About Bay View
Founded in 1879 and independent until 1887, the former village hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline between Jones Island and St. Francis, and parts of the neighborhood are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The community was established as a company town for the Milwaukee Iron Company, and the high number of steel workers made Bay View a center for advocates of workers’ rights. That activism took a violent turn May 4, 1886, when 14,000 workers — striking for an eighthour workday — were fired upon by National Guardsmen. Seven people died, including a 13-year-old boy.
Bay View, which never lost its working class roots, was annexed into Milwaukee the next year.
The Rev. James Groppi, the Catholic priest central to Milwaukee’s civil rights marches of the 1960s, was born and raised in Bay View. New York Yankees shortstop and sports commentator Tony Kubek grew up there. Actor Spencer Tracy attended Bay View’s Trowbridge Street School.
Today the blended community is home to working class families, hipsters, and young entrepreneurs escaping the higher rents of the East Side and Walker’s Point. The streets bustle with traffic — vehicular and foot — and bars, restaurants, theater companies and, now, breweries have brought a new energy to the neighborhood.
For more information on the community, as well as a list of businesses, visit the Bay View Neighborhood Association website at bayviewneighborhood.org. — M.M.