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.
I can remember two times when S. Kinnickinnic Ave. was being rebuilt. One time in the 1950's, and one time in a more recent time. They had the "KK Pow Wow" the first time after the road work was complete. The next time they really opened up the base of the street and removed railroad ties and tracks from the street. It was amazing to see these railroad ties and tracks. I always thought that only streetcar tracks were there. Here was a chance to see real history in action. You see, there used to be an interurban train that ran on these tracks many years ago. Any time that they dig in unusual parts of the land or roadway, you get to see the land as it existed many years ago. Now, all of the streetcars and interurbans are gone. The last interurban train we had was the old "North Shore Line" which ran near S. 6th St. and went Downtown. Went it left Milwaukee, it went down to Chicago. On its way it stopped at the Great Lake Naval Base/North Chicago and allowed sailors to travel in either direction when they were on leave. Going back to to the naval base, they had MP's on the train who hasseled the drunk sailors on the train. It was always nice when you were able to take this train back home when i was on liberty. I miss the old North Shore Line. It was always cheaper than taking the Chicago Northwestern Railroad ( which later became Amtrak ) and this line ran more often. This was years ago.