“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pewaukee in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Pewaukee Village

Incorporated 1876


—PE-WAUK-EE-WEE-NING, “meaning Lake of Shells” —

Pewaukee Village Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Paul Fehrenbach, July 12, 2011
1. Pewaukee Village Marker
Inscription. Site of Potowatomi village. Vermonter Asa Clark arrived in 1836 and acquired most of the land around the northeast shore of the lake. He built a dam in 1839, also a sawmill and grist mill. The population increased as Yankee settlers arrived. Early businesses included wagon making, barrel making, a dry goods store, a blacksmith, tannery, and pump factory. Both church & school met in Clark’s parlor. The Watertown Plank Road came in 1850, and the railroad in 1854. Improved transportation gave rise to the ice industry in the 1880’s. Breweries and meat packers shipped rail cars of their products to distant markets using Pewaukee Lake ice. Following the Civil War Pewaukee became a summer resort area. Several large hotels were built, including the 110 room Oakton Springs, later destroyed by fire. Today Pewaukee is a friendly village of homes, churches, and small businesses, close to large cities, but retaining small town charm.
Erected 2003 by Waukesha County HIstorical Society, Funded by PAHS. (Marker Number 26-02.)
Location. 43° 5.107′ N, 88° 15.926′ W. Marker is in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker is on Wisconsin Avenue 0.2 miles south of High Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map
Pewaukee Village Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Paul Fehrenbach, July 12, 2011
2. Pewaukee Village Marker
Beachhouse from across the street. Pewaukee Lake is in background.
. Marker is located on the Pewaukee Beach Changing House. Marker is in this post office area: Pewaukee WI 53072, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Clark House Museum (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hon. Thomas Weaver Home (approx. 2.8 miles away); Waukesha Beach Amusement Park (approx. 2.8 miles away); Halquist Quarry (approx. 3.1 miles away); Lisbon Plank School (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sussex Mills and Bug Line RR (approx. 3.9 miles away); First Woman in Town of Lisbon (approx. 4 miles away); St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (approx. 4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pewaukee.
Also see . . .  Pewaukee Area Historical Society. (Submitted on July 14, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.)
Additional comments.
1. Pewaukee Additional History
Pewaukee, called pee-wauk-kee-win-ick by the Pottawatomi and Menomonee, was home to many different tribes of Native Americans.

Many came to fish and hunt and moved on, but many also stayed and raised crops and made encampments here.

The first white man to visit the area was Samuel Starrow in 1817. He traded with the Native Americans for
Lakefront Beach House Dedication Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Paul Fehrenbach, July 12, 2011
3. Lakefront Beach House Dedication Plaque
furs and hides.

In 1836 a Vermonter, Deacon Asa Clark, and a neighbor, Mr. Cheney, decided to look for opportunities on the western frontier. They came by horse to Milwaukee where Asa purchased land on Snail Lake (Pewaukee Lake) to build a sawmill, gristmill, and dam. Deacon Clark then returned to Vermont to sell his farm.

On April 18, 1837, his son Timothy Clark and three other young men came to the site in Wisconsin his father had chosen. They came by stagecoach, runners, train, canal boat, steamer, and schooner, to reach Milwaukee and then by horseback to reach the land site. Asa had paid $80 for a jack-knife claim. In late August, Deacon Clark and his family came.

The first school was held in 1840 in Asa Clark's home. The Watertown Plank Road was built in 1850 allowing products and passengers to travel more comfortably between Milwaukee and Watertown with a stop in Pewaukee. Tolls were charged at 10-mile intervals except for those going to church, a funeral, or required court appearance or military duty.

Churches began forming in the 1840s with the Congregational Church being the first. Later came the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Episcopal church.

After the Civil War, the Summer Resort Era began in Pewaukee. Two famous resorts in Pewaukee were Oakton Springs and Heath's among
Pewaukee Village Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Paul Fehrenbach, July 12, 2011
4. Pewaukee Village Marker
Beachhouse with Pewaukee Lake in background.
many more. The owner of Oakton, Col. Iglehart, chartered a special train from Oconomowoc to transport the Lady of the Lake, a side-wheel steamer which held 150 passengers, to Pewaukee Lake for the many resort tourists. Summer homes or cottages sprang up quickly on the lake for city dwellers that wanted to spend some time away for relaxation.

The ice industry was a huge part of Pewaukee history. There was a natural millpond where the ice could be cut. In 1854, the ice could be shipped by train. By 1876 ice was shipped to breweries in Milwaukee and meat packing houses in Chicago.

Today, Pewaukee is a friendly village of homes, churches, and small businesses, close to large cities, but retaining small town charm.
    — Submitted April 12, 2013, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 711 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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