In 1909 Franklin Street was a dirt road with hitching posts for horses and had trolley tracks right down the center. The Interurban, begun in 1907, was a series of cars, first wooden and later steel that ran on tracks that connected the communities from Milwaukee to Sheboygan and was powered by electricity generated in Port Washington. On February 19, 1899 a fire that began in the Wisconsin Chair Company spread over six blocks of the downtown, burning many of the buildings along the east side of Franklin Street from Grand Avenue to Pier Street. This tour is a snapshot of what our community has looked like over the years and what these buildings once were.
Franklin Street 1884
There's much to see here, so take your time, look around, and learn some of our history. We hope you enjoy our tour. Please take a moment to drop us a line or visit The Port Washington Historical Society Resource Center, which you will pass as you take this tour.
The tour starts at 100 North Franklin at the Smith Brothers Building.
Numbered brass markers are located in the sidewalk bricks. Some markers refer to one building, others have multiple structures at the site.
If you choose, you can start the tour at a different marker. Using the menu at the top of this page, choose Quick Start. Select the marker you want to start with and enjoy the tour.
The Port Washington Historical Society is a Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Organization. We rely on the generious support of donors to fund not only this Tour, but the operation of the Port Washington Resouce Center, and the 1860 Light Station. If you enjoyed this Tour, please consider making a donation to the Society. All donations are tax deductable.
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