Goodness and Ghosts
Filled with bright spots and dark corners, Milwaukee can seem almost Gothic.
Wood National Cemetery
Few people visit this cemetery on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Ave. “It’s a single graveyard, but it’s subdivided by conflict and has a number of large monuments,” says local historian John Gurda. He also recommends checking out the old Town of Milwaukee cemetery on Port Washington Road just north of Bayshore and the very old Jewish cemetery at the intersection of Hopkins and Chambers streets, which dates to 1849. “That one’s really hidden,” he says. “When I was doing the Jewish history, I had to shimmy under a chain-link fence to get a photo of the last monument standing.”
Many Third Ward buildings still bear the faded remnants of painted signs advertising such products as candy, warm winter coats and bed linens. Preserved under city code, the signs date from the early 20th century, with one exception: the well-known Sen-Sen lozenges sign on the north side of the Broadway Theatre Center (158 N. Broadway). It was first painted in 1968 for a Hollywood musical, “Gaily, Gaily,” that was filmed partly in the old Third Ward.