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Mukwonago History

 

 

Mukwonago Historic Preservation

In February of 2000, the Village of Mukwonago adopted a plan to create a historic district and appoint a Historic Preservation Commission to help preserve the history of our Village.  Our mission is to work with business and home owners in our community to help restore and preserve the many treasures that make this Village unique.  The Village Planning Commission now serves as the Historic Preservation Commission.

 

The Planning Commission serves property owners by safeguarding the charm and character of the Village, and enhancing our architectural history.  The Commission meets with property owners in the Design Sensitivity Areas to discuss, review and make recommendations to any exterior alterations, restorations, improvements, fencing, roofing, siding, gutters, windows, trim and painting for example.  To view the dates and times the Commission meets, as well as who is on the Commission, click here.

 

A Certificate of Appropriateness must be granted prior to the work beginning.  You may obtain the Certificate of Appropriateness here or in the Clerk's Office.  If you are uncertain that a project requires review and approval, please contact the Clerk's Office.  The Certificate of Appropriateness must be completed and submitted to the Clerk's Office no later than 10-days prior the the next Planning Commission meeting.

 

The National Trust website offers a wonderful link where colors can be sampled on different style homes.  The could be a helpful resource on what base and trim colors may look like together on an entire project.

 

 

History

“Nestled amid the glacial hills of south west Waukesha County is the semi-rural Village of Mukwonago.  One of the early settlers described it

as the most beautiful area that he had ever seen.

 

The Mukwonago River, fed by springs in the surrounding hills and the waters of Spirit Lake, would provide ample water for a flour and a saw mill.  The countryside, a mixture of forest and prairie, would provide an abundance of food and lumber for a growing community.

 

Formerly the site of the Bear Clan of the Potowatomi Indians, Mukwonago was the first platted village of what is now Waukesha County.  The first brick house in the County (built from brick locally made) is now the home of the local Historical Society.  Mukwonago was the junction of roads from Platteville and Janesville to Milwaukee and Green Bay.

 

The first settlers, mostly New England Yankees, by use of brain and brawn, built a thriving community.  Many of their descendants are still living in the community.”

                                               

                                     -D. E. Wright, 1990

 

 

 

The Village of Mukwonago was first settled by the Potowatomi Indians in the 1700’s.  The term “Mukwonago” translates to “Place of the Bear.”  In spring of 1836, Sewall Andrews and Henry H. Camp built their homes just northwest of the Indian Village.  In 1836, Mukwonago’s first plat was made.  Soon afterward, more residents would begin developing homesteads and businesses in the area. The Andrew’s house still stands today and is now home to the Mukwonago Museum.

 

For the duration of the 19th century, Mukwonago grew as a farming community.  In 1885, construction of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, which runs through the Village, provided farmers with transportation and distribution of their crops.  During this period milk processing was the main economic activity.

 

In the early 1900’s, the character of Waukesha County began changing from an agricultural-only-region, to include resort and tourist activities.  Travelers from Milwaukee, Chicago, and all over the country, came to enjoy the fresh water springs located throughout the Town of Mukwonago.  The Village of Mukwonago was incorporated separate from the Town of Mukwonago in 1905. 

 

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, an influx of new homes began to encompass the Village.  Construction of Interstate-43 (the Rock Freeway) from Milwaukee passing through Mukwonago toward Beloit, aided this influx of new residents.

 

In the mid 1980’s, the Village of Mukwonago made the commitment to invest in industrial development.  The Mukwonago Industrial Park (176 acres) was established in 1986 and sold its last available lot in 1999. 

 

Today, Mukwonago receives monthly inquiries from companies looking to locate in the area.  Large commercial developments such as Pick-N-Save Grocery Store, Home Depot and Wal-Mart already anchor the north and south ends of the Village.  The reality that Mukwonago could become a regional employment and/or shopping center increases with each passing year.  The Village’s commercial Trade Area services approximately 46,000 residents, of which, more than 6,300 residents call the Village home and another 14,000 live immediately nearby in the surrounding towns (Mukwonago’s regional population is approximately 20,000).  Residential growth in the Mukwonago region is expected to increase significantly in the coming years just as in other favorable Milwaukee suburbs.

 

 

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