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Bay View, Milwaukee facts for kids

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Bay View Historic District
Beulah Brinton House.jpg
Home of Beulah Brinton, an early community figure
Location Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Built 1867
Architect multiple
Architectural style Bungalow/Craftsman, Late Victorian
NRHP reference No. 82000686
Added to NRHP August 23, 1982

Bay View is a neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, on the shores of Lake Michigan, south of the downtown area and north of the City of St. Francis. Bay View existed as an independent village for seven years, from 1879 to 1886.

Historic settlement

The original Village of Bay View is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Bay View Historic District. According to the designation, it is bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, and roughly from Meredith Street to Superior, up to Nock Street and then from Wentworth Avenue to Pryor Avenue.

The first permanent European settlement of the Bay View area was in 1834; Horace Chase, future Milwaukee mayor, is credited as the first permanent settler. In 1855, the Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago Rail Road established its first Milwaukee-area depot in Bay View. The community was named for their scenic views upon the lake.

A company town

In 1868, the Milwaukee Iron Company opened a plant in the area, and Bay View was established as a company town. By 1879, Bay View had a population of 2,592, and incorporated as a village, on approx 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2). of land.

The rolling mills at bay view milwaukee 1882
The rolling mills at Bay View in 1882

By 1886, Bay View had become a center of workers' rights activism, the culmination of which was the Bay View Massacre.

Milwaukee neighborhood

In 1887, the village's approximately 4,000 residents voted overwhelmingly to be annexed to the city of Milwaukee, becoming the city's 17th ward and ending the community's independent status. Bay View was annexed because of the "Fernwood Model," where the neighborhood received many incentives from the city of Milwaukee such as sewers, sidewalks, street lights, and other public necessities. The residents of Bay View saw the annexation of Milwaukee as a way to improve their lives and community. Thenceforth, the village has been a Milwaukee neighborhood.

Although the neighborhood boundaries of Bay View have grown over the years as more and more people identify with it, the specific boundaries given by the Milwaukee Neighborhood Identification Project are: along the border of Lake Michigan, south of Jones Island, from Lincoln Avenue to the north and Howell Avenue to the west, south to Morgan Avenue. Many residents consider both Fernwood and portions of Tippecanoe neighborhoods as parts of Bay View. Some sources list the southern boundary as Howard Avenue. The Bay View Historical Society includes the areas as far west as 6th Street, and north to Becher Street; although they admit that this is debated: "One thing most Bay Viewites will agree upon is that Bay View is not necessarily defined by precise boundaries; it is more a state of mind influenced by both Lake Michigan ("the lake") and a long history of a strong sense of community."


Within Bay View’s borders is South Shore Park, part of the Milwaukee County Park System. South Shore Park features the Oak Leaf Trail, a softball diamond, horseshoe and volleyball courts, and a pavilion overlooking the swimming beach and the marina at the South Shore Yacht Club.

Humboldt Park, one of the first parks in the city, opened in 1891 and features fishing, softball, tennis, a band shell, and ice skating and hockey on the lagoons during Winter. Humboldt park also hosts a music series in the summer called Chill on the Hill on Tuesday nights.

The Beulah Brinton Community Center offers a variety of youth, adult, and senior activities including volleyball, aerobics, yoga, toddler play groups, and senior lunch programs.

Bay View has a history of local art which has blossomed with what many consider a renaissance of the community. Venues such as The Alchemist Theatre feature a variety of live, stage performances as well as a rotating selection of paintings and photography.

Community organizations

Some of Bay View's community organizations include the Bay View Lions Club, the Bay View Historical Society, Bay View Neighborhood Association, Bay View Garden and Yard Society, Bay View Social, Bay View Arts Guild and Humboldt Park Watch.

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