The Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin has had a colorful history including several different names such as Mechanicsville, Cementville, and East Milwaukee. In 1900, the area was incorporated as East Milwaukee and was officially named Shorewood in 1917. Here are some interesting facts about the history of our wonderful Village.
European Pere Jacques Marquette and his companions first saw the present site of Shorewood. They were traveling along the Milwaukee River and passed the bluffs of the area on November 23, 1674, according to the trip's diary. After the United States government purchased the area from the Menominee Indians, the arrival of settlers was not far behind.
In 1834, Dr. Amasa Bigelow built a mill on the east bank of the Milwaukee River. This was the first industrial enterprise in the area. Daniel Bigelow took out a claim and planned the first settlement in the area. Platted March 15, 1836, Mechanicsville had a river, a dam and two sawmills.
In 1841, Thomas Bare purchased 90 acres of land just east of the Milwaukee River and north of Capital Drive. He became the area's first permanent settler and the Fox 6 tower currently occupies the area purchased.
In 1872, Lueddemann's on the River opened. The resort was a popular attraction for many years with a few name changes - Zweitusch's Mineral Springs Park, Coney Island, Wonderland, and finally Ravenna. The era of the resort-amusement park ended in 1916, but Hubbard Park still remains a place of relaxation and entertainment for visitors and villagers.
In 1875, a discovery that ground limestone could be used as natural cement illustrated the area's new name - Cementville, as the Milwaukee Cement Company opened a plant on what is now Wilson Drive.
On March 14, 1900 a petition was filed in the circuit court of Milwaukee for the incorporation of the Village of East Milwaukee. In a conserted effort by residents, the village's name was officially changed from to Shorewood in 1917.
Historical information as found in Images of America - Shorewood, Wisconsin provided by the Shorewood Historical Society www.shorewoodhistory.org.