Milwaukee is known for a variety of culturally significant items, including college sports and beer brewing. This large and vibrant city combines the industrial with the residential and social aspects of a diverse community. One neighborhood that provides an example of the natural beauty in this city is Bay View. This area is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan, giving residents access to one of the five Great Lakes. South of the downtown core, this community includes the original Village of Bay View that has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
This was the first permanent European settlement with this area and it also was the location of the first Milwaukee depot for the Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago Rail Road. The community received its name from the scenic views of over the lake. In 1868, the village became home to the Milwaukee Iron Company. Thus, Bay View became a company town. However, this also meant that it became a center of workers’ rights. The finale of this struggle was the Bay View Massacre. On May 1, 1886, workers throughout the community joined together and began a strike that brought the city to a halt.
The only business that was still working was North Chicago Rolling Mills, located in Bay View. They met National Guardsmen at that location. When they approached the mills, the guardsmen began shooting. Seven people died that day and many other sustained injuries. Since 1986, various community groups have gathered to commemorate the lives lost on that day. There is also a State Historical Marker within view of the former mill location.
However, the neighborhood also reflects the beauty of its surroundings in parks, beaches and local parks where residents can enjoy the activities of their lakeside location. In 1887, the village chose to be annexed by the city. Part of the reason was that they received many incentives, including sewers, street lights, sidewalks and other amenities. The community has retained a strong sense of self, which is influenced by its residents and close proximity to the lake.
Within the residential area, there are plenty of recreational opportunities. One such place is South Shore Park, which features Oak Leaf Trail, horseshoe and volleyball courts, a softball diamond and even a pavilion with a marina. Oak Leaf Trail is a paved 108-mile recreational trail that encircles Milwaukee and connects all the major parks within the county park system. This was laid out back in the early part of the 20th century and grew over time.
There are also community centers with a variety of activities for residents of all ages. There are also entertainment venues, such as The Alchemist Theatre that offers residents a variety of live stage performances. The venue also has a rotating selection of paintings and photos by multiple artists.
The sense of community is also fostered by the large number of community associations and societies. This is truly an inviting community for both residents and visitors alike!