Lime Kiln Park - Grafton

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Lime Kiln Park is a Village of Grafton community park set along the banks of the Milwaukee River. Its three iconic kilns have become a symbol of the park and of Grafton. The park includes two historic sites, the former Bridge Street iron trestle Bridge and the Lime Kilns. Recreation opportunities include a kick-ass sledding hill, archery range, best trout fishing on the Milwaukee, horseshoe pits, and a boat launch pad for kayaks and canoes. It's a great place to escape to for local residents, but the reason the park draws regional and interstate visitors is for its highly rated 9 hole disc golf course.





Lime Kilns



Lime Kiln Furnace
Lime Kiln Furnace

If you take the time to walk the grounds of Lime Kiln park you will notice that it is the site of an old quarry. Lime was quarried here by the Milwaukee Falls Lime Company. The kilns, of which there were once five, were used to fire the lime to 2000 degrees, which converted it into calcium carvonate, calcium oxide, or lime. It was then crushed into a fine powder and shipped out on the nearby railroad tracks to be used by the many tanneries in Milwaukee. The quarry was closed in the 1920's, it was used as a town dump for many decades, and finally a park was built over the dump in an effort to clean up the Milwaukee River.

Lime Kilns at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton WI

The Old Iron bridge Street Bridge



So, why is this very robust bridge set here crossing a piddley drainage ditch? Well, the bridge located here is the result of a political debate in which historic preservationist mostly lost. This steel truss bridge was formerly the Bridge Street Bridge in Grafton's downtown. It was erected in 1888 and was the only passenger bridge in the Village at that time. It was used up until 1996. I do remember crossing it, having gotten my license in 1995, and it was kind of a thrill. The Bridge crossed high above a treacherous section of river. It was never intended for car traffic and it was only one lane - so you had to wait for each car to cross one at a time. And, you never really knew when the bridge would fall apart and send you to a certain watery death.

Bridge Street Iron Bridge
Bridge Street Iron Bridge
It was probably a good idea to close the bridge to car traffic. But, it was a total act of brilliance to replace the bridge with a brand new concrete span that is located only one block South of another major concrete Bridge on Highway 60. Never mind keeping a landmark historic pedestrian bridge. Pedestrians?! Who are they? This is Grafton, not Madison. People drive here, they don't walk!

The two or three historic preservationists in Grafton at the time lost the battle to keep the bridge at its location, but they did convince enough residents and board members that the bridge was an artifact and should be saved. So, it was moved to its current location in Lime Kiln Park - which is pretty laughable. I took off the day from school to watch it being hoisted onto a truck and rolled down main street. In retrospect, it was probably a good call to build a new concrete bridge on Bridge Street, I'm sure the four people who drive over it each day are very glad it is there instead of that unsightly historic steel skeleton.



Directions and Map




Address for your GPS: 2008-2034 S Green Bay Rd, Grafton, WI 53024
| Coordinates: N43.306429, W087.955047 |

From Milwaukee25 Minutes
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay1.5 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis5.5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours




Photos




Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park
Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park

Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park
Bridge Street Bridge - Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI

Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park
Bridge Street Bridge - Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI

Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park
Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park

Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park

Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park
Grafton Lime Kilns - Lime Kiln Park

Disc Golf at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton WI
Disc Golf at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton WI

Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI
Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI

Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI
Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park - Grafton WI

Dad's Trout Fishing Spot at Lime Kiln Park
Dad's Trout Fishing Spot at Lime Kiln Park

Disc Golf at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton WI
Disc Golf at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton WI




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