Port Washington, Wisconsin
Port Washington sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is home to some 12,700 plus residents. This picturesque town is the county seat of Ozaukee County and is a short 25 mile drive to Milwaukee. The city got its name for its natural port and in honor of the nation's first president George Washington.
But, the name "Port Washington" wasn't the automatic choice from the start. Over the years the name of the town has transformed from Wisconsin City, to Washington, to Sauk Washington sometime around 1843 (Which was originally inhabited by the Native American Sauk Tribe).Port Washington Township was founded in 1846 and at one time included the surrounding areas that now make up Fredonia, Belgium, and Saukville.The City of Port Washington came to being in 1882. By then, the name Port Washington was the name that became this great little city on the Lake Michigan shores.
Besides the City's iconic lake front, a long standing Port Washington Landmark is St. Mary's Catholic Church which is visible from just about anywhere in the city. The church began construction with the laying of the cornerstone in September of 1882.Work began in April of the following year and the church was completed in the fall of 1884 at a cost of around $34,000. That would be around $885,000 today.The dedication of the new church and iconic Port Washington landmark was October 11, 1884.At a cost of $600, the clock tower was ordered from the Ansonia Clock Company of Brooklyn, New York, which, by the way in 2015 dollars would be around $15,569.70. In 1977, St. Mary's Catholic Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Port Washington and its harbor is the natural landmark that was the first of its kind and dredged in 1867.The beautiful Port Washington Harbor and Marina gives the city its signature look. In 1935 and throughout the years it has been modernized to meet the changing demands and is one of the finest boating facilities on the Great Lakes.
At one time, Port Washington was the home of Gilson Manufacturing Company with the manufacturing of tractors and lawn mowers in 1894. They were later bought by lawn Boy in 1988.William J Niederkorn started building riding garden tractors under the Simplicity name in 1939. The business was founded in 1922.In 1965, it was sold to Allis-Chalmers only to have Simplicity's management buying the company back in 1983.In 1997 the company celebrated its 75th anniversary.In 1989, it purchased the Middlesworth Company of Greentown, Indiana who manufactured zero-turn mowers. In 2000, Simplicity purchased Ferris Industries and Giant-Vac, Snapper Mowers in 2002 before Simplicity was bought out by Briggs & Stratton in 2002. A storied history which was just a part of the historical make-up of Port Washington, Wisconsin.
The other historical make-up of this grand city actually has ties with Grafton with the opening of the Wisconsin Chair Company in September of 1888. The Wisconsin Chair Factory, a manufacturer of furniture, decided that they would get into the record business thinking that the record business would be a nice addition to their product line that consisted of phonograph cabinets. Thus Paramount Records was born.Towards the end of 1929, Grafton was the home of its first recording studio which produced some 1600 recordings.If flourished for about 2 and a half years before ceasing operations in 1932.Paramount closed down in 1935. It has a rich history of many jazz and blues recordings and in 1948 the Wisconsin Chair Company bought the remains of what was Paramount Records and revived some of its historical recordings through a re-release in 1952.
Port Washington, along with its rich history, has one of the largest collections of pre-civil war buildings in the state. The Pebble House is one of them and serves as the cities visitor center.The Historic Court house is another which was built in 1854.In addition to Port Washington's rich history, it also has a rich, inspiring landscape that is attributed to the beauty of Lake Michigan that is visible as you approach the downtown area from Grand Avenue and get a peek of this City's overall beauty. You'll find that the median home price in Port Washington is roughly $162,700 with a range of properties priced under and properties with Lake Frontage that could top out at over 1 million depending on the location and amenities.
The median age is just under 40 years in Port Washington. In all, there is a quality of life one can expect in this grand city that is a short drive down Grand Avenue to its downtown shopping district and beautiful lakefront marina.
School District:Port Washington
Dunwiddie Elementary School:Public DistrictK5 – 4
Lincoln Elementary School:Public District K5 – 4
Saukville Elementary School: Public DistrictK5 -4
Thomas Jefferson Middle School:Public District5 – 8
Port Washington High School:Public District 9 - 12
Port Catholic Elementary School:K3 – 4 (446 N. Johnson St)
Port Catholic School (Middle Grades)5 – 8 (1802 N. Wisconsin St)
Ozaukee Christian School:K – 8 (341 S. Dries St., Saukville)