Farms & Mills

The glaciers which passed over the land thousands of years ago left a comparatively flat land surface. They also deposited a heavy coat of rich soil which is ideal for the raising of all grains, grasses, and garden crops. As early as 1853 the pioneer farmers began the raising of horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep.

Ozaukee County is credited with originating the custom of having a market day or fair once a month. The first such fair was held in the village of Saukville and the custom spread rapidly to all other sections.

The first real industries established in this new land were the gristmills built near the Milwaukee River, Cedar Creek, and Sauk Creek because they afforded excellent water power. Today, evidence remains of such early mills and dams built for the grinding of grains. The best example of such a site can be found near the village of Saukville on present CTH "O" and the Milwaukee River.

Some of the very earliest of these mills using natural water power are still in operation today. They are located in Thiensville, Cedarburg and Grafton. The mill at Thiensville and one at Cedarburg are still used as flour mills, others at Cedarburg and Grafton remain as woolen mills and produce some of the finest woolen yarns in the country. Several very old structures originally used as mills in Cedarburg and Hamilton still stand originally built but are used for other purposes.