Featured Merchant

Winkie's

The store Winkie’s has been in the Milwaukee area since the 1930’s.

My name is Leah Steger, 3rd generation of Winkie’s Hallmark and Gifts. This is a story about my family and Winkie's. The store Winkie’s has been in the Milwaukee area since the 1930’s. The last name of the original owner was Winkie. At one point in time there were 5 locations throughout the north side of Milwaukee. The store was considered a “five and dime” where you could buy anything from candy to crafts to hardware to hosiery and “notions”. The store was beloved as a community “one stop shop”.

My grandparents, Donald and Dorothy Stuhlmacher, met while working at the store when they were teenagers. My Grandfather was a city boy working as a stocker at Winkie’s and my Grandmother came from a farm in Oshkosh to live with her sister in Milwaukee and start to make a life for herself. They had a very close relationship with the Winkie family and upon my Grandfather’s return from WWII he was promoted to manager and oversaw much of the business. When my Dad (Tom) and his brother (Terry) were old enough to start working they took main responsibility for the location on the corner of Silver Spring and Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay, which is the only remaining Winkie’s store today. The Silver Spring Winkie’s has been there for over 50 years. Tom and Terry’s wives, Julie and Beth, both joined them in the business along with their collective 5 children. While the store has had to evolve over the years to remain competitive, it has always stayed true to core values of integrity, nurturing relationships and old-fashioned charm. We take pride in our long standing involvement with the community and celebrate the many friendships developed over the 90+ years! 😊

Today, Winkie’s Hallmark & Gifts offers unique items for every day and holiday. Some of our featured collections include custom printed Wisconsin, Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee items, our vast selection of greeting cards, quality jigsaw puzzles, candles and candlesticks, delicious candy and chocolate from the famous candy case, beautiful home décor for every season and celebration, and gifts that you won’t find anywhere else! Many of which are also found on our website: www.winkiesgifts.com Be sure to also follow us on Facebook @winkieshallmark and Instagram @winkiesgifts!

At Winkie’s Toys & Variety, we stock our shelves with board games, toys for all ages, hobby and craft items, and the classic "five and dime" variety that has made the Winkie's brand locally famous! Our customers' favorites are the award-winning board games and toys, latex and mylar helium balloons, much needed office and school supplies, all sorts of sports equipment, and everyone loves our always free gift wrapping of any items! Of course, the kids love to pop downstairs for the candy aisle - from classics to everyday favorites! Find more about Winkie's Toys & Variety at www.winkiestoysandvariety.com and on Facebook at @shopwinkies.

Farmers' Market

Saturdays 8AM - 12PM

July 11- August 8
St. Monica's Parking Lot off of Lake View Ave.

August 15 - October 19th
Dominican HS Parking Lot on Bay Ridge Ave

Farmers' Market

Saturdays 8AM - 12PM

Aurora Parking Lot
325 East Silver Spring Drive

Vendors

CHILLWAUKEE | PINE HILL ORCHARD | BREADSMITH | B & J’S PAMPERED PUB BAKERY | THE MUSHROOM LADY | KILWINS CHOCOLATE, FUDGE, ICE CREAM | YARD ART | QUEDNOW’S HEIRLOOM APPLE ORCHARD | BSW FARM | FRESH CREPES | LARRYVILLE GARDENS | THAT SALSA LADY | NANCY’S FLOWERS | NETTESHEIM FARMS | FRESH GROW WISCONSIN | ELSIE MAE’S CANNING & PIES | DRAGON GARDEN | WOW MEATLESS MEATBALLS | BEEHIVE ALCHEMY/WILDERMANN APIARIES | YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS | RED STONE RICE | ERTH SCENTIALS CBD | NOURISH NATURAL PRODUCTS | LIFESPROUTS SUCCULENT PLANT DELIVERY | NATURE'S NICHE FARM | LAKE-FIVE FARMS

Merchant Events

Nov
14
Sat
30 Minute Mediation and Mindfulness Sessions from Ananda Citta
Nov 14 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am

🥰 Join me once a month for a 30-minute meditation and mindfulness session. We will gather together, following health and safety guidelines, for a group meditation and individual intention setting.
Your first session is free! Thereafter, $20/session. A five-pack is available for $85; no time limit on use. Drinks will be provided; you are welcome to bring your own instead. We will sit in chairs, but feel free to bring a blanket, towel or cushion if you prefer to sit on the floor. 🧘
All participants are required to wear a mask.
Space is filling up, so RSVP soon by contacting me www.acspiritualcare.com/contact/. Our first session is Saturday, September 26 at 10 a.m.
Not comfortable attending in person? Join us via Zoom instead! Contact me HERE www.acspiritualcare.com/contact/ for information on how to join virtually. I also have a small selection of crystals , stones and jewelry for sale~
I look forward to seeing you!
❤️🕉️🙏

Check out Michelle at https://www.acspiritualcare.com to or email her at michelle@acspiritualcare.com

Nov
27
Fri
Christmas Tree Lighting in Cousaul Commons
Nov 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Come and start the holiday season with the Merchants of Whitefish Bay with the lighting of the Christmas Tree!

Social distancing and mask wearing will be enforced!

Nov
28
Sat
Pop Up with Little Fern Fine Arts at Citrine + Sage
Nov 28 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Come enjoy the works of Little Fern Arts! You can find her in Instagram at @littlefernfinearts.

Here is a sampling of her talents:

Ice Sculpture Demonstration in Consaul Commons
Nov 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come and see what Art Below Zero will create before your eyes! A 2 hour ice sculpting demonstration! This you do not want to miss!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X2VVXdCfIo&feature=emb_rel_pause

Visit with Santa
Nov 28 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Come and say hello to Santa!

Social distancing will take place and Santa will have a mask!

Dec
5
Sat
Pop Up with Bottle Cap Crafts at Citrine + Sage
Dec 5 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Come enjoy the works of Bottle Cap Crafts! Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BottleCapCrafts.BCC

Enjoy the sounds of Whistles on Wheels
Dec 5 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

You may remember Whistles on Wheels from the Holiday Stroll parade last year. This year they will be parked at Berkeley & Silver Spring spreading thier calliope cheer to Silver Spring Drive!

Check out their sounds here:

🇺🇸The Star 🌟 Spangled Banner🇺🇸#4thofjuly #thestarspangledbanner #calliope #parade #unitedstatesofamerica #usa #america #navyveteran #circus #independenceday #wisconsin #music #freedom

Posted by Whistles On Wheels on Saturday, July 4, 2020

Arthur Murray Dancing in the Street!
Dec 5 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Dancers know they’ve come to the right place the second they walk through the doors of Arthur Murray Dance Center Whitefish Bay. From the moment you take your first steps, you will see why dancers say they love to dance. But, today on Consaul Commons you can experience the talent of these dancers and they will whisk you off your feet without even moving! Come and embark on a unique, wonderful dancing adventure.

Professional Photography

Dec
10
Thu
Menorah at Yellow Wood
Dec 10 – Dec 18 all-day

Celebrate Hanukkah with the Menorah outside of Yellow Wood. The JCC each night will be there to light the Menorah to celebrate the season @6:00. Come join us!

Whitefish Bay Events

Dec
12
Sat
30 Minute Mediation and Mindfulness Sessions from Ananda Citta
Dec 12 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am

🥰 Join me once a month for a 30-minute meditation and mindfulness session. We will gather together, following health and safety guidelines, for a group meditation and individual intention setting.
Your first session is free! Thereafter, $20/session. A five-pack is available for $85; no time limit on use. Drinks will be provided; you are welcome to bring your own instead. We will sit in chairs, but feel free to bring a blanket, towel or cushion if you prefer to sit on the floor. 🧘
All participants are required to wear a mask.
Space is filling up, so RSVP soon by contacting me www.acspiritualcare.com/contact/. Our first session is Saturday, September 26 at 10 a.m.
Not comfortable attending in person? Join us via Zoom instead! Contact me HERE www.acspiritualcare.com/contact/ for information on how to join virtually. I also have a small selection of crystals , stones and jewelry for sale~
I look forward to seeing you!
❤️🕉️🙏

Check out Michelle at https://www.acspiritualcare.com to or email her at michelle@acspiritualcare.com

We Are Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay is a contemporary community with a unique and friendly shopping and entertainment district with shops that provide great customer service with genuine, specialized personal care. Our exclusive retailers and distinctive establishments offer an array of special products and services that are unavailable in conventional shopping experiences. Learn more about our community in Local Links.

 

The mission of the Merchants of Whitefish Bay is to champion the Whitefish Bay Business Improvement District as an exceptional place to shop, live, and conduct business – for individuals, families, and visitors.

Volunteer Board of Directors

A board of business and property owners and residents manages and operates the BID, representing over 100 business and property owners within the district.

  • Jeff Commer, President – Swipeworks
  • Kevin Schuk Treasurer – Breadsmith
  • Bryan Schauland – Johnson Bank
  • Phil Aiello – Mandel Group
  • Ted Balistreri – Sendik’s Food Market
  • Charlie Stalle – Keller Williams
  • Jamie Lynn Fritsch – Enliven
  • Marty Stilling – Yellow Wood
  • Stefanie Corbett – High Brow Boutique

The Village

Whitefish Bay, located on the shore of Lake Michigan approximately 7 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an impressive community which has been recognized multiple times by Money Magazine as one of the top 100 small towns in America.

A small pedestrian-friendly commercial district along Silver Spring Drive and its variety of independently owned shops contribute to making Whitefish Bay one of the Best Places to Live, a factor that the business improvement district is very proud of. Attractive streets lined with old trees and stately homes, waterside parks and beaches, and annual events are additional aspects that have Whitefish Bay touted as the kind of community that affluent professionals love.

In addition to our location on Lake Michigan, proximity to downtown Milwaukee, easy access to transportation, and convenient local shopping, residents also describe the strong sense of community, safe environment, excellent schools and local government service and a diverse and attractive housing stock as reasons for making Whitefish Bay their home.

Follow the links below to learn more about our community and visit us on Silver Spring Drive soon to experience exceptional shopping in an impressive community!

Whitefish Bay
on Around the Corner

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Local History

Formation of the Village of Whitefish Bay

The children of the earliest settlers of the area—like the Consauls, Markerts, Everts, Rabes and Grams—had to walk several miles to Town of Milwaukee Schools. As the population grew, parents petitioned the Town of Milwaukee Board for a new school closer to the area – but to no avail. George A. Rogers who published a weekly newspaper, The Whitefish Bay Pioneer, began a campaign for a village charter so that a new school district could be established. He received enthusiastic support and after several meetings a decision was made to incorporate the community as a village.

The first step was to prove that the 300-people required by state law lived within the limits of the proposed village. Henry Scheife was given the job of making the official census. was to prove that the 300 people required by state law lived within the proposed limits. Henry Scheife made an initial census, but came up short. The boundaries were extended—hence the jog in the southern boundary of Whitefish Bay. Scheife’s count completed in March 1892, showed 70 houses and 312 people. A petition accompanied by the census was submitted to Judge Johnson who on May 10, 1892 signed the order bringing the village of Whitefish Bay into existence. Officials were elected on June 5th of that year.

One of the first orders of business for the first Village president, Fred Isenring, was to appoint a school committee. The Committee prevailed upon the owners of the triangle now bounded by Idlewild, Fleetwood and Marlborough to donate the tract for a new school house.

While the new school was constructed, Whitefish Bay kids had classes in the Jefferson Park pavilion on the site of the present Henry Clay School until it got too cold for comfort. Then school adjourned to the Scheife grocery store, located where Winkies now stands.

The new school building was completed in late spring and dedicated on June 23, 1893. Mrs. Alice Curtis, the first teacher, received the princely sum of $60 a year (while Nicholas Rix, the janitor, was paid $75).

Photograph believed taken in 1893, of the Fleetwood School—Whitefish Bay’s first school, its faculty, and students.
This residence on East Beaumont was formerly located in what is now Schoolhouse Park and served as the first Whitefish Bay Village Hall.

Some interesting facts about the Village’s early history:

  • Peeved at Whitefish Bay’s secession, the Town of Milwaukee tried to compel village residents to continue to pay the town poll tax for work on the town roads. The village board countered by instructing constables George Rodd and Henry Scheife to arrest and punish any town officer trying to enforce the poll tax.
  • The liquor license fee was set at $500 for three years. The first one was issued to WFB President Fred Isenring who also doubled as the lessee of the Whitefish Bay Resort. Fred got his license at a reduced rate because his bar was open only during the summer.
  • Fred Isenring later became sheriff of Milwaukee County. During his tenure, he was charged with absconding $20,000 (a princely sum for the time), but disappeared before he was arrested—never to be seen again.

After the new school was constructed, the Village Board met in the second-floor assembly room at the school until a building for the first village hall was acquired in 1903.

Henry Clay/Whitefish Bay Middle School

Tragedy hit the Fleetwood Whitefish Bay school in 1918—the building caught fire and quickly was lost. Some say that a flying ember from the near-by rail tracks was responsible—others disputed that source. In any case, the Village had a dilemma. It had to find an almost immediate replacement.

Land was available on the Port Washington and Whitefish Bay Road, now known as Henry Clay Street, on the site of the former Jefferson Park pavilion. Plans were immediately drawn up and construction commenced. It was initially occupied in 1919.

The Henry Clay School was a grade school, although that changed starting in 1930, when Shorewood notified the Village that it would no longer accept students from the Village. Whitefish Bay again had to find an immediate solution. One wing of the Henry Clay school was devoted for Whitefish Bay high school kids. They continued there until the new high school building was available for occupancy in 1932.

An eight-room addition was added in to the Henry Clay School in 1951. It remained largely that way until 1980, when it was closed and converted into a community center.

In the 1980s, the Whitefish Bay school board began investigating the advantages of creating a middle school format and ultimately decided to proceed. The Henry Clay School was converted into a middle school and opened in August 1989. A new gym was added at that time. In 1991 the stage of the old gym was converted into two classrooms and a classroom was added to the basement level.

A 1994 Village referendum to add classrooms and other space to eliminate overcrowding was defeated; consideration is given to moving 8th graders to the high school. The following year the school board revised the expansion plans and hired a public relations firm to assist in passage of a referendum to add classrooms and other space. The referendum passed narrowly (2980 for/2898 against). With the passage of the resolution, the additions proceeded. The school was re-named the Whitefish Bay Middle School.

The community and its residents have worked to create and support a strong school system that has generated great results. At the same time, a number of exemplary private schools have also flourished in the Village.

Why was the school initially named for Henry Clay?

  • The new school was built on the Port Washington and Whitefish Bay Road—which would have been an awkward name for a school. There were other schools named for Washington in the Milwaukee area. As a result, the Village looked for a unique name.
  • Henry Clay lived from 1777 to 1852 and invented the phrase “a self-made man,” which he applied to himself. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, he rose from rags to riches, becoming one of the most powerful and influential politicians of his day.
  • Clay was a state legislator, a senator, Speaker of the House, Secretary of State, a founder of the Whig party and even ran for president. He is perhaps best known as “The Great Compromiser” for his role in designing the Compromise of 1850, which tackled the ever-expanding issue of slavery between the North and South.
  • While Clay had no real connection to Wisconsin, he apparently was a statesman who was well-respected and whom would set ideals for the school.
  • Following the naming of the school, the street’s name was eventually changed to Henry Clay Street.
Henry Clay Middle School built in 1918-19. The photograph was taken about 1930. The school had a number of additions over the years and no longer looks the same, but the underlying original structure is still there. Credit Mimi Bird Historical Collection of the WFB Historical Society

Whitefish Bay Commercial Districts

Lewis Scheife’s grocery store was located on Silver Spring Drive. In this 1892 picture, Henry Scheife is on the wagon and his brother Lewis is standing. The one-story addition served as a school room until the Village’s first school building was constructed. It was also used as a meeting place for Village officials. Henry Scheife was assigned the task of making the official census upon which the incorporation of the Village was based.

As non-farm residential neighborhoods were developed in Whitefish Bay, retail businesses soon followed. In the days before transportation allowed residents to move about easily, shops and services needed to be close at hand to meet the needs of the rapidly growing community. Two distinct shopping districts formed in the Village—one centered on East Silver Spring, and another one on Henry Clay Street. Both had grocery stores, gasoline stations, hardware stores, banks and other commercial enterprises.

Since the first real estate development activity in the Village occurred at the end of the rail line, it is no surprise that the earliest Whitefish Bay businesses also started there. It is believed that the first grocery store to serve the area was that of Lewis Sheife, built in 1892 on land leased from the railroad. It was located approximately where Winkies exists today. The Chicago and Northwestern Railway tracks ran just to the west of the building. Sheife also served as postmaster. The train would stop regularly to drop off and pick up mail bags.

Other retail stores quickly followed. Some continue to serve the community after many generations. Others closed as the nature of retail commerce changed over the years.

Many of the stores on Henry Clay Street have closed and have been replaced by apartment buildings, when the character of the district changed. The Silver Spring shopping district, however, continues to serve the community well with a diverse mixture of retail establishments.

This image, looking east along Silver Spring Drive, must have been taken in the early 1950s, judging from the vehicles pictured. While significantly changed, several buildings can be readily identified which continue to serve area residents.

More Information

More information about the history of Whitefish Bay and its early residents and structures can be found in:

  • Images of Whitefish Bay, Arcadia Publications, Thomas H. Fehring, 2010.
  • Chronicles of Whitefish Bay, WI, The History Press, Thomas H. Fehring, 2013.
  • Historic Whitefish Bay: A Celebration of Architecture and Character, The History Press, Jefferson J. Aikin and Thomas H. Fehring, 2017. Published to help commemorate the Village’s 125th anniversary.

All three books are available for loan or purchase at the Whitefish Bay library. They are also available at local stores and other booksellers.

The Business Improvement District (BID) Board sincerely thanks the Community Development Authority (CDA) and the Village of Whitefish Bay Board and staff for their support and help in making our business district an amazing place to shop, dine and conduct business.