John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
At the June meeting of the Bay View Historical Society, we had "Show and Tell". Members brought in things from the past for other people to view. John Ebersol brought in a photograph taken by the late John Steiner, who had been our archive director. It was a picture of a sign from inside of the Bay View Rolling Mill before the building was razed. The sign was in several languages, warning workers to beware of the overhead crane. The first language was English. The second language was Czech. The third language was Hungarian. The fourth language was Serbian. The fifth language was Polish. The last language was German. I had never known that this many languages were used at the rolling mill. The Germans lived mostly in the western portion of Bay View. My great grandfather, Fred Schumacher worked in the blast furnace. The 1880 U.S. Census of Bay View showed that he only spoke in German. The Polish workers came from the area of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, which was built by the Kashubes, and on Jones Island. When the strikers went to the rolling mill in 1886 and were fired upon by the Wisconsin State Militia, they started from St. Stanislaus Church, where many of them were members. It seems that many people came to Bay View to work the Bessemer Steel process at the rolling mill.
Many years ago, when my wife and I were inside of the old Protestant Cemetery located on E. Norwich Avenue and S. Barland Avenue, we found graves of many of the Bay View pioneers. Elijah Estes family, the Packard family, the Wentworth family and many others. There were several grave stones written in German. There were three grave stones that were written in a eastern European languuage. Now because of that photograph, I know that one gravestone was Czech and the other two were Hungarian. It is amazing what you can still learn about old information.