Whether you’ve lived here for your whole life or are newer to the area, how well do you know this place you call home?
Now News Group reporters brainstormed a variety of questions on topics ranging from historical places to famous people and landmarks in the Milwaukee suburbs.
Test yourself to see whether you can consider yourself a true master of suburban trivia. The answers follow the questions.
1. Where is the highest place in Waukesha County? And what is that elevation?
2. The city of Pewaukee built a new water tower within the last couple of years. So just how much water can that tower hold?
The new City of Pewaukee water tower stands not far from the old tower which is being demolished on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Photo: Scott Ash/Now News Group)
3. Which suburb recently threw a party to celebrate the 80th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz”?
4. What Waukesha County residential and business development owes its name to a beer baron?
5. Lake Country in Waukesha County has ties to a screenwriter who wrote some big-name flicks, including “Jurassic Park,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Spider-Man and more. Name that screenwriter.
6. What golf tournament at North Hills Golf Course in Menomonee Falls draws big names from the sports world every June?
7. What major clothing and department store retailer has its corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls?
8. Which area community is known as the “Baseball Capital of Waukesha County”?
9. To celebrate its centennial in 2013, the village of Butler Community Foundation restored something. What did it restore, and where can it be seen?
10. In what North Shore ‘burb did Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell grow up?
11. Which city was home to an iconic blues and jazz record label in the 1920s and 1930s?
12. With 46 square miles of land, which suburb is the third largest in terms of land area in Wisconsin?
13. What village are the writers and directors of the movie “Airplane” from?
14. Which famous Milwaukee brewing company built a resort in Whitefish Bay in the late 1880s?
15. Which North Shore village covers just one square mile?
16. “It’s a Way of Life” is this slogan for this suburb, which owes its name to a spelling error. Name it.
17. Which former Brookfield Central High School graduate played college football at the University of Wisconsin and then offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns from 2007-17?
18. What cemetery is the resting place of world-renowned musician and inventor Lester William Polsfuss — and by what name is he better known?
19. What New Berlin landmark was disassembled and later reconstructed in 1987 at its present site?
20. What South Milwaukee company made shovels used for digging the Panama Canal?
21. What community was known as the Saratoga of the West for a natural resource that spawned the creation of multiple resorts?
22. What South Milwaukee trail is said to be haunted?
23. What’s the oldest institution of higher learning in the state, and in what suburb can you find it?
24. What suburb is home to the first Ikea store in the state of Wisconsin?
25. What community was known for an amusement park in the 20th century, and what was the name of the park?
26. In establishing its emerging City Center in the 1980s, what mall did New Berlin have in mind as a model for development?
27. What community was originally known as the town of Kinnickinnic?
28. Name the two suburbs that claim Liberace as their own.
29. What suburb was created as an experiment as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation?
30. How many baseball diamonds, skiing/snowboard and tubing runs are at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin?
31. Three brothers from Pewaukee play in the NFL. Name them.
1. Lapham Peak at Lapham Peak State Park in Delafield claims this distinction, with an elevation of 1,233 feet. The observation tower adds another 45 feet.
2. 750,000 gallons. Construction of the city’s new water tower was completed in October 2017 to replace the old water tower, nicknamed “Old Rusty,” that had the words “Town of Pewaukee” on it. “Old Rusty” was demolished in October 2018. The “town” of Pewaukee hasn’t been around since it incorporated as the city in 1999.
3. Oconomowoc. Although there is some debate over where the movie made its official premiere in 1939, one thing seems certain: Oconomowoc was among the first.
4. Pabst Farms in Oconomowoc. The name comes from Frederick Pabst, for whom the Pabst Brewing Co. is named. Pabst bought the first parcel of land at the site when it was just farmland.
5. David Koepp.
6. The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Lombardi Golf Classic, which started in 1971. It raises money for cancer research. Participants this year included former Packers Frank Winters, Lynn Dickey, Ryan Longwell and Josh Bidwell, as well as Brewers great Gorman Thomas and Olympic speedskaters Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair.
7. Kohl’s, which opened its corporate office in the Silver Spring Corporate Park in 1996.
8. Lannon. The community has participated in the Land O’Lakes League since it started in 1922, according to the village website. Lannon won four straight Land O’Lakes grand championships, the first team to accomplish the feat, and has won more league grand championships than any other team. Lannon’s Joecks Field was the site of ESPN’s first live broadcast Sept. 7, 1979 — Game 1 of the American Professional Slowpitch Softball League World Series, a best-of-nine series between the Milwaukee Schlitz and Kentucky Bourbons.
9. The foundation restored an old Chicago & Northwestern Railroad caboose that stands on the east side of the Historic George L. Clarke House, 12810 W. Hampton Ave. The house is open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. the second Sunday in May through October, with the exception of Fathers Day. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. Tours of the caboose are available by appointment and on random Sundays. Check the Historic Clarke House Facebook page for tour dates.
10. Whitefish Bay.
11. Paramount Records, which was founded in Port Washington in 1917. The record label was a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Chair Co. and produced its records in Grafton. From 1917-32, the label was a premier producer of African-American artists who shaped the blues, jazz and rock era. Artists included Ma Rainey, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, King Oliver, Ida Cox, Blind Blake and others. Paramount Records closed in 1932; the Wisconsin Chair Co. closed a year later.
13. Shorewood. The writers and directors are brothers David and Jerry Zucker, along with Jim Abrahams. The trio grew up together in Shorewood, and directed comedic TV series together, such as “Police Squad!” “Top Secret!” “Ruthless” and the “Naked Gun” series.
14. Pabst Brewery built the Pabst Whitefish Bay Resort, which lasted until its demolition in 1915. The site of the former resort is now occupied by the Herman Uihlein house, which was under construction from 1917-19. The building at 5270 N. Lake Drive is now owned by REV Group CEO Tim Sullivan, who bought the property in 2007.
15. Thiensville. The village is the third-smallest incorporated community in the Milwaukee metro area (the United States Census Bureau considers that to consist of the communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties). The village of Newburg in Ozaukee County is slightly smaller, at 0.90 square miles. The village of Butler in Waukesha County is the smallest, covering just 0.79 square miles.
16. Wauwatosa. It was originally called “Wauwautosa,” but an error by the then Wisconsin Territorial Legislature omitted the “u” in the second syllable, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. The meaning of the Indian word is a mystery, but the historical society’s website said it may be a combination of two similar pronunciations of words stemming from the Menominee and Potawatomi meaning “firefly” and “the lost brave.”
17. Joe Thomas.
Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas walks on the field during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. (Photo: David Richard, Associated Press)
18. Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha is the final resting place of Les Paul, also known as the “Wizard of Waukesha.” The inventor and musician was buried there Aug. 21, 2009, after dying eight days earlier in White Plains, N.Y. Paul was the inventor of the solid body electric guitar and multitrack recording techniques.
19. The Meidenbauer Log Cabin. German immigrant John Konrad Meidenbauer arrived in New Berlin in July 1848 and purchased 84 acres, including a two-story log house on Lawnsdale Road. It was constructed of hand-hewn oak logs and had a stone cellar that stored fruits and vegetables. The outside of the building is available for the public to see any time at Historical Park, 19885 W National Ave. Tours of the building are given by the New Berlin Historical Society only during scheduled open houses or by special arrangement.
20. Bucyrus International Inc. supplied 77 shovels between 1904 and 1908 for the canal’s construction. The company was bought by Caterpillar in 2011.
21. Waukesha. It was known in the late 1800s for its spring water supply. More than 50 springs were located in the city, with others scattered around Waukesha County. Tourists flocked to the area, responding to claims of miraculous cures for a variety of maladies, including kidney disease, constipation and more. The craze started in 1868 when Richard Dunbar claimed he was cured of diabetes after drinking 12 glasses of water from an unnamed spring east of the Fox River. He moved his family to Waukesha and bought the property with that spring, naming it Bethesda.
22. The Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park. According to Anna Lardinois, author of “Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends, and who runs ghost tours through her company, Gothic Milwaukee, people have claimed to see the spirit of a woman in white wandering the trail, crying and looking for her children, who died in Lake Michigan.
23. Carroll University, which changed its name from Carroll College in 2009. It is located in Waukesha, and was founded on Jan. 31, 1846. Beloit College was established just two days later on Feb. 2, 1846. Nashotah House, a theological seminary in Nashotah, was founded in 1842. There’s some contention over which is the older “institution of higher learning,” depending on how you define it.
24. Oak Creek. The store held its grand opening in May 2018.
People line up to get in before the grand opening of the IKEA store in Oak Creek in May 2018. (Photo: Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
25. Muskego was home to Muskego Beach Amusement Park from 1861-1967, later known as DandiLion Park from 1968-77.
26. Bayshore. Originally known as Bayshore Town Center, the redevelopment of the mall into a mixed use town center was completed in 2006. The property was originally built as an outdoor mall in 1954 and made into an enclosed mall in the mid-1970s.
27. Greenfield. The city changed its name to Greenfield from the town of Kinnickinnic in 1841. “Greenfield” comes from the name of the post office of the area, and the name of the post office was chosen by the postmaster at that time, Olney Harrington. Speculation is that “Greenfield” won the day because it was easier to say and spell than “Kinnickinnic.”
28. West Allis and West Milwaukee. Liberace was born in West Allis but grew up in West Milwaukee.
29. Greendale. The federal government built a couple planned communities that would offer a urban-rural lifestyle to working class families. The Greendale Historical Society recently bought and plans to turn one of those “Original” homes into a museum of sorts.
30. Six baseball diamonds, four adult and two Little League, and nine skiing/snowboarding runs ranging from easy to black diamond. The complex also includes three terrain parks — small, medium, large — along with a 20-lane tubing park in the Snow Park area of The Rock.
31. J.J. Watt (defensive end, Houston Texans), Derek Watt (fullback, Los Angeles Chargers) and T.J. Watt (linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers)
28-31 correct: Congratulations! You’re a master of minutiae — at least when it comes to the local ‘burbs. Try not to lord it over your family and friends too much. In fact, you might consider a hobby; you seem to know an awful lot about a little.
25-27 correct: Call yourself a suburban smartypants. You’ve got a good handle on where you live.
22-24 correct: Consider yourself an average Joe. Pour yourself a cold one and toast yourself.
18-21 correct: We might consider you a suburban shut-in. Do you get out enough? You might want to brush up on life in the ‘burbs with a visit to a local park or museum. Or stop by the average Joe’s house and tip a few with him while he regales you with tales of his knowledge.
17 or fewer correct: You might be living under a suburban rock (possibly Lannon stone. Which gets its name from William Lannon, an early settler in the area back in the 1800s for whom the village of Lannon is named. The popular building stone is quarried in the area. ).
Contact Alec Johnson at (262) 875-9469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @AlecJohnson12.
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