The Cedarburg Visitor Center is coordinated by the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce and housed within the Cedarburg History Museum, at N58 W6194 Columbia Road. We are located about a block off Washington Avenue at the Columbia Road intersection.
Our staff at the Visitor Center is happy to be your guide during your time in Cedarburg. Need a dinner recommendation? Need help finding one of our historic buildings or learning more about a Cedarburg store, restaurant, or business? Please stop by the Visitor Center and we are glad to help!
Located within the Cedarburg History Museum
N58 W6194 Columbia Road
Cedarburg, Wisconsin 53012
Current hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Enter on Columbia Road; the Visitor Center is located on the main floor of the History Museum.
From its charming shops and boutiques to its meticulously maintained historic buildings, Cedarburg is a city you’ll never tire of exploring. Simply put, it’s a beautiful place to live and work.
Irish and German settlers founded the community in the early 1840s, after falling in love with the picturesque countryside along Cedar Creek. As the city grew and prospered, it lost none of its original charm. Thanks to careful preservation of the city’s original structures, the downtown looks much as it did a century ago.
Cedarburg has two separate districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with more than 200 buildings of historical significance. These structures in the heart of the city remain in use as shops, homes, museums, and public buildings, providing a focal point for the community’s daily life.
With a population of nearly 11,500 in the City of Cedarburg and an additional 6,000 residents in the Town, Cedarburg is small enough to maintain a quiet, pastoral setting, but large enough to offer modern amenities and services one would expect in a growing, contemporary city. And the metropolitan attractions of Milwaukee are only minutes away.
Cedarburg’s leaders have developed a long-range plan for industrial and economic expansion to ensure orderly growth. At the same time, the community remains committed to protecting the environment and preserving Cedarburg’s historical flavor. The Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce remains steadfast in its commitment to promote healthy economic growth that will ensure residents a desirable climate in which to live and work for years to come.
Coinciding with its efforts to foster a healthy business and living climate, Cedarburg is also a community that takes care of its own. Although a relatively small community, the area boasts numerous non-profit organizations that contribute significantly toward the long-term well-being of its residents. Organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters which serve to offer ongoing guidance to needy youths, COPE Services which maintains a 24-hour telephone hotline serving those in need of emotional support, Family Services of Ozaukee County, and Family Sharing which maintains a community food pantry, are just a few of many such groups that provide steadfast assistance to those in need. The Cedarburg Community Scholarship Fund serves to ensure continuing educational support, while other groups such as the Cedarburg Lions Club, Cedarburg Education Foundation, Cedarburg Junior Woman’s Club, Cedarburg Woman’s Club, and Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club provide charitable support to innumerable causes.
German and Irish immigrants were lured to the power-producing potential of Cedar Creek in the
The first recorded settler was Ludwig Groth, who made his home on the banks of the creek in 1842. Two years later, Frederick Hilgen and William Schroeder bought land from Groth and built a grist mill, which remains a prominent sight on the Cedarburg skyline today.
By 1885, the population had grown to 1,500, and Cedarburg was incorporated in what is now Ozaukee County. As the community grew, Cedar Creek was harnessed further to power lumber and flour mills, a nail factory, and a brewery. These structures, all built in the late 1800s, still stand proudly today.
Cedarburg was one of the first Wisconsin cities to enact a comprehensive landmarks ordinance and establish a Landmarks Commission to protect the city’s architectural heritage. Thanks to the efforts of the Commission and the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce, downtown’s Washington Avenue was declared a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in the mid- 1980s. This district includes more than 100 buildings that are considered historically significant.
The Columbia Road Historic District, adjacent to the downtown area, was listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 1992. This area includes nearly 130 historically important structures.
Cedarburg takes great pride in its history, and is committed to preserving its historic landmarks for generations to come.
Cedarburg exemplifies the best of small-city life. With a serene pastoral setting, it’s just minutes away from the business, cultural and recreational offerings of a thriving metropolitan area.
Cedarburg is located 20 miles north of Milwaukee, three miles west of Interstate 43 and four miles west of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The city is linked to other Ozaukee County communities by State Highway 60 and County Highways C, I, NN and T.
Three regional airports are located within a half-hour’s drive of Cedarburg. West Bend Municipal Airport is 20 miles northwest in neighboring Washington County. Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport is 32 miles to the south, and Lawrence J. Timmerman Field is 19 miles to the southwest. Chicago’s bustling O’Hare International Airport is 100 miles to the south.
Water transportation services are conveniently located just 23 miles south of Cedarburg at the busy Port of Milwaukee. Ozaukee County Transit offers express bus service for commuters, with conveniently located park-and-ride lots.
Taxi service is available to all county residents through the County Shared Ride Taxi program. The Cedarburg Senior Center and the Ozaukee County Office of Aging Services offer specialized transportation services for the elderly and disabled.
Newspapers serving Cedarburg include the bi-weekly News Graphic, weekly Ozaukee Press, and the daily Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Visitors consistently rank Cedarburg as one of Wisconsin’s favorite small-town getaways. The city’s beautifully-preserved downtown offers a delightful array of specialty stores, restaurants, spas, museums, and historic inns. Add a full calendar of festivals, shows and special events, and it’s no surprise that so many visitors find Cedarburg irresistible.
Walking along Washington Avenue downtown is like journeying 150 years back in time. Many of the limestone and brick buildings look exactly as they did when they were built in the 19th century. These early structures aren’t museum pieces; they’re at the center of community life, housing many of the city’s businesses and shops. Preserving these landmarks is a community-wide commitment, and their presence is a point of pride for newcomers and founding families alike.
With more than 200 historically significant buildings, the city is a favorite destination for history and architecture buffs. The city has two separate districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is home to Wisconsin’s only remaining covered bridge. The 1840s community of Hamilton, just a mile south of downtown, is also listed on the National Register and boasts many beautiful stone buildings.
Cedarburg is also known for its fun-filled, family-oriented festivals and events, which attract thousands of tourists each year. The Chamber of Commerce coordinates the annual Fourth of July Hometown Celebration, Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Wag, Woof, & Walk community dog walk in the beginning of October. The Chamber also orchestrates a Farmer's Market throughout the summer and fall.
Maxwell Street Days, hosted by the Cedarburg Fire Department in Fireman’s Park, features over 1,000 vendor spaces replete with antiques, collectibles, and crafts.
Strawberry Festival, held the fourth full weekend of June for over three decades, showcases fruits produced by local growers, with contests, hundreds of vendors displaying various wares, fine arts and crafts and winery tours. Visitors at the Wine and Harvest Festival during the third full weekend of September can try their luck at grape-stomping in addition to a bounty of fall farm produce and art from local artisans. The Winter Festival, held the third weekend in
Several bed-and-breakfast inns offer gracious accommodations in Victorian, country-style and period rooms. Modern hotels also are located within minutes of downtown.
Scenic Washington Avenue, in the heart of Cedarburg’s downtown, provides a beautiful backdrop for a day of shopping, dining, and exploring. The Washington Avenue Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and many of its specialty shops and restaurants are housed in lovingly preserved buildings.
Shoppers can stroll the tree-lined streets at a leisurely pace as they browse through the shops, many of which offer unusual or hard-to-find crafts and gifts. Many of these businesses recall a simpler era, such as a turn-of-the-century jewelry store; two confectionaries; a store that specializes in antique lighting fixtures; a shop that overflows with hundreds of cookie cutters and baking supplies; and much more.
With several antique and consignment shops located throughout the city and surrounding areas, Cedarburg is a perfect destination for the serious collector as well as the casual enthusiast. In fact, the city has often been referred to as the “Antiques Capital of Wisconsin.”
Cedarburg’s busy arts community is well represented downtown, with numerous museums, galleries and studios. The Ozaukee Art Center/Brewery Works Art Complex features exhibits and workshops in all media in one of the state’s oldest breweries. Another studio, Cedar Creek Pottery, produces distinctive stoneware that has been featured in Country Living and Midwest Living magazines. There is even an artist’s co-op that offers distinctive and varied works of local artisans. The Cedarburg Artists’ Guild boasts an impressive 170 members and hosts a renowned, annual Plein Air art competition in June that draws multitudes of artists, eager to paint and sketch the downtown historic district and elsewhere throughout Ozaukee County.
More shopping is available at Cedar Creek Settlement, a restored 1864 woolen mill listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nearly 25 shops, studios and restaurants are part of the Settlement, which is located downtown on the banks of Cedar Creek.
The Settlement also includes Cedar Creek Winery, one of the most noted small regional wineries in the United States. Tours and tastings are available every day.
Cedarburg’s varied restaurants truly offer something for every taste. You can find it all here, from fine dining in elegant candlelit rooms to friendly, family-oriented restaurants and everything in between.
For casual dining, a wide variety of restaurants offer mouth-watering meals at reasonable prices.
Vegetarian meals are available, and many restaurants offer specialties that reflect the city’s diverse ethnic heritage.
t’s a good idea to save room for dessert, as Cedarburg’s candy shops are renowned for a wide array of delicacies. Several of these treats have won awards in polls of Milwaukee-area magazine and newspaper readers, and one shop’s fudge and caramel apples have taken top honors at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Cedarburg offers a wide variety of high-quality housing in clean, tree-lined residential neighborhoods. Single-family homes can be found in many sizes and styles.
Seventy percent of the community’s housing consists of single-family homes, and the majority of these homes are owner-occupied. The housing market also includes townhouses, condominiums and rental apartments. All residential areas are supplied with streetlights.
The average cost of a single-family home is about $296,000.
Cedarburg residents enjoy an invigorating variety of recreation options year-round.
From spring through fall, there’s excellent fishing and canoeing, as well as beautiful areas for jogging, bicycling and horseback riding. The Ozaukee Interurban Trail boasts nearly 30 miles of paved trail that winds through Cedarburg and the surrounding Ozaukee County communities. Allowable uses of the trail include walking, running, bicycling, rollerblading and cross-country skiing. Seven public golf courses are within a 15-minute drive of the city.
The area’s natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. There are four hills designated for snow sledding, and the city maintains an ice-skating facility with a heated shelter at Boy Scout Park. The Ozaukee County Ice Center features an impressive indoor skating rink. This state-of-the-art facility serves youth and school groups and is also open to the public.
Fifteen well-kept city parks offer numerous recreational facilities, including baseball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, and soccer fields. Of special interest is a newly constructed, combination outdoor water park and pool which attracts thousands of residents and visitors during the summer season. The facility also offers a small “sandy beach” area for tots and a snack bar. Several of the parks also offer rental facilities for private parties, picnics, and special events.
The Cedarburg Parks and Recreation Department hosts a multitude of fitness and sports-oriented
recreational programs throughout the year serving area youth as well as adults.
Cedarburg is home to a strong and vibrant faith community represented by a wide diversity of denominations. In addition to offering regular worship services, many of these congregations are actively involved in outreach programs and other events. Their active participation in the life of the community plays a vital role in enriching the lives of all Cedarburg citizens.
Cedarburg’s state-of-the-art, 580-seat Performing Arts Center hosts a wide variety of events, including appearances by nationally known performers. The recent “Visiting Artists Series” have featured nationally recognized performers such as Bob Newhart, The Smothers Brothers, Marc Cohn, and 10,000 Maniacs. Visiting artists also participate in workshops attended by Cedarburg students.
The Center provides a professional-quality setting for many programs and performances for the local schools, as well as hosting children’s theater productions, plays, and musical performances.
The Cedarburg Cultural Center offers entertainment for all ages, with regular appearances by noted Wisconsin singers and songwriters. Recent shows included performances of jazz, blues, big-band music and comedy.
The Cultural Center also sponsors the annual Stone and Century House Tour, which showcases Cedarburg’s historic homes, and Gothic History Tours, 90-minute, staged walking tours of some of Cedarburg's most notorious scenes. The Cultural Center also features educational programs focused on the arts for area youth and adults.
Cedarburg’s award-winning public school system is committed to providing its almost 3,000 students with the best possible education, preparing them for lives as productive, responsible citizens. With a favorable student-teacher ratio, instructors are able to provide children with individualized attention, giving each student the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
Proof of this commitment is evident in the strong performance of Cedarburg High School students. In 2005, Wisconsin students scored second highest in the nation on the American College Test and the average score for Cedarburg students was even higher. Since 1994, Cedarburg High School has produced nearly 23 finalists for National Merit Scholar awards. Approximately ninety percent of the 2005 graduating senior class moved on to higher education.
The high school’s dedicated staff consists of 65 full-time and seven part-time faculty members, more than half holds an advanced degree. One faculty member has a doctorate, and another 41 have master’s degrees in their fields. Nine instructors have been honored as recipients of the Kohl Teacher Fellowship.
Students ready for more challenging coursework have the option of taking advanced-placement
courses in English, science, mathematics, social studies, languages and art. Courses in College Study Methods, Advanced Reading Techniques and Advanced Study Strategies are offered as well.
The school is a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and the North Shore Conference, and offers 21 extracurricular athletic activities. Students also may participate in several different academic competitions, as well as 28 clubs and organizations, including the Community Service Volunteer Program.
In addition to the public high school, the school district has a middle school for grades six through eight, and three elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grade.
Business leaders will find ample opportunity for success and growth in Cedarburg, located in one of the most economically successful counties in the nation. Cedarburg combines a superb quality of life with easy access to markets, customers, clients and suppliers, all in a community that prides itself on forging strong partnerships with business.
The city and town have a thriving, diversified business community, with private-sector employers manufacturing items that are shipped around the globe. Locally produced items include machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, fabricated metal products, rubber and plastics, wood and lumber, food products, medical, and paper products. Some of these businesses are located in the 39-acre Cedarburg Business Park. Cedarburg officials are planning to build a new business park along Highway 60 and hope to attract high technology manufacturing and service business for tenants. Both the City and the Town of Cedarburg are in favor of developing the business park. As development progresses area employers will continue to enjoy the benefits of having a highly skilled local workforce at their disposal.
Six financial institutions serve the banking needs of both private investors and businesses. The City of Cedarburg also has a Revolving Loan Fund in place to create jobs, encourage private investment, and offer a financing alternative for expanding or startup businesses.
The Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce currently boasts an eclectic membership serving nearly
300 local businesses.
Cedarburg residents can meet all their health care needs locally. Diagnosis, treatment, surgery and excellent medical care of all kinds are provided in modern clinics, medical practices and hospitals serving the community. State-of-the-art equipment and technology and a “Flight for Life” helicopter are available when needed.
Facilities serving residents’ health care needs include Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital - Ozaukee, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Cedar Mills Medical Group, . Several independent physicians and specialists also have private practices within the city.
Nearby facilities include Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Mequon, Aurora Medical Clinic in Grafton, and several clinics elsewhere in Ozaukee County. Milwaukee County’s 29 hospitals and 39 medical clinics, many of which are home to renowned programs and physicians, are readily accessible to Cedarburg residents.
Cedarburg’s Senior Center offers numerous programs, events and recreation for the community’s older adults. A van operated by volunteers provides transportation, and the center offers outreach counseling for families in need of additional assistance.
Cedarburg is directed with two fully functioning governments that work in tandem behind the scenes. Both the City and Town of Cedarburg work closely with businesses, community leaders and private citizens to maintain and enhance our quality of life.
An elected mayor and seven-member Common Council govern the City of Cedarburg. A professional city administrator directs daily government operations, and a city economic development coordinator is also employed by the City and several other local organizations.
The Town of Cedarburg Administration, which includes an administrator and a clerk, provides the overall direction for the Town in accordance with policies established by the elected town board.
The highly skilled professional police department serves and protects the city, while the Town utilizes two elected constables to enforce local code violations. Firefighting services are provided by the all-volunteer Fire Department that operates from two fire stations in Cedarburg – Station No. 1 located in the City and Station No. 2 located in the Town. Recognized as one of the best volunteer departments in the nation, it boasts some of the most modern firefighting equipment available today. Founded in 1866, the department is on call 24 hours a day and has 80 active members. The department also operates a rescue company with emergency medical technicians and trained support staff.
The Light and Water Commission oversees operations for the city's publicly owned electric and water utilities. The City also runs its own sanitary sewerage system. A private contractor for the City provides solid-waste collection; the Town employs solid waste collection staff as part of their full-time public works department.