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In 1838, Timothy Wooden purchased land on the banks of the Milwaukee River and began the settlement that would become Grafton, Wisconsin. Grafton soon became an agricultural and industrial community as the rich “yellow” earth attracted settlers from Germany, Ireland, and England to raise wheat, grazing grasses, and garden crops. Those early settlers discovered vast limestone deposits throughout the region, and by 1890, there were nine kilns operated by the Milwaukee Falls Lime Company. Industries were also created along the banks of the river, and in 1902, William Roebken opened the Badger Worsted Mills, the only worsted wool mill west of Philadelphia. By the early 20th century, Grafton became a music industry center when New York Recording Studios moved into the previous Wisconsin Chair Factory building on the Milwaukee River. Blues greats from all over the country made the trip to Grafton to record their music. Today’s Grafton carries on the traditions of its founders by preserving historic buildings and creating new residential and recreational spaces for its residents. With a revitalized downtown, Grafton has become a commercial center for Ozaukee County.
ISBN: 9781467105514
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Wisconsin
Series: Images of America
Images: 181
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Debra Krueger is a 37-year Grafton resident. She is the secretary of the Grafton Historical Society and a member of the Ozaukee County Historical Society. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and in journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee. The images used in this book are from the Ozaukee County Historical Society, Cedarburg Cultural Center, and private collections of local residents.
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