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Greenfield placards are signs of the old times

Jan. 4, 2013

The placard marking the location of Kerler Acres is part of the second batch in the Historical Society's three-year project to place 12-by-18-inch placards on utility poles in 30 Greenfield subdivisions.

Ten areas that will get the placards. The areas were chosen for their interesting historical associations, said Bob Roesler, president of the Greenfield Historical Society. The 2013 placards will start going up this summer.

In addition to Kerler Acres, the areas and the location of their placards are:

Tuckaway Estates, at 30th Street and Vogel Avenue - With the Tuckaway Country Club created in 1924 just next door, the developer decided naming his subdivision Tuckaway Estates would make the lots sell better back in 1928, Roesler said. Even though the country club relocated to Franklin, Tuckaway Estates stays as a reminder of where the country club started, he said.

Cold Spring Gardens, at 64th Street and Plainfield Avenue - Some subdivision names seem to have been pulled out of a hat, just to entice buyers, Roesler said. One of those is Cold Spring Gardens. You won't see any historic gardens there, not counting individual landscaping done by homeowners, but Cold Spring Gardens will be recognized because the 1955 subdivision was the first of five subdivisions that bear the name of Greenfield's oldest continually-named street.

Beloit Park Manor, 1955, at 103rd Street south of Beloit Road - Unlike Greenfield's other major diagonal streets that were originally Indian trails, Beloit Road was laid out by a surveyor in 1840. It never reached its stated goal, terminating on National Avenue in Waukesha County.

Clement Manor Estates, 1987, at 96th Street and Van Beck Avenue - The School Sisters of St. Francis, who operate the nearby Clement Manor Care Facility, have owned the property since 1902, and are a longtime presence in Greenfield, having built their convent southwest of 27th Street and Greenfield Avenue in 1891, when it was within the town of Greenfield.

Kilbourn Estates, 1944, at 34th Street and Bottsford Avenue - The name of South 27th Street was Kilbourn Road during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although Kilbourn Road was half a mile from the new subdivision, the name seems to have suited the developers' fancy.

Maple Grove, 1951, at 71st Street and Bottsford Avenue - The present Maple Grove School is the fifth built nearby. The first began in the 1850s southwest of 76th Street and Forest Home Avenue.

Southgate Manor, 1959, at 36th Street and Bottsford Avenue - Nearby Southgate Mall in Milwaukee was the metro area's first major postwar shopping center, opening in 1951.

Layton Heights, 1955, at 72nd Street and Squire Avenue - This is the first of four Greenfield subdivisions to bear the name of meat-packer Frederick Layton of Cudahy. Layton Avenue and many nearby east-west streets in Greenfield were given names that were extensions of those in Cudahy, which had incorporated in 1892.

Town Hall Terrace, 1952, at 70th Street and Plainfield Avenue - The town of Greenfield's last town hall, built in 1932, was located nearby on 73rd and Forest Home Avenue. It was demolished in 1988.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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