(business locations gleaned from a booklet written by Genevieve Mehre titled Main Street South Germantown published by the Germantown Historical Society. Some of the pictures by Ed Mueller courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society. Residences as remembered in 1940s and 50s by Daniel Sennott, Fred Mehre Jr., Earl Habermacher, and Donald Schulteis.)
In the year 1930, looking at the makeup of the Village using the 1930 census as the portal, the 300 acres supported 72 residence buildings containing 76 families and 256 individuals. Many families offered their homes to boarders. The populous could be classified as well established as few infant and young children were present and teenagers were not that evident either. On the other hand, the over 40 group was well established.
It would seem that the usual store and blacksmith shop were the first two business to resurrect their heads. A brewery and saloon were soon to follow. The brewery could have been first. The two largest business in the early times were devoted to lime making. Those who drive through the area today will never know they existed. Driving north on Highway 145 (Fond du Lac Avenue) past main street you come to the top of an incline about 150 feet up the road. At this point on your left and right sides was a quarry being excavated by the Cream City Lime Company. Through the middle if it ran the road. The depth of the quarry would seem to have been ten foot on the north side to twenty-five foot on the south side. In the 1940s it was full of water and fishing was possible; bullheads on the south side (Gehl's) and pan fish on the north side (Walterlin).
At some point a tunnel was positioned under Fond du Lac Road. With the tunnel bridge in place, when traveling north the kilns would be located on your left (southwest) where the dairy building now stands while the limestone was being excavated on your right, the northeast side. To move the rock from the northeast to the kilns, this could not be done on the surface as it would be a bit difficult and dangerous with all the vehicle traffic, so therefore the tunnel came into being. It was positioned at the center of the quarry. Through this tunnel on a rail line was moved the quarried stone. In the early 1950s the tunnel could still be seen through a small hole on its top on the east side of the road. Would suspect the inner cavity is there today if one digs down a bit.
The second kilns were located west of present day Park Avenue about 3/4 of the way -south to north - Main Street to Fond du Lac. This quarry was deeper and was used by some as the local swimming hole. The area was also great for sleigh riding in the winter with short steep grades although the route was a bit precarious due to 4 foot drop off on the right side. The kilns were identified as owned by the Germantown Lime Company, and Nass Brother's Western Lime and Cement Company.
In 1944 the Germantown Volunteer Fire Company purchased twenty-five acres of land from the John and Anna (Doering) Schwalbach estate for $3,700. At that time, Broadway, now known as Park Avenue, ran from Main Street to Fond du Lac Avenue. It was extended north to Freistadt and some time later had its name changed to Park Avenue. The land to the west of this road was divided into lots and sold to the general public. Initially a road was planned to run east-west through the center of the property with the name Rockton Avenue, although the idea was later dropped. Ball diamonds were located in the south portion, about 1/3, with the center 1/3 planted with trees and beds. The north 1/3 remained undeveloped. Centered on the property on the west side, a half circle road was positioned. Play ground equipment was added along with a Boy Scout Cabin, a tennis curt, and a wooden utility building referred to as the "hamburger stand." As the north half of this land did not reside in the Village, it was shortly thereafter annexed. A new and larger fire house was built in 1956 and enlarged in 1973. The firehouse was positioned on the east side of Park Avenue a little south of halfway between the half circular road entrances.