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.
Many people have asked why the Village of Bay View merged in the City of Milwaukee. By 1886, there was quite a large population in the Village, and they all had outhouses. They would pay people called "scavengers" to empty their latrines. When the population of any location exceeds the safety element of outhouse use, then cholera and typhoid epidemics could develop in the Village. The Village had no indoor plumbing, no electricity (only gas lighting), gas street lights, and no sewers. An attempt was made to make the Iron Well as the main supply of water for the Village. The state government in Madison, Wisconsin stated that the iron Well was insufficient to use as a Village water supply. With people living near E. Lincoln Ave. looking north could see electric light posts, homes with electricity and indoor plumbing with sewers. Many people were jealous of this.
We are about to have Easter Vacation this year. Did you prepare everything for Easter? Did you go to church for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday? This is a good time for the family to get together and have some fun. Some people will travel this week. Some will take their children to Betty Brinn or to the Milwaukee County Museum. Some will go to a park and enjoy the scenery. Spring cleaning is also due now. That involves labor, and is not always fun. I hope that everyone has a wonderful spring break -- Easter vacation.
With our teachers being pushed so hard due to current conditions, they could use our help. If you could consider volunteering at your children's school or joining a PTA, your children will always remember this. You will be taking part in their education process. They will love the fact that you care enough for them that you are becoming involved in their education process. Teachers and school staff appreciate it when parents come to help and volunteer. Please consider going to your children's school and offer to help them in any way that you can. This will be appreciated.
When spring finally arrives, it will wonderful to be outdoors again. You will be able to walk through any of our parks. Softball and tennis will become active again. Basketball and volleyball will also become active outdoors again. You may want to plant a small garden at your home. Either plants of food or flowers to enjoy will be ideal for you. My dad used to build a small flower box in the yard and cover it with a storm window to keep the plants warm and allow for plenty of sun. When it got warm outside again, he would transplant these plants to our garden to get an early start. My dad had a green thumb and knew how to work with plants and keep them alive with vigor. Very few of his plants died. Many memories of the past still come to me, even though my dad died in 1962. He was 52 years old when he passed away.
When I got into Bay View High School, I joined the Projection Crew, the group that showed all of the movies inside of school. One day, a student thought he was funny and started the auditorium stage on fire, and burned most of the props needed for class plays and operetas. When we showed movies on the damaged auditorium stage, we had to put up an old grandfather type screen for movies to be seen on. The "Castle on the Hill", Bay View High School has a concrete shell and thus prevents any major fire from doing too much damage. When we went up into the Spot Room (where the movie projector and spot lights were in place), it was more difficult to aim the movie unto a smaller screen. Our class play and opereta had to be moved to Pulaski High School due to the damage on our stage. All new scenery had to be created for the play. The actors had to get used to a new stage that was different from their own stage. It took a lot of intense labor to put together our class play that year. It was a success.