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.
The Friends of Mill Pond & Oak Creek Watercourse originated as a grass roots citizen organization with over 50 members. Our objective is the restoration and beautification of the land and water environment surrounding the South Milwaukee Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse which flows directly into Lake Michigan.
The Mill Pond was created in 1840 with the construction of a gristmill. Originally owned by the John Fowle Family, the mill's promary function was to grind corn, wheat, and barley, which provided flour throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. The mill ran successfully until 1932, when it was torn down. The original granite millstones still exist and have been placed on either side of the dam along with commemorative plaques. The WPA constructed the recreational building and replaced the original wooden dam with the existing limestone spillway dam during the 1930's.
Once a jewel of Grant Park and South Milwaukee, the Mill Pond was a picturesque recreational destination for area residents and even provided row boating until the early 1940's. Years of neglect and abuse have left the area in need of revitalization. In short, the area suffers from invasive species of plants and animals, excessive sedimentation of the pond, litter and vandalism. Currently, the group seeks support and guidance from Milwaukee County to help achieve its long-term goal to restore this community treasure.
We are dedicated to the restoration, revitalization and beautification of the historic Mill Pond/Oak Creek Watercourse and surrounding area.
Currently, the natural resources of the area have been over-run by goose droppings, trash, invasive species and vandalism. The Friends of the Mill Pond are interested in improving water quality, enhancing wildlife environment, reducing litter and vandalism, respecting the ecosystem which currently affects the watercourse.
Our efforts will result in:
* Increased recreational use of the Mill Pond and surrounding area
* Increased community awareness and respect of the historic area and its natural resources
* Contributing to the social well-being of the community and encourage sustained preservation of this area
* Creating a enhanced environmental area for community activities
* Providing a buffer for groundwater run off
* Increased social value of the site throughout the entire year
Contact: Nancy Wucherer, Chairperson (414) 571-1191
All of this information comes from the Friends of the Mill Pond & Oak Creek Watercourse, Inc.