Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan
, Fox Point is one of the North Shore suburbs of the Milwaukee metropolitan area
. The village borders the surrounding communities of Bayside
, River Hills
, and Whitefish Bay
. Mainly residential, Fox Point is also home to the Fox Point Shops in the center of the village and the RiverPoint shopping center at the far northwest end of the village.
Early surveyors in the mid-nineteenth century noted a point that resembled a fox's snout jutting into Lake Michigan
at the present location of Doctor's Park in the village. They originally called it "Foxes Point" before residents eventually shortened it to "Fox Point."
The Fox Point area has been inhabited for thousands of years. The earliest known inhabitants were Woodland period Mound Builders
, who constructed earthen effigy and burial mounds in the area. Many of the mounds were destroyed by white farmers between 1850 and 1920. In the early 19th century, archaeologists also found traces of several Hopewell
villages in the area.
In the early 19th century when the first white settlers arrived, the land was controlled Native Americans, including the Menominee
, and Sauk people
. However, while they may have hunted in the Fox Point area or traveled across the land, it's unlikely that they lived in Fox Point, because the clayey soil would have been difficult for them to till and cultivate.
The Menominee surrendered the land that became Fox Point to the United States Federal Government through the Treaty of Washington
in 1832. In 1833, the Potawatomi signed the Treaty of Chicago
, which required them to leave Wisconsin by 1838.
The land was organized as part of the Town of Milwaukee
in 1835, and much of the land was bought by land speculators
, who cleared the old-growth forests
for timber. The first permanent settler in the area was Cephas Buttles, who owned 160 acres in the Town of Milwaukee and built a cabin in present-day River Hills
in 1843. In the mid-1840s, many families of Dutch
settlers began arriving in the Town of Milwaukee. John Cappon was the first Dutch settler in Fox Point, building his cabin in 1846. By 1855, more than 20 Dutch families lived in Fox Point. The early settlers farmed the land with new techniques that allowed them to cultivate wheat, barley, rye, and corn in the clayey soil. In 1848, they built a one one-room schoolhouses and another two in 1852, including the Old Dutch Schoolhouse Site and Burial Ground, which is a Milwaukee County landmark.
Two Dutch Reformed
congregations formed in the community in its early years. The community's demographics changed later in the nineteenth century. One of Fox Point's first black residents was Calvin Reeves, a formerly enslaved man from Louisiana who moved to the community after the American Civil War with two Dutch-American soldiers returning home from the conflict. German immigrants also began moving to Fox Point in the 1860s, forming St. John's Lutheran
Church in 1866.
Fox Point changed significantly in the 1890s. Many of the originally Dutch farmers had moved to the City of Milwaukee and to the heavily Dutch Village of Oostburg
. By 1898, the Dutch churches had disbanded. But at the same time, wealthy Milwaukeeans were building summer homes in the lakeside community, which was easily accessible via the Lakeshore & Western Railroad constructed in 1870 and later via the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company
streetcars. In 1898, the Fox Point Club—the state's second golf course—opened in the community, and attracted even more wealthy residents to the area, serving as a social center.
The rural Town of Milwaukee did not provide electricity, running water, sewage, or garbage collection, and by the 1920s, Fox Point's increasingly wealthy residents wanted a higher standard of municipal service.
Fox Point incorporated as a village in 1926, formed a school district in 1927, and began creating municipal parks, including Doctors Park on the Lake Michigan shore, which opened in 1930 and was transferred to the Milwaukee County parks system in 1937.
Although the late 1920s saw a short-lived building boom before the Great Depression
, the population remained in the hundreds through World War II
But the village dramatically grew during the post-war boom
with the population increasing from 1,180 in 1940 to 7,939 in 1970, a nearly seven-fold increase. The village also gained territory in 1954, when Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, and River Hills agreed to annex what remained of the Town of Milwaukee to prevent the City of Milwaukee from expanding across northeastern Milwaukee County.
Since the 1970s, the village population has slowly yet consistently declined.
Fox Point, situated within the humid continental climate zone
(Köppen prefix D), experiences distinct seasonal
variation, with wide swings in temperature and precipitation.
The village's immediate proximity to Lake Michigan makes it susceptible to lake-effect snow
in the winter months.
The warmest month of the year in Fox Point is July, with a high temperature average of 84 °F (28.9 °C) and low temperatures of 64 °F (17.8 °C). The summer months are the wettest months of the year, with frequent thunderstorms
in the region. January is the coldest month, with average high temperatures averaging only 30 °F (-1.1 °C), and lows averaging 14 °F (-10 °C).
February is the driest month.
As of the census
of 2010, there were 6,701 people, 2,747 households, and 1,859 families residing in the village. The population density
was 2,310.7 inhabitants per square mile (892.2/km2
). There were 2,928 housing units at an average density of 1,009.7 per square mile (389.8/km2
). The racial makeup of the village was 91.5% White
, 2.8% African American
, 0.1% Native American
, 3.7% Asian
, 0.4% from other races
, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 2.4% of the population.
There were 2,747 households, of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples
living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.3% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.92.
The median age in the village was 45.6 years. 22.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.4% were from 25 to 44; 32.4% were from 45 to 64; and 18.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 7,012 people, 2,825 households, and 1,988 families residing in the village. The population density
was 2,399 people per square mile (927.2/km2
). There were 2,910 housing units at an average density of 995.7 per square mile (384.8/km2
). The racial makeup of the village was 95.55% White
, 1.21% African American
, 0.11% Native American
, 2.14% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.19% from other races
, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.06% of the population.
There were 2,825 households, out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples
living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the village, the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $80,572, and the median income for a family was $94,348. Males had a median income of $77,850 versus $38,500 for females. The per capita income
for the village was $48,469. About 1.8% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
The entrance to the village on Lake Drive
The government of the Village of Fox Point consists of a Village Board, and various other boards, commissions and committees. The Village operates under the Village-Manager form of government. The Board consists of six trustees and a President, who are elected to serve three-year terms. The current President is Douglas H. Frazer, whose term will expire in 2023.
The current Village Manager is Scott Botcher, who has served since 2015. The Board has three committees: a finance committee of three members, which oversees economic matters; an audit committee with three trustees and two residents who assist the finance committee; and a three-member administration committee, which oversees new village laws. Other committees, boards, and commissions include the plan commission, board of appeals, board of police commissioners, board of reviews, the building board, board of ethics, the fair housing commission, and the historic preservation committee. In Fox Point, the President also appoints a trustee and a resident to serve on the board of the North Shore Public Library.
The Village participates in several shared municipal services, including the North Shore Fire Department, North Shore Dispatch, North Shore Library, and the North Shore Health Department.
As of July 2020, the Village of Fox Point was the only Village in Wisconsin with a Moody's Aaa bond rating, first earned in 2019 (reaffirmed in 2020).
For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, Fox Point is part of two public school districts: the Fox Point-Bayside School District and the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District. Both school districts are feeders for Nicolet High School
. St. Eugene Catholic Grade School, a private Catholic school serving students from preschool through 8th grade, is also located in the village, as is Fox Point Preschool, part of Fox Point Lutheran Church, the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, the Bader Hillel Academy, and the Jewish Beginnings Lubavitch Preschool.
Portions of Cardinal Stritch University's
campus are located within village boundaries, though the university's official mailing address is in Glendale.
The North Shore Public Library serves the community. Its board is a multi-municipal body with representatives from Fox Point, Bayside, Glendale, and River Hills. The library is a member of the Milwaukee County Federated Library System
, and it therefore serves residents from across Milwaukee County.
The Chipstone Foundation
has its headquarters in Fox Point. There are also many stores, mainly located in the River Point Shopping Mall and the Fox Point Shops.
The per return Adjusted Gross Income for the Village in 2018 was $198,960. (July 2020 Official Statement)
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Last edited on 22 June 2021, at 20:04
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