Historian Ron Winkler author of Milwaukee's Town of Lake will present a slide program on the history of the Town of Lake followed by a book signing at the Bay View Library on Monday February 24th at 6:00 p.m. The program will be repeated twice at the Tippecanoe Library on March 7th at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m.
The Town of Lake was created in 1838 as one of Milwaukee County's seven townships. Its borders were Greenfield Avenue (north), College Avenue (south), Twenty-seventh Street (west), and Lake Michigan (east). Beginning in 1850 and ending in 1954, Lake passed out of existence piecemeal as its farmland was developed. Portions were claimed by the City of Milwaukee or incorporated to become Bay View, Cudahy, and St. Francis. The St. Francis Seminary and Convent, Cupertino tree on the lakefront, Lake Band, Lake Town Hall, Airway Theater, Lakeside Power Plant, Patrick Cudahy Company, Mitchell International Airport, Forest Home Cemetery, St. Josaphat's Basilica, Nunnemacher's Distillery, Grebe's Bakery, Gardetto's Bakery, New Coeln, and the Tippecanoe neighborhood with its landmark water tower are only a small part of what made Lake a unique area of Milwaukee County.
Many of the pictures in Ron's book will bring back fond memories for anyone who grew up on the southeast side of Milwaukee. Having grown up two blocks from the Tippecanoe Library, the cover of Milwaukee's Town of Lake, reminded me of Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, and Where the Wild Things Are. Most people would see a firehouse but I see a place where my love of reading began. The Tippecanoe Library began it's existence in what was once the Town Of Lake Fire Department. That building was torn down in 1968 to make way for the building that is now Tippecanoe Library, which opened in 1969. While that building was being built, the library was relocated to the water tower in what was one of the longest periods of my young life. For those of you who remember Gardetto's Bakery and the Lake Band the way I do, join us for this trip down memory lane.