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Linnie Lac Dam Site
College Avenue
Linnie Lac Dam Site.jpg

Site #5
Designated February 22, 2000

Located along College Avenue, this is the site of Waukesha County's first saw mill, waterpower, and dammed body of water.  It was built and operated by Hugh Wedge and Isaac DeWitt in 1836. In 1841, William P. Hale built a dam across Muskego Creek, first using the power to run a turning lathe, building a sawmill two years later. In 1846, it was remodeled into a gristmill, when Hiram E. Hale bought an interest in the property. An engine was installed in 1848, and the mill operated until 1860 by steam. Hale’s mill fell into disuse in 1868. But in that same year, he built a flourmill. From 1837-1890‘s, the site had a total of four grist and flourmills, and was known as Hales Millpond. These mills helped to feed the area settlers with the corn and grains they processed. Farmers from all over the county soon took advantage of the mill operation, which supplied them with the lumber needed to build houses and other structures. The area was once known as Cob Town because of all the corncobs around the mill.

In some historical writings, the old Wedge Mill is credited to Muskego. It was recorded this way based on the written and oral testimony of many old settlers. The error was understandable because at that time, town boundaries were not well known and the mill was located only a few feet north of the line between New Berlin and Muskego.

The mills spurred development, and in the 1920’s, John Blott subdivided the shore and renamed it Linnie Lac after his wife Malina (Linnie). Sometime between 1840 and 1850, a post office operated in the area called Muskego Mills.

In June 1997, flooding threatened the dam and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources dug a trench around it to avoid flooding downstream in Muskego. Since no owner could be found, the homeowners formed the Linnie Lac Management District and took over ownership of the dam and worked out a taxing system to repair the dam. Completed in 2000, the dam was subsequently declared a New Berlin Landmark..