FOX 47 - Road Trippin'
Cedarburg - Road Trippin'
Cedarburg- If spring fever already hit you, here's a little idea for you. We continue our travel series, Road Trippin’.
We first took you to Sheboygan's Lake Michigan playground, this week, we headed to one of the badger states many historic towns, Cedarburg.
Cedarburg is a quick two hours from Madison, an easy route for a day trip to Wisconsin’s eastern side for a taste of Americana.
The first known photograph of downtown Cedarburg, 1856 Washington Avenue shows a town in the making. Today, the main thoroughfare through downtown, although much more developed, remains the same quaint town the Irish and German settlers envisioned.
Cedarburg is home to two historic districts and 200 buildings of historic significance.
Original residents were drawn to the power behind Cedar Creek and the first grist mill opened in 1844. That same mill underwent renovations in the early 1970's and is now home to the popular tourist spot, Cedar Creek Settlement.
"Cedarburg was always a beautiful small town, but until this building was going to be torn down in the early 1970's, to make a gas station, believe it or not, but then someone bought it,” said Mary Gielow, PR Representative for Cedar Creek Settlement. “He wanted to do wine and this is the perfect place because there's a silo downstairs for winemaking."
Today, Cedar Creek Settlement is home to more than 20 shops and restaurants. You can see artists working in their shops, check out rows of storefronts and get lost in a different era.
Thousands of people flock to the settlement each year to the award-winning cedar creek winery.
"We're a unique attraction and not every place has a winery,” Steve Danner of Cedar Creek Winery said. “I think our winemakers do a fantastic job. So, it's something special to offer to people so they can take it back home and share it with their family."
You can sample one of the many wines or attend the several festivals held around the winery each year that draw thousands of people.
As it did since the town began, the old A and P store, now the General Store Museum and Visitors Center takes you back with the largest collection of antique packaging in the Midwest and a large dose of local history.
"What they like to do is browse around and most are impressed by things they haven't seen for years,” said Kristine Hage, Executive Director of the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce. “But the great thing is they can start here, they can find out what there is to see and do in Cedarburg, they can find out about the restaurants and activities. We always have a lot going on in Cedarburg."
And if you ask any local, Cedarburg was always bustling prompting the need for two inns, The Stagecoach Inn and the Washington House Inn, right across the street.
As the Washington House Inn stood in 1886, it still stands today.
"The Inn was kind of a half-way point between Milwaukee and Port Washington in the 1800's so this building operated as such until the 1920, said Wendy Porterfield, Manager, The Washington House Inn. “Then, it was store-fronts apartments, many things until it was renovated back to its original use in 1984."
The inns play a large role in maintaining the downtown experience.
"It's a very welcoming town and you can't spend five minutes here without feeling at home, and that's what our guests say that come back year-after-year that it is like almost coming home,” Porterfield said. “Everyone has a town like this in the memories of their childhood, their young lives."
Thank you to the Cedarburg Cultural Center for providing the historic photographs of the town. http://www.cedarburgculturalcenter.org
For more information on Cedarburg : http://www.cedarburg.org/Default.asp
Tuesday, November 27 2012, 04:35 PM CST
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