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Support Bay View

John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.

October is Polish American Heritage Month

A National Celebration of Polish History, Culture, and Pride in Cooperation with the Polish American Congress and Polonia across America.

The theme of this year's celebration is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Polish settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, on October 1, 1608.  Polish Americans can be proud  that Poles have been a part of the history of this nation, all the way from the beginning. The first British settlers had arrived in Jamestown in 1607 and a year later the best craftsmen from across Europe were invited by the British to come and work in the colony. Poles were well known for their skills, such as glass-blowing, candle-making, soap-making, and tanning, and that's what they were asked to do in Jamestown. The very first goods exported from America were glass products handcrafted by Polish workers!

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Please save our fire departments

 In this day of budget cuts, many politicians want to eliminate fire department positions. Do you realize that the firemen are our first line of defense in any disaster, accident, fire or other emergency conditions. These firemen are a team. They are like family to each other. Their leaders are like mother hens keeping track of every fireman at a disaster scene, making sure that none are in harm's way. These firemen serve in conditions that could kill them at any time. The  fire department has every fireman trained as an emergency medical technician to help save people lives. They work with great dignity in any emergency. What good does it do to have one fireman in one truck to fight a fire?  It takes a team effort to accomplish this. How many times have they come to accident scenes, pulled people from burning or crushed cars, provided emergency medical assistance as needed all with great dignity. Do the politicians want the Keystone Cops, or men who serve with great kindness to their fellow citizens?  We need a full fire department to protect us in time of need. These firemen are professionals who are not afraid of danger. Please keep our fire departments intact and honor these people who save our lives. There is no insult to women firemen. It is just easier to name the job rather than the gender of these people. If you would have an accident or a heart attack, who would you call first: a politician or a fireman?  You know what the answer is. The more firemen that we have, then the more lives saved in our area. Please call your local politicians and support the fire department in their request to keep their units intact. Some day they may save your life.

Lost in time

 Did you ever drive by a cemetery and wonder who is all buried there?  Many times in the past, I have visited some cemeteries in various locations in our state. There are sections for children who died while very young. There are sections for rich and famous people with large grave stones. There are graves of people who have served their country in war and peace, and many who died in action while we were at war. There are people from all walks of life, both rich and poor, in the same cemetery. Many times this is a way to study our ancesters. Many relatives that we have known and have not known are buried here. We all know that one day we will end up in a place like this. Many cemeteries were used as picnic parks in the past. Forest Home Cemetery, at S. 27th St. and W. Forest Home Ave. is one of these. In fact it was an Indian burial ground with effigy mounds at one time. Many cemeteries were once farm land. Potter's Field was located at the County Institutions grounds in Wauwatosa in the past. In some of the old places, we can find pioneers who founded our area. On the Major Seminary grounds in St. Francis are buried the early clergy, brothers, sisters who built the Milwaukee Archdiocese. In the old Protestant Cemetery located on E. Norwich (E. Thompson) and S. Barland Ave., pioneers from the Town of Lake, the Village of Bay View and the City of Cudahy are buried. Many pioneers and famous people are buried in Forest Home Cemetery ( once part of the Town of Lake ). Old cemeteries that were eliminated had their remains moved there. At least we know that these people are at peace and lay in a serene location. Someday in your quest for knowledge, visit a cemetery with respect and dignity and study the tombstones. You might enjoy doing this study.

October 14, 2008, Humboldt Park Watch Meeting

On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, the Humboldt Park Watch will be having their regular meeting at the Humboldt Park Pavilion, starting at 7 PM. All interested people are invited to attend this meeting. There will be a report on the tree day event of  October 7, 2008. There also will be other reports for the good of the organization. Call Ruth Simos, at 414-483-9330, if you have any questions concerning the Humboldt Park Watch. Everybody is welcome to come to the meeting. This will be a chance for to express your concerns about Humboldt Park. There is a need for more members for the group. Come and give your opinion on what is happening around us.

Parents are a very important part of their child's education process.

In our schools administration programs, there is always room for the input of parents to guide the schools in their daily operations. Most parents take their child's education for granted. They should know that MPS invites parents to become part of the planning programs of the schools. PTA is one way of doing this process. Scouting is another way of being involved. When the school administartors get together on long range planning sessions, parents are allowed to get their input at these meetings. The only things discussed behind closed doors, are personnel issues that have limited responses from school administrators. All of the other meetings are done out in the open for all people to be able to listen to and give opinions on. Most meetings take place at the Milwaukee Public School Administration building in the auditorium. These meetings are broadcast on WYMS at 88.9 on the FM radio dial. The monthly board meetings are also broadcast on Warner Cable Channel 14 in the City of Milwaukee. Become involved in your child's education and become aware of things happening down at MPS. Remember, you can add your input at the meetings if you  desire to do so. The more input you have in these matters, the better the education process for your child in their schools. Contact your local school board representative and find out the schedule of these school board meetings. Contact your school principal to find out about meetings at your child's school. Please consider taking the time to learn of these meetings and participate in them if possible. Your child will benefit from this in their future. Be a leader and show us the way to do things.

History of the Bay View Village Hall

When Bay View was incorporated as a village in 1879, they used the old Red Brick School as a Village Hall, Grade School, High School, College and as a Jail. The old Village Hall was originally the Town Hall of Town of Lake. The Red Brick School was located on Niagara ( Potter Ave. now) and Michigan (Bishop--now Wentworth Ave.). The decision was made to build a new village hall in 1885.

Land for the new village hall was in Block 4 -- Mann's Subdivison. The land was a triangular piece of land bounded by Kinninkinnic, Pryor and Clement Ave. It was offered by Charles Mann, the owner for the purpose of building a villlage hall. The Village Board accepted his offer and asked for bids to build it and received many. Anton Stollenwerk, owner of Stollenwerk Company, submitted the lowest bid, $ 3,744.00, and got the job. Construction was completed and the building occupied on January 8, 1886. The lower level was used as a jail and the upper level as village offices. After annexation to the City of Milwaukee on March 3, 1887, James Carrol occupied the Village Hall until April 1, 1888, without rent, on condition that he would take proper care of the building. Shortly thereafter, Jacob Bullock petitioned for a better us of the building and as a result the old village library was moved inside. Soon the building was sold to a grocer, who moved it to the southeast corner of E. Russell Ave. and S. Logan Ave., near the turn of the century. It stood ther until 1937. It was used as a men's club and in its last occupancy was used as a private home. It later stood empty until it was razed. Electric lights were never installed as long as this building existed.

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Bay View--The forgotten area of Milwaukee

 It seems to me that Milwaukee hates to admit that Bay View exists. While it is a part of Milwaukee, It used to be a village on its own and once was part of Town of Lake. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel always calls Bay View the south side of Milwaukee. When Bay View news happens, it seems that it is ignored by the newspaper, unless it is bad news. Bay View has a very good crime record for being part of Milwaukee. It compares to our suburbs in its statistics. Because of its low crime record, police are not seen as often as other areas of the city. When it comes to local news, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel seems to ignore the area. In their South Shore Now newspaper, it is rare to find much local news on Bay View. Bay View has a very strong historical backround. It had the first social center in the United States. It once had the largest Rolling Steel mill in the area. One of its leaders appointed Douglas MacArthur to West Point, was rolling mill attorney and village attorney at the same time, was first alderman from Bay View to Milwaukee, and was the father of Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. When Bay View joined Milwaukee, the latter gained its main industrial base. Many companies started in the Bay View area. Its diversity is greater than most parts of Milwaukee. It had a train station in 1855. It has several parks for the people to use. If the Village of Bay View could have established its own water and sewerage district, it never would have joined the City of Milwaukee. Come visit Bay View and see what we have to offer here. You will easily see that it is different from the rest of Milwaukee. It even has its own historical society which is one of the largest in the State of Wisconsin. Where else in Milwaukee can you walk on the street and still be safe most of the time. Where else do people help each other out as much as here. Please support the Bay View community.

A current look at the Humboldt Park lagoon

When we celebrated Independence Day at Humboldt Park with the 4th of July Association, I looked at the Humboldt Park lagoon. Because of the very high cattails  and other weeds and the very muddy water, you could barely see the water. If you tried to cut down the cat tails, you would get into trouble with the law.  This was a very beautiful park, until the County Pension Scandal cut some of the funding for the parks. If it was your lawn, you would get a ticket from the police department for having  weeds that are too high. The park workers do the best job that they can to maintain the park, but they are short staffed due to funding from Milwaukee County. The staff at Humboldt Park has to control 12 parks with very few available workers. Call your County Supervisors and see what they can do about this situation.                            

Supervisor Chris Larson wants to have a lagoon cattail removal (or thinning out) day scheduled for Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 10:00 AM. He, the Humboldt Park Watch, and other volunteers are invited to attend this event. The cattails in the Humboldt park lagoon are an invasive species, so the Wisconsin DNR does approve of this action. Any volunteers are requested to have hip boots due to the water where the cattails lie. These are several feet tall and block the view of the park lagoon. It will be a blessing to see them disappear  from our sight.

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How to contact Milwaukee Public Schools Administration for information

There are several web sites to reach MPS Administration for data on School Board meetings, agenda, and order of business.

Visit the Board's Web Site for Meeting Notices and Updates:

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Dog Park Inititive of Milwaukee County

There is going to be meetings on the Milwaukee County Dog Park Inititive for peope to give there input on. They are considering establishing more dog excerise facilities in the County Parks. They are having three meetings at the parks to discuss this matter. Go to web site:  for further information.

On Tuesday, October 21, 2008, there will be an informational meeting at Gordon Park Pavilion, located at 1321 E. Locust Street, held from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.

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Thank you all for a great time at the South Shore Farmers Market

On Saturday, October 18, 2008, we had the last day of the South Shore Farmers Market at South Shore Park, 2900 S. Shore Drive, for this season. Today we had the Kettle Corn Man, the Fritsche Middle School Band, children painting donated pumpkins and taking them home, and many of our vendors with their products. We had a very large crowd in attendance at the market. The Fritsche Middle School Band made some beautiful music at the market. You should thank them for being there. Where else can you take your dog along with you, while you shop for products at a market?  The people attending seemed to be very happy with what they purchased. The farmers and other vendors were pleased with the way the entire season of this farmers market went. We had excellent weather with very little rain. Lake Michigan provided us with a great view in the park. Many thanks go to all of the people involved with creating and operating this market. Most of these people are volunteers dedicated to keeping the market as a great service to the Bay View community. We must thank our vendors for providing great items to sell at the market. We had over 40 vendors at the market. Thank you all for coming to this market and making it the great success that it is. This is the best farmers market in Milwaukee. Auf Wiedersehen until  the next season of the South Shore Farmers Market. In the middle of next June, we will begin another 17 weeks of the market. We hope to see you again next year. Thank you all for a great time at the South Shore Farmers Market.

Unity Lutheran Church Senior Center is celebrating 40 years of service to the Bay View community

This month, Unity Lutheran Church Senior Center is celebrating 40 years of service to the Bay View Community. On Tuesday, October 28, they are having a Halloween Party at the senior center for members. Unity Lutheran Church is 77 years old this year. The senior center is totally church funded with a grant from Luther Manor. There is a great group of people at the  senior center. The senior center was started in September of 1968. Ceramics, crafts, educational programs, nurse visits, and day trips to various locations are part of this center's  programs. There is always a need for new members to join in the activities..All interested seniors are invited to join the center. Kaye Karcher is the current director. If you would like any more information about this senior center, please call her at 414-489-9035. Judy Wagner contacted me to inform me about this event. Her father, the late Nick Wagner, served for 65 years with the Humboldt Park 4th of July Association and almost as may years on the Milwaukee 4th of July Commission. He was instrumental in getting the flag holders for S. KK Ave. to be used for the holidays. He was also very active at the South Shore Water frolics and the Bay View Inter-Organization, which ran the frolics. His service to the Bay View community is well established. Judy Wagner, herself, is on the Milwaukee 4th of July Commission. Nick Wagner was honored on a special plaque at Humboldt Park for many of the things that he did. His outstanding work should be honored by a greater plaque than the small one inside of the park pavilion. Both father and daughter have served the Bay View community for many years. This church has done a lot for the Bay View community. The address of the church senior center is 1025 E. Oklahoma Avenue in Bay View.

How the old houses were built in Bay View

 When they built the old houses of over 100 years ago, you would swear that the builders had neither a ruler or a square for measurements. You can't find a square corner anywhere in the house. When you install new floor tile or a new rug you have to cut and paste to get your balanced floor covered. These old houses had gas lights and kerosene lamps for lighting up the house. They had coal furnaces and coal kitchen stoves to heat the house and to cook with. Summer kitchens were built to keep the heat out of the house. There were no screens on the house. If you wanted fresh air, you had to open the window. In winter you would use the ashes and clinkers to place on the ice on your sidewalk if you had one. Other times of the year they were put out with the trash. Outhouses and chamber pots were used in those days. One of the jobs of the children was to empty the chamber pots each day into the outhouse. If you were lucky, your well pump was inside of the kitchen, otherwise you would have to go outside to bring in water. Parlor doors were sometimes placed inside of the walls to hide them. Hidden rooms were sometimes built into the house to hide valuables. There was no electricity in those days nor any automobiles. If you had to go somewhere, you either walked there or took a horse and buggy there. There were horse drawn omnibuses that operated in Bay View. The Aldrich Line and the Cream City Line were two of the bus lines in Bay View. If wanted to insulate the walls, you would place old newspapers inside of them. The basements were used to store produce. Potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas, onions and other such things were the produce involved. Homemade canned goods such as tomatoes, peaches, apples, pears, vegetables and pickles were also stored in the basement. Many homes had  live chickens running in the yards to provide a quick meal if needed. Home gardens provided many of the foods needed in the house. The barter system was more common than the cash system. If you did a job for somebody, he would pay you in his labor or personal goods rather than cash. Doctors and dentists also took payments that way. There was more food available than there was loose cash in the area. People rarely locked up their house in those days. Crime was not as bad as we have it now. Parents gave their children baths on Saturday nights in an old washtub filled with water for that purpose. The water had to be carried in buckets to the wash tub. Hot water was heated on the stove for the wash tub. Many people made their own soap from lard in those days. The jail in Bay View had very few occupants during the days of the Village of Bay View from 1879 to 1887. In fact, the old Red Brick School had a jail cell inside of the building, that was also used as the village hall. If you were naughty in school, it was possible to visit the jail cell for a short time. The teachers had rulers in their hands for naughty children.

 If you have the time, visit the local library and read about Bay View history. The Bay View Historical Society has books, pictures and archives to be looked at. Visit their web site located on the bottom of Bay View for more information. If you have time drive past some of these old houses and look at them for yourself. Be glad that you did not live in those days. Imagine, no electricity, no radio, no television, no automobiles, no buses, no bathrooms, no heat at night in the bedrooms, very few toys unless they were homemade, only homemade candy and homemade bakery, and these are only a few of things that did not exist then. Please support the Bay View community. Go to web site:   to find out any more information on the Bay View Historical Society.

New Beulah Brinton House Image Now Available

Bay View Historical Society gift shop items make thoughtful gifts for anyone on your list or yourself. Now just in time for Holiday giving, we've added a new color architectural rendering of the Beulah Brinton House to our already wonderful array of offerings.

The original watercolor was done by retired architect Grayson L. Schroeder, AIA at the request of his daughter, Donna Pogliano, a charter member of the Society. It was created to benefit the Society and raise awareness of the architectural and cultural legacy that we are so ardently striving to preserve. The gift shop has color copies suitable for framing or you can order giclee prints on watercolor paper for an additional charge.

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Annual Meeting of Milwaukee County Historical Society

On Monday, November 10, 2008, the County Historical Society will be holding their Annual Meeting  at 7 PM in the South Shore Park Pavilion, 2900 S. Shore Drive in Bay View.

The agenda for the evening will include election of Directors to filled expired terms on the Board, reports by the  officers and staff on Society activities during the past year, and presentation of Milwaukee County Landmark designations for the Little Red Store in Wauwatosa, South Shore Park Pavilion in Bay View, and the Shorewood Department of Public Works Administration Building.

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