesland and the surrounding townships decided to explore opportunities for collective business and economic growth in this immediate market area.  After a series of meetings and group research, the group incorporated into the Cambria-Friesland Area Chamber of Commerce. 

March of 1995 marks the official incorporation of the chamber of commerce.  Twenty-eight businesses comprised the original organization.  At that initial March general membership meeting By-Laws were voted upon and approved.  The first Board of Directors was elected, consisting of:  Wayne Bachman, President; Carl Stiemsma, Vice president; Ken Merwin, Secretary; Joanne Vaughan, Treasurer; Donna White, Director; Lee Jamieson, Director; and Gena Kok, Director. 

In the years since its organization, the chamber has worked successfully to promote member businesses, and promote the communities of Cambria and Friesland, and the surrounding townships.  Over the years the chamber has organized and cooperatively participated in many events and festivals that draw visitors to the area.  The chamber also installed and maintains signs on State Highway 33 that invite travelers into the two communities.  

 

   

 

 

 

Our next chamber meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Friesland Village Hall in Friesland