Oconomowoc

 © Photographed November 12, 2014
Erected 1971 by Waukesha County Historical Society
Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, Wisconsin
43.112728,-88.4998

OCONOMOWOC
(Coo-No-Mo-Wauk Meant Falling Waters [sic])
First settler, Charles B. Sheldon, arrived April 21, 1837.

The Oconomowoc River flowed down through a tamarack swamp into Lac LaBelle, [sic] a dam built across it in 1837 formed Fowler's Lake. Here the town. [sic]
Oconomowoc was named in 1846; [sic] made a village in 1865, a city in 1875.

The Milwaukee-Watertown Plank Road reached here in 1850. Its tollhouse still stands. The Milwaukee and Watertown Railroad came in 1854. Pioneer John S. Rockwell led in many enterprises such as the dam, mills, hotel, bank, stores, plank road, railroad; [sic] and in religious, cultural and civic affairs. Pioneer David W. Small was Judge of the Waukesha-Milwaukee Circuit Court 1870-82. This was the home of national figures, Increase A. Lapham, scientist; [sic] and James A. Henshall, conservationist.

After 1870, it was widely acclaimed “The Newport of the West” as a summer resort center. Great estates dotted the lakeshores. Fashionable hotels included the Townsend House, Woodlands, and Draper Hall.

Its colorful summer society era has long since vanished but not its lake-land charm. This and its strong impulses in trade confirm its position as the center of the famed Oconomowoc Lakes region. 
The marker is located at Oconomowoc Memorial Park on southbound North Lake Road / Wisconsin Highway 67, about a quarter-mile north of its intersection with West Wisconsin Avenue / Wisconsin Highway 16, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066.


It was the area's abundant natural resources that attracted its first recorded settlers, members of the Potowatomi and Winnebago tribes. Deep woodlands and clear lakes provided the tribes with wild game, fish, and the raw materials to build their tools and homes. It was they who named the area "Coo-no-mo-wauk," or "Where the waters meet" . . .

by Milo M. Quaife from Wisconsin Magazine of History (1917)




Screen shot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com
East Wisconsin Avenue, Oconomowoc, Wis -- 33

 Screen shot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com
Woodlands Hotel on
LacLaBelle Oconomowoc Wis

Screen shot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com
Oconomowoc, Wis / June 9, 1914
Dear E, I am at Oconomowoc to-night. This is a picture of the summer hotel we are staying at. Am having a fun time. Met a _____ from Chicago.  From Otto. Will write when I get to Chi.
View of the back side of the marker from inside Oconomowoc Memorial Park;
the marker faces North Lake Road.

The marker is located at Oconomowoc Memorial Park,
just to the left (across the pathway) from this sign.

 The marker is located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

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