Historic Whitefish Bay – A Celebration of Architecture and Character

Historic Whitefish Bay
238 Pages
ISBN 9781467137591

Incorporated in 1892, Whitefish Bay is a pleasant, verdant village that is home to more than fourteen thousand people. More than half of its five thousand houses and other structures have been deemed historic or architecturally important. Even casual passersby can attest to the architectural significance of these buildings, and while the personal history attached to them is less apparent, it is no less dramatic. Their walls retain the stories of their remarkable inhabitants, from the outhouse where the first village president disappeared in 1899 with $20,000 in public funds to the lakeside Beaux-Arts mansion built by a Schlitz Brewing Company heir with eight varieties of Italian marble. Jefferson J. Aikin and Thomas H. Fehring examine these landmark treasures and the legacy of the residents they help preserve.

This book attempts to capture the nearly two centuries of Whitefish Bay’s history through a description of its neighborhoods and homes, and where it is known, the people who lived in them. Whitefish Bay has been the home of several illustrious citizens, as well as many hard-working and civic-minded residents who loved their community and made Whitefish Bay what it is today. A major part of their legacy is in the homes they built. We hope this book will help you learn more about these people and appreciate the historic heritage of beautiful homes they left for us to enjoy.

Thomas H. Fehring

About Thomas H. Fehring (Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author)

Thomas H. Fehring

Tom Fehring is an engineer by training and practice, having worked for thirty-five years at "keeping the lights on" at Wisconsin Energy Corporation and its various subsidiaries. Earlier in his career, he worked for a time at Falk Corporation, Briggs & Stratton and Ford Motor Company.

He was born and grew up in Milwaukee in the shadows of the A.O. Smith factory near 35th and Capitol Drive. Fehring attended Marquette University and attained bachelor and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Along the way he married. He and his wife Suzan have raised three children.

Fehring considers himself an accidental historian. Early in his engineering career one of his supervisors helped to "plant the seed" that led to a fascination with industrial history. That supervisor encouraged him to give back to the engineering profession by volunteering his time and talents. Taking to the call, Fehring served for years as the history and heritage chair of the local chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He eventually was named to the Society's international history and heritage committee, which he chairs. Forty years later, industrial archeology continues to be his hobby and an important part of his life.

Fehring also serves on the Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Historic Preservation Commission. He has published two books on the Village's history.

Fehring first published a book on Milwaukee's industrial heritage in 1980. It was a modest effort, but was surprisingly well received. Since then he has continued to gather information and materials about the early companies of Milwaukee, the incredible machines that were built here over the years, and the innovative engineers who designed them.