Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Elkhart Lake is a village in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, United States, located within the northwestern part of the county within the Town of Rhine. The population was 967 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Sheboygan, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. Elkhart Lake may be best known for hosting road races on public county roads during the 1950s, later moving to a dedicated race track called Road America, which is located a few miles south of the village.
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Location of Elkhart Lake in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.
|• Total||1.29 sq mi (3.34 km2)|
|• Land||1.28 sq mi (3.32 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)|
|Elevation||948 ft (289 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||791.73/sq mi (305.79/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1584500|
The area was first inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians and they named the area “Me-shay-way-odeh-ni-bis”, or Great Elk Heart Lake, because the lake resembles an elk's heart. Few people traveled to the area until the 1860s when the Mississippi Railroad came to Glenbeulah, making it possible for them to take a stagecoach the rest of the way to Elkhart. In 1872 the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad came into Elkhart and brought more travelers. The area was incorporated as Elkhart Lake in 1894.
Elkhart Lake is located at (43.832057, -88.017440).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.29 square miles (3.34 km2), of which, 1.28 square miles (3.32 km2) of it is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 967 people, 457 households, and 286 families residing in the village. The population density was 755.5 inhabitants per square mile (291.7/km2). There were 706 housing units at an average density of 551.6 per square mile (213.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
There were 457 households of which 18.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.58.
The median age in the village was 48.9 years. 15.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.7% were from 25 to 44; 34.7% were from 45 to 64; and 21.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 50.4% male and 49.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,021 people, 436 households, and 292 families residing in the village. The population density was 790.5 people per square mile (305.6/km²). There were 599 housing units at an average density of 463.8 per square mile (179.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.73% White, 0.10% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.08% of the population.
There were 436 households out of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.75.
In the village, the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $56,538, and the median income for a family was $60,694. Males had a median income of $37,708 versus $26,776 for females. The per capita income for the village was $27,873. About 0.7% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
Racing at Elkhart Lake dates back to the 1950s. The very first races were held on July 23, 1950 on a 3.35 mile road circuit north of the lake. These first races were very successful for the time, drawing a crowd of over 5,000. Races were originally held on a street circuit that ran around the Lake with the start/finish line in the village. In 1951 and 1952, races were held on a new 6.5 mile circuit that circumvented the Lake. The 1951 races drew an estimated crowd of 50,000 spectators and the 1952 races saw an estimated crowd of over 100,000 people. The 1952 races would be the last races held on the open road circuit. Three years later, a new, specially designed track was built south of the village. Road America was built in 1955 with the first racing being held on September 10 & 11, 1955. Each year, Road America holds over 425 events, one of the most popular being the Kohler International Challenge in July. The economic impact from the track, its events, and visitors is estimated at $70 million annually.
Arts and cultureEdit
Annual cultural eventsEdit
Every July, during the Kohler International Challenge, Road & Track holds a race car Concours d'Elegance in the village. This draws a large crowd as people line the streets from Road America to the shore of Elkhart Lake watching the cars drive past on their way to downtown Elkhart Lake. The cars park in the streets of Elkhart Lake, mainly on Lake Street, where curious visitors, car enthusiasts, and other racers alike walk up and down the streets looking at the cars. As the concourse comes to a close, Road & Track announces the winner of various awards including the best-looking car award. The cars return to the track around 7:30 pm, just before the sun sets because many of the cars do not have headlights.
Jazz on the Vine is an annual festival held in May. Jazz musicians from all over the United States come to the festival to perform.
There are several museums in Elkhart Lake, including the Elkhart Lake Depot Museum and Henschel's Indian Museum. The Elkhart Lake Depot Museum is a century-old railroad station that has original depot furnishings and local memorabilia. Henschel's Indian Museum is located on an archaeological dig site and has a collection of Indian copper, pottery and artifacts that date back to 8,000 BC. 
Parks and recreationEdit
Two parks in the area are Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park and Fireman's Park and Swimming Beach. Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park has campsites, fishing, picnic and camping areas and access to a snowmobile trail system. Fireman's Park and Swimming Beach is a seasonal sand beach.
Primary and secondary schoolsEdit
Elkhart Lake is located approximately one mile southeast of the northern terminus of the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. The Scenic Drive was part of the road racing circuit used in the 1950s. Wisconsin Highway 67 runs north/south through the city. Secondary routes include County Highway A from the northeast. County Highway J runs concurrent with the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive through the city. They enter the city from the northwest, run north/south through the center of the city, and exit to the southwest.
- Leonard Bloomfield, linguist, spent part of his childhood in Elkhart Lake
- Patrick Geraghty, farmer, schoolteacher and legislator
- Nicolas Hammann, racing driver
- Otto A. La Budde, businessman, legislator, and president of the village of Elkhart Lake.
- Francis E. McGovern, 22nd Governor of Wisconsin, born in Elkhart Lake
Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah High School
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- "Henschel's Indian Museum". Henschel’s Indian Museum. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
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- "A Photographic History of Elkhart Lake" by Peter Laun, published by Sun Graphics, 2002.