One can take a drive trough the City of Oconomowoc, located in Western Waukesha County and be amazed how beautiful homes sit on Pristine Lakes, and the Lakes surround this beautiful City. Full and History, and loaded with charm, Oconomowoc is truly a magnificent City to visit, and to work and live in.
The poineering and developing of Oconomowoc began in 1837 when the first white man, Charles Sheldon, came to this area to build his log cabin. He found that the Potowatomi Indians had already laid the foundation of what they called Coo-No-Mo-Wauk (where the waters meet, or river of lakes) which in time would become Oconomowoc.
As the town grew and word of its beauty and natural wealth spread, tradesmen began to arrive. One such early settler was a young man named John S. Rockwell. He built his griss mill, owned the first store and hotel, and enoted sites to all the churches. He started the fire department, the library, the elementary school, and more.
Fueled by its growing reputation, oconomowoc entered a new era marked by the title "Newport of the West." This started in 1870 and continued into the 1930s. Lured by Oconomowoc's great beauty, families of wealth from Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee crowded its Lake shores with palatial country mansions and lavished landscapes. At one time, Lake Road was referred to as "Presidents Avenue since Taft, Grant, Cleveland, Coolidge,McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt had visited and enjoyed Draper Hall and the hospitality of its wealthy residents.
Todays the summer mansions are year round homes, and the largely intact, late 19th century downtown and many stately historic houses are reminders of those years. Historic walking tours are available.
This truly is a very beautiful city, and can be enjoyed by all.
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