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.
At Beulah Brinton Community Center, dance classes are available. This center is the most used center of the Milwaukee Public School Recreation Department. It is also the most successful center in the school system. Believe it or not, Beulah Brinton used her own house at 2590 S. Superior Street to start the first social center in the United States. She also taught workers how to speak English and their wives homemaking skills. Most of her cousin, Eber Brock Ward's, Bay View Rolling Mill employees came from Europe or from New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania to work on the Bessemer Steel production at the rolling mill. The signs in the rolling mill were in three basic languages, English, German and Polish. Beulah Brinton also with the help of her cousin, started the first lending library in Milwaukee. Her tennis courts were used for recreation by mill workers. When her house became too small for her classes, she moved them over to the Puddler Hall. In later years, she moved to live with her son in Chicago for a while. In 1922, she came back to her Bay View house and founded a social center in the old Bay View fire house. Although she started her work in the 1870's, she ended it with her death in 1924. The old fire house was named the Beulah Brinton Community Center in her name. After the old center was razed, a new Beulah Brinton Community Center was built at 2555 S. Bay Street to replace the old one. This community center is the only recreation center in the Milwaukee Public School system without a school inside of it. In Fall of 2007, 162 classes were offered at the center, with 12 classes canceled. 2,043 people were enrolled in these classes. In Winter of 2008, 97 classes were offered with 7 classes canceled with 1,476 people enrolled in these classes. This is a success rate of about 93%.
On Sunday, May 4, 2008, at 2 PM, the Bay View Community Center will present its awards program at the center. They will be presenting the Mary Martinetto Community Service Award, the Volunteer Service to Youth Award, the Carvell Campbell Distinquished Instructor Award and the Game Room will now be called the Mary Morris Game Room in memory of one of the greatest volunteers in Bay View, who died last year. The Beulah Brinton Community Center Advisory Council is looking for some new members to assist the center and give input on center activities. Friends of Beulah Brinton and various guest speakers will be heard. Take some time and come to this event, it is free and everyone is welcome to attend.
On Saturday, May 17, 2008, a prom will be held at the center. Remember how you felt when you and that special someone attended prom? It felt like it was just you two and nothing else mattered. Here's a chance to relive that feeling you thought was a moment in the past. The punch will be flowing and the cake delicious. Put on your formal attire and dance the night away as you enjoy prom as an adult. The fee for this event is $ 9.50 Residents, $14.25 Non-residents. The prom will run from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM. The fee is non-refundable. Please check the Spring 2008 Recreation Guide for other events at the center. There are programs for youth, teens, adults and seniors. The Senior Meal program is also available Monday thru Friday, except on holidays. It is requested that you reserve a space the day before the meal. Diane Reeve is in charge of this program for the center. Basketball, volleyball, archery, softball, exercise programs, senior programs and pre-school programs are available at the center. This is the Milwaukee Public School Recreation Department in action. Please check the web site for Beulah Brinton Community Center on Bay View Now.com for future programs. This center is frequently open 6 or 7 days a week with activities for everyone. The address of the building is 2555 S. Bay Street on the corner of E. Potter Avenue near Stempers.