Kewaskum's Main Street
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A Walk Down Main Street of Historic Kewaskum

Welcome to Kewaskum, the small town in Washington County known as the gateway to the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine Forest. Recognized for its natural beauty, thriving agricultural community, and quaint atmosphere, Kewaskum is an irreplaceable piece of Washington County. 

Over a century ago, settlers would visit the town of Kewaskum to sell farming products, purchase supplies, and visit the hotels and taverns. The center of their journey was Kewaskum’s Main Street. What must it have been like, strolling down the sidewalks on your way to the market? Or driving in an automobile on your way to church? Even taking the buggy to the general store for grain? 

Through a collection of historic photos, join me in remembering Kewaskum’s Main Street as it was in the early 1900s. 

Kewaskum’s historic main street in Washington County, Wisconsin
This early photo conveys the developing community of Kewaskum. Automobiles are parked along the street beside rows of businesses. Electricity lines run overhead. Already, modern conveniences had reached the town. In the distance, you can see two church steeples.
Kewaskum’s Main Street in Washington County, Wisconsin
American flags adorn Main Street as spectators wait along the side, casually watching the many horse-drawn buggies and automobiles as they drive up and down the road.
Kewaskum’s churches in Washington County, Wisconsin
Here’s a heightened view of Kewaskum in 1907. It’s nearly impossible to miss the church, whose steeple dwarfs even the tallest house. But if you look closely, there’s a second church to the right, in the process of being built. In the early 1900s, Kewaskum had Lutheran, Catholic, and Evangelical churches.
North side of east main street in Kewaskum, Washington County, Wisconsin
This photo features the central business district of Kewaskum in 1908. Take a look at the sidewalk – you’ll notice the hitching posts that were meant for horse-and-buggies.
Businesses on Kewaskum’s Main Street in Washington County, Wisconsin
Continuing down Main Street is a block lined with businesses. On the left is the Eagle Hotel, and next door is the Rosenheimer General Store. The store was owned and operated by the Rosenheimer brothers. It featured a grain elevator, offered grain shipping, and did malting. The building continues to stand today as an antique mall. Aside from the removal of the carriage repair shop and rear feed store, not much has changed.
Kewaskum’s unpaved Main Street in Washington County, Wisconsin
Here’s a view of the unpaved Main Street in 1914. To the left are a print shop and hotel. There’s a dentist’s office and a barber’s shop on the right. A horse-drawn buggy is at the curb.
Storefronts along Kewaskum’s Main Street in Early Washington County, Wisconsin
To the left is Nic. Marx’s grocery store, apparent in the ‘Atlas Fancy Flour’ advertisement. Several other businesses line the street. This picture was taken between 1908 – 1926. At this time, Kewasksum’s economy was shifting from wheat farming to dairy production. It would soon shift again to industry.

Parting Words

Today, remnants of Kewaskum’s Main Street remain intact. Many of the buildings still stand today, with new businesses subsiding within them. Kewaskum continues to be a distinctive and active community in Washington County. 

Interested in taking another stroll down memory lane? Check out this post: A Walk Down Main Street of Historic Schleisingerville


Kewauskum, Wis. Photograph. Wisconsin Historical Society. 1907. 

Looking North on Fond Du Lac Avenue. Photograph. Wisconsin Historical Society. 1910.

Main Street. Photograph. Wisconsin Historical Society. 1914.   

Main Street. Photograph. Wisconsin Historical Society. 1851. 

Quickert, Carl. “Founder of Burgs.” In Washington County, Wisconsin: Past and Present, 48. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 2008. Previously published as “Founder of Burgs,” in Washington County, Wisconsin: Past and Present (1912): 48. 

Street View of Main Street Decorated in Flags, Kewuakum, Wisconsin. Photograph. Kewauksum Public Library. 1905-1925.

Street View of Main Street, Kewauskum, Wisconsin. Photograph. Kewauskum Public Library. 1908-1926.

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