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

The First 100 Years

 
 
The First 100 Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, August 12, 2015
1. The First 100 Years Marker
Inscription. From the beginning, energy played a vital role in Cedarburg's history. In the mid-1800s, the swift currents and natural falls of Cedar Creek attracted German immigrants who harnessed the energy to power their grain mills. The mills brought people and jobs to this new land, but as the century neared an end, a new technology loomed on the horizon. It was a technology that would change everyday life in Cedarburg forever.

In 1901, city fathers directed that a steam-powered electric light plant be built on this site. By 1903, it was generating nightly power for 78 customers. Daytime generation was added when local women requested power on Mondays for their new electric washing machines and on Tuesdays for electric irons. The Industrial Revolution was on a roll, and by 1910, the power plant was running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Following World War I, citizens pressed for continued modernization. They voted for a public water and sewer system and on January 21, 1923, the fire whistle blared to signal the completion of the project. In 1925, the power plant was expanded and diesel engines were installed. Further expansions occurred in the decades that followed, and by the 1960s, a portion of Cedarburg's power was purchased from outside souruces in response to soaring diesel fuel costs. In 1980, wanting to maintain
The First 100 Years Marker Location image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, August 12, 2015
2. The First 100 Years Marker Location
its energy independence and secure long-term access to low-cost power, Cedarburg joined 22 other community-owned utilities to form Wisconsin Public Power Inc. Several years later, the power plant ceased operation and in 1996, the building, which stands directly to the north, was sold to The Kubala Washatko Architects. Through careful renovation, many of the original characteristics were preserved.

Today, Cedarburg is among 2,000 communities nationwide that own and operate their own utilities.

On August 11, 2001, Cedarburg Light & Water joined the community in a celebration of the first 100 years of local utility ownership at a "Lawn Party by Electric Light" in Cedar Creek Park. Guests signed a registry, which has been sealed in a time capsule and buried on this site. As a lasting commemoration of the first 100 years of municipal utility ownership, this rest area was donated by Cedarburg Light & Water to the citizens of Cedarburg for all to enjoy.

This area is dedicated to Carl Klug and Wilmer Boerner, who died while working on the engines at the Cedarburg power plant in 1937 and 1942, respectively.
 
Erected 2002.
 
Location. 43° 17.852′ N, 87° 59.166′ W. Marker is in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Marker is on North
Cedarburg Municipal Power Plant Building image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, August 12, 2015
3. Cedarburg Municipal Power Plant Building
Mequon Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cedarburg WI 53012, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Origin of Cedar Creek / Mills on the Creek (a few steps from this marker); Cedarburg Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Interurban Bridge / Riding the Interurban (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The History of the Boerner Building (about 600 feet away); Liberty Tree Memorial (about 600 feet away); Historic Cedarburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); Washington Avenue Historic District / Historic District Architecture (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cedarburg Woolen Mill (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cedarburg.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
State Register of Historic Places Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, August 12, 2015
4. State Register of Historic Places Plaque
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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