New Berlin in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Near this site, 1836-’37, Waukesha County’s first dam and sawmill were built by Hugh Wedge and Isaac DeWitt. In 1840 Wedge sold out to William P. Hale, who was joined by his brother, Hiram E. Hale in 1846. Hiram bought out William in 1855, and operated his mills to the 1890’s. Four water powered saw, grist and flouring mills and 4 steam powered flouring mills operated here and spurred development of the Yanke Settlement here and nearby Prospect Hill. Hale’s Mill Pond was the place to fish, swim, hold skating parties and ice cutting bees, inspiring the area’s name of “Mill Valley.” In the 1920’s John C. Blott, a Descendant of early settlers, subdivided the Mill Pond’s shores, and renamed it Linnie Lac to honor his wife, Malinda Hotelling Blott, whose nick name was “Linnie.”
Erected 2001 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 21-06.)
Location. 42° 55.802′ N, 88° 9.061′ W. Marker is in New Berlin, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker is on West College Avenue (County Route HH) half a mile east of Racine Avenue (County Route Y), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Berlin WI 53146, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Childhood Home of Wisconsin Governor Julius P. Heil (1876-1949) (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home (approx. 0.7 miles away); Park Arthur (approx. 0.9 miles away); Freewill Baptist Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); Janesville Plank Road Tollgate (approx. 1.8 miles away); Muskego Beach Amusement Park (approx. 1.8 miles away); "Do I Smell Pizza-Burgers?" (approx. 1.8 miles away); Historic Muskego Centre Park (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Berlin.
1. More history of Linnie Lac
The site now known as Linnie Lac was first called Hale's Mill Pond for the two brothers who came here from Connecticut, William and Hiram Hale.
William came from Connecticut in 1839 and first settled in a log cabin west of Tess Corners, probably today's Muskego. He and his wife had their first child here, Eliza Jane, who became the first white child to be born in Muskego. In 1840, William and his family moved a mile south of Prospect Hill opposite Hale's Pond. The first dam and sawmill was built in 1836-37 by Hugh Wedge and Isaac DeWitt and sold to William. He purchased the water power on Section 32 in 1841 and built another dam. He then started a turning lathe
He was joined by his brother Hiram in 1846 who bought a third interest. Flouring machinery was bought and installed, and in 1848 he bought an engine which ran the mill for the next 12 years. Shortly after 1855, the property was sold to Hiram. He returned home in 1849 to marry Juliette Clark of Litchfield. Hiram built a house next to William. In 1860, improvements were made to the mill so that they could grind by steam and water. In 1861 he bought water power on the town line provided by the body of water later known as Linnie Lac and acquired land surrounding the lake in order to have enough flow for the mill.
Juliette was often sickly and died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1873. Hiram's second marriage was to Melinda Gilbert.
The pond had its own history as well. Many baptisms were done there by immersion over the years. Two people drowned and the murderer of Alexander Harris committed suicide there.
At the age of 75, Hiram drained the pond to have more fertile farmland, but Canada thistles on the bottom of the pond made that a struggle. In 1906 after his death, the pond was again filled with water and a new dam built. John Blott subdivided the shores in the 1920s. Linnie Lac was named after Malinda Hotelling Blott whose nickname was Linnie. She was the wife of John Blott, a descendant of early settlers.
— Submitted November 8, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,129 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.