Fredonia


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The Town of Fredonia is located in the northwestern corner of OZAUKEE COUNTY. The Town of Fredonia was created out a portion of the Town of Port Washington in 1847.[1] The Town contains the Village of Fredonia and the unincorporated communities of Waubeka and Little Kohler.

The Town of Fredonia was settled by GERMAN and LUXEMBOURGER immigrants in the 1840s. These early immigrants came to establish farms; agriculture continues to dominate the area.[2] The Town of Fredonia’s population in 1860 was 1,785 and reached a low of 1,149 in 1930.[3] In 2010 the Town’s population stood at 2,172.[4]

Waubeka was the first community to develop in the Town of Fredonia. The community is noted for being the birthplace of Flag Day. At Stony Hill School in 1885 teacher Bernard Cigrand instructed his students to write an essay on the meaning of the American flag. Cigrand went on to become the most notable proponent for the establishment of a national holiday celebrating the American flag.[5] Waubeka is home to the National Flag Day Foundation and the Americanism Center Museum, which celebrates the history of American patriotism and the American flag.[6]

The first building in what would become the Village of Fredonia, Fredonia Station, was built in 1873 by the Milwaukee and Northern Railway Company (later part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railway) to service the rail line built through the Town.[7] The placement of the rail line shifted urban development from Waubeka to the area surrounding the railroad depot. The Village of Fredonia was incorporated in 1922 with a population of 272.[8] In 2010 the Village had a population of 2,160.[9]

The unincorporated community of Little Kohler was the site of a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. German POWs harvested produce for local farmers and worked in canning plants throughout the region. The labor camp operated from June 1945 until January of 1946.[10]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ Fredonia Centennial Committee. Fredonia, 1874-1974 (Fredonia, WI: Fredonia Centennial Committee, 1974), 15.
  2. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Land Use Plan for Town of Fredonia: 2010 (Waukesha, WI: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, 1999), 3.
  3. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. A Land Use Plan for Town of Fredonia, 18.
  4. ^ American Fact Finder. “Town of Fredonia Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010,” accessed August 13 2012, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table.
  5. ^ The National Flag Day Foundation, “Bernard J. CiGrand,” accessed August 13 2012.
  6. ^ The National Flag Day Foundation, “The Americanism Center Museum,” accessed August 13 2012.
  7. ^ Fredonia Centennial Committee, Fredonia, 17.
  8. ^ Fredonia Centennial Committee, Fredonia, 23.
  9. ^ American Fact Finder. “Village of Fredonia Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010,” accessed August 13 2012, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table.
  10. ^ Betty Cowley, Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WW II Prisoner-of-War Camps, (Oregon, WI: Badger Books, 2002), 120-125.

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