4-5-14 and 8-9-15
West Bend is a vibrant community of 30,000 in Washington County that is quite beautiful and is quite active in the arts and recreation. It is also the county seat. In fact, the city proudly proclaims themselves to be “Geocaching Capitol of the Midwest”™ We have not at this point taken up that activity, so we explored some of the other fine points of the city. Just outside of the city we found a historic marker explaining an important fact about the rivers in the area. In 2015 Al returned to West Bend to take a look at the new marker that was put up in 2014. This marker is dedicated to their famous West Bend Aluminum Company. Just beyond the sign is the former West Bend building, converted into River Shores Point Luxury Condominiums.
Our first stop upon arrival was the former train depot. Running next to it is The Eisenbahn State Trail which is 5 1/2 miles long. We saw many people using it that morning.
On a bench at the depot there were two cute frogs 🙂
The white building to the left of the depot is the new Museum of Wisconsin Art. All of the art inside has been created by only Wisconsin artists.
Just across the street is the Milwaukee River that once provided power to the community. The river bends to the west here, hence the name “West Bend” was given the community. It was incorporated in 1885.
After crossing the river on a bridge (behind this view, we explored their beautiful historic downtown.
The go-to outdoor store is Mountain Outfitters, they have equipment for a variety of sports for all seasons.
Also on North Main is Candyman on Main and a two-screen movie theater, dating back to 1929.
After exploring downtown we headed up the hill to 320 S. 5th Ave to visit the historic Courthouse and Jail. It is the tall spire on the right.
This beautiful courthouse is now a museum, the Washington County Historical Society has worked hard to make this a great place to visit. We took about 90 minutes to tour the courthouse. If you have enough time (45 minutes), you can also tour the equally impressive Jail to the left of the Courthouse.
Here is a marker in front of the courthouse.
After our tour, we looked at the former house across the street from the court house, first owned by James Kneeland. It is now The Popular Inn.
We really enjoyed our visit to West Bend and plan on returning again to tour the jail since we ran out of time. It was time to visit Port Washington!