Cedarburg, often called the “perfect hideaway,” and located just north of Milwaukee, has become a popular destination for people of all ages wishing to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of life in the big city. After checking into one of the charming rooms at the Washington House Inn, many of our guests make a beeline for Cedar Creek Settlement, located a few blocks north on the corner of Washington Avenue and Bridge Street. Founded by Frederick Hilgen, Diedrich Wittenberg and Joseph Trottmann in 1864, and built by hand with stones removed from the creek bed, the settlement once housed the oldest woolen mill in the Northwest Territory.
Its location on the creek was specifically chosen to provide the water power that turned the huge gears which powered the machinery. Back then, 21 looms and knitting machines used to work nonstop to produce fine quality yarns, blankets, skirting and worsted flannels.
Now, 150 years later, and after escaping the wrecking ball in 1971, the settlement has been lovingly converted into a fascinating mix of specialty shops sure to delight the most finicky of shoppers. Look for clothing, jewelry, antiques, European accessories and gifts, artists’ studios, restaurants and an award-winning winery. Cedar Creek Settlement is somewhere one can easily wile away the hours, either browsing through the shops or simply enjoying the idyllic setting.