Black Creek, Wisconsin
|Black Creek, Wisconsin|
Black Creek Welcome Sign
|Nickname(s): "Birthplace of the First Organized Baseball Team", "Crossroads to the Northwoods"|
Location of Black Creek in Outagamie County, Wisconsin.
Location of Black Creek, Wisconsin in Outagamie County
|• Type||President – Trustees|
|• President||Steve Rettler|
|• Total||1.04 sq mi (2.69 km2)|
|• Land||1.03 sq mi (2.67 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||804 ft (245 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||1,317|
|• Density||1,277.7/sq mi (493.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1582819|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Media
- 8 Infrastructure
- 9 Arts and culture
- 10 Recreation
- 11 National Register of Historic Places
- 12 Religion
- 13 Notable people
- 14 Gallery
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
The village of Black Creek was settled by American Civil War veteran, Thomas J. Burdick and his son, Abraham L. Burdick, in 1862. The community had been known as Middleburg, due to its geographical proximity to the larger communities of Green Bay, Shawano, and Appleton, until its incorporation as a village in 1904. This name change was made to reflect the dark-colored creek at the northern edge of the community. Black Creek's first village president was Charles J. Hagen, founder of Chas Hagen Cheese Box Company, now known as Konz Wood Products. In 1962 a centennial celebration was held and a sesquicentennial celebration was held on June 2, 2012.
In 1869, the country's first organized baseball team was formed in Black Creek by L.J. Cook. Thus, the village is known as the birthplace of Wisconsin baseball. At the time, the team played at the village's North Park. It was a part of the Dairyland League along with teams from the communities of Bonduel, Hofa Park, Landstad, Garso, Seymour, Oneida, Shiocton, Kaukauna, Bear Creek, Oconto Falls, Greenville, Ashwaubenon, and Little Chute. Black Creek's major rivalries were with the Navarino Rangers and the Nichols Nitros. The Black Creek team disbanded in the mid-1990s. To commemorate the village's baseball history, a "North vs. South Grudge Match" softball game is played annually.
In 1875, Black Creek published its first newspaper, the Black Creek Journal, which was discontinued in 1880. The Black Creek Times Press was first issued in 1904 and discontinued in 1928.
Black Creek established its first dairy factory, Black Creek Creamery, in 1901. Since the plant's beginning, numerous changes in ownership have occurred.
The village library formed in 1901. The following year, 1902, a large fire destroyed much of Main Street, leading to the organization of the village fire department in 1917. In 1910 telephone service was made available to local residents, with electricity making its debut in 1911.
The Black Creek area was formerly the nation's leader in sauerkraut production. Thus, the village has supported multiple sauerkraut factories since the late 1880s. One well-known brand was Frank Pure Food Company which purchased an existing kraut plant in Black Creek in 1956. The plant specialized in Frank's Quality Kraut on the village's west side for decades, but later ceased operations in the mid 1990s.
In an effort to promote tourism, the nickname "Crossroads to the Northwoods" was adopted in 2004. Four years later, in 2008, the former Green Bay & Western Railroad corridor was converted into the multi-use Newton Blackmour State Trail.
In the summer of 2010, Black Creek experienced two major flooding events. The first occurred on the morning of July 19 when 4 inches (100 mm) of rain fell and the second on the night of August 20 when the community received another 6 inches (150 mm). Other smaller floods in the past flooded only the Canadian National Railway underpass.
Black Creek is located at  in northeastern Wisconsin at the intersection of WIS-47 and WIS-54, about 20 miles (40 km) west of Green Bay and 15 miles (24 km) north of the Fox Cities. It is in the Central Plains and Eastern Ridges and Lowlands regions of Wisconsin. The community is considered part of the Fox Valley.(44.474517, −88.450125).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.04 square miles (2.69 km2), of which, 1.03 square miles (2.67 km2) of it is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Black Creek has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb),. Like other cities with this type of climate, there are four distinct seasons, often with severe or extreme variation between them in terms of temperature and precipitation. The village experiences warm, humid, frequently hot summers and long, cold and snowy winters. The variance in temperature and precipitation between months is severe and often extreme.
Monthly mean temperatures range from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) in January to 70 °F (21.1 °C) in July. In July, the warmest month, the average high temperature is 81 °F (27.2 °C). There are 8 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 163 days where the high remains at or below freezing annually. From December to February, even during thaws, the temperature rarely reaches 50 °F (10 °C). Extremes have ranged from −31 °F (−35 °C) to 99 °F (37 °C).
The wettest month in Black Creek is August, when 4 inches (101.6 mm) of precipitation falls, mostly in the form of rainfall from thunderstorms. The driest month in Black Creek is February, when the majority of precipitation falls as low moisture-content snow due to cold, dry air. On average, 1 inch (25.4 mm) of precipitation falls in February.
There have been five tornadoes in the Black Creek area, ranging in intensity from F0 to F3. An F3 tornado touched down four miles from the WIS 54/WIS 47 intersection on June 26, 1969 and traveled northeast past Seymour, causing one injury. On December 1, 1970 an F3 tornado touched down in Hortonville, traveled northeast and stopped 2.5 miles from the center of Black Creek. On May 30, 1980, a category 1 tornado touched down 1.5 miles from the center of the village and traveled eastward across the village. A category 2 tornado touched down in Stephensville on May 6, 1982, 10 miles from the center of Black Creek, and traveled northeast, stopping just outside the village limits. The most recent tornado, rated F0, touched down briefly just north of Black Creek on June 13, 2005.
|Climate data for Black Creek, Wisconsin|
|Record high °F (°C)||50
|Average high °F (°C)||23
|Daily mean °F (°C)||15
|Average low °F (°C)||6
|Record low °F (°C)||−31
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||1.2
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||12.1
|Average precipitation days||10||8||11||11||11||10||10||10||10||9||9||11||120|
|Average snowy days||9||8||7||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||9||39|
|Average relative humidity (%)||72.5||72||72||66.5||65.5||68.5||70.5||74||74||72||74.5||75.5||71.46|
|Percent possible sunshine||44||52||53||58||63||66||66||65||60||61||42||44||56.2|
|Source #1: My Forecast Historical Almanac |
|Source #2: City Data |
| Village incorporation in 1904.|
As of 2012, the community of Black Creek is the 331st largest municipality of 770 cities and villages in Wisconsin and the 9,195th largest city in the United States. Black Creek has been growing faster than 73% of similarly sized communities since 2000.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,316 people, 513 households, and 354 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,277.7 inhabitants per square mile (493.3/km2). There were 540 housing units at an average density of 524.3 per square mile (202.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.0% White, 1.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 513 households of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.0% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.03.
The median age in the village was 32.2 years. 29.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.2% were from 45 to 64; and 9.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,192 people, 485 households, and 335 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,145.5 people per square mile (442.5/km²). There were 513 housing units at an average density of 493.0 per square mile (190.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.73% White, 1.01% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 485 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the village, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $42,946, and the median income for a family was $49,896. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,286 for females. The per capita income for the village was $18,226. About 5.2% of families and 7.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
The Village of Black Creek is governed by a board of six elected representative trustees and a president. The village also has a board made up of a treasurer/clerk, deputy clerk, librarian, police chief, fire chief, custodian, WWTP operator, building inspector, municipal justice, assessor, and an attorney. The elected board is responsible for establishing the tax rate, approving the budget, setting village policies, and establishing the strategic direction of the village. The president is responsible for making appointments to boards and commissions and for chairing the village board meetings. Committees consist of Finance, Courts and Public Safety, Buildings and Grounds, Insurance and Personnel, Planning Commission, Board of Review, Street, Utility, Ordinance, Board of Health, and a Zoning Board of Appeals Committee. The board meets once a month.
Law enforcement is provided by the Black Creek Police Department, which has one full-time police chief and six part-time officers. Fire protection and rescue is provided by volunteers of the Black Creek Fire and Rescue Department, which has 46 firefighters, 9 EMTs, and 10 first responders.
Black Creek is in Wisconsin State Senate District 2, represented by Robert Cowles - R, Wisconsin State Assembly District 5, represented by Jim Steineke - R, and U.S. Congressional District 8, represented by Reid Ribble - R.
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Saputo-Alto Black Creek "A Wisconsin Classic"
(formerly Outagamie County Producers Cooperative)
|2||Ralph's Hardwood Floors Company Incorporated||20-49|
|3||Sal's Foods Center Incorporated||20-49|
|4||Brick's Supper Club 47||10-19|
|5||O J Krull/Sons Fur Farm Incorporated||10-19|
|6||Sam Sommers Concrete||10-19|
|7||Ron’s Service Incorporated||10-19|
|8||Badgerland Buildings Incorporated||10-19|
|9||RJM Construction, LLC||10-19|
|10||Black Creek Convenience Incorporated||10-19|
Main Street revitalization
In the summer of 2011, the "Open for Business" Campaign was begun by the village and area businesses in an effort to attract new businesses. Their goal is to revitalize the community and the downtown area. The campaign is encouraging structural face-lifts and the growth of new specialty shops to help attract tourists traveling through to the Northwoods.
Towards the end of 2013, the Black Creek Business Association partnered with a UW-Madison student to conduct a community needs assessment. A survey of residents showed that what most wanted was a sense of community, with an atmosphere of a small town and an emphasis on "ma and pa" shops. Residents expressed an interest in an increase in food choices, the addition of flower planters and trees, making village streets more biker friendly, more parking areas, and slowing traffic on Main Street. Additionally, a desire from residents to restore and preserve historic buildings is also present throughout the study. It was suggested that the community utilize an empty lot adjacent to the state trail for a new community center that would host indoor and outdoor events. In addition to this, a new Veterans park, extended trail systems, and the addition of decorative lighting would be added to the downtown area. Together, with a UW-Extension consultant, the board devised an eight-step plan for recruiting new businesses.
The village has one public school, Black Creek Elementary & Middle School, which serves grades 4K through 8th. Part of the Seymour Community School District, the school was built in 1954 and has undergone four major expansions: 1957, 1969, 1987, and 2008. The school mascot is the bobcat.
Seymour Community High School serves the community as the area high school.
Black Creek's first school was built in 1874 and condemned in 1900. A two-story school, built in 1900 along State Street, was used until 1954. Because of lack of space, the school system also rented the former community hall from 1937 to 1954. Black Creek's present school was constructed in 1954. In 1958 the one-room schoolhouses in the surrounding vicinity closed and their students transferred to the village school, doubling the enrollment. Kindergarten, art, music, and physical education were also added that year. The village school was consolidated into the Seymour Community School District in 1963.
The Black Creek Village Public Library is a member of the Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS).
Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran's Grow With Us Child Center, a Christian child care center, serves infants through four-year-olds and offers before- and after-school care for youth over four years old.
Black Creek has an average of 10,100 cars passing through daily, and 3.7 million cars per year. Approximately 8,200 cars pass through Black Creek's downtown area on average, and about 6,100 cars drive through the Wisconsin Highway 47 / Wisconsin Highway 54 intersection throughout the day. Burdick Street has about 740 cars traveling on it daily.
||Wisconsin Highway 47, also marked as Main Street, northbound, intersects Wisconsin Highway 29 in Shawano. Southbound, Highway 47 connects to Interstate 41 in Appleton.|
||Wisconsin Highway 54, also marked State Street, Westward routes to Shiocton and Waupaca. Eastward Highway 54 routes to Seymour and intersects Interstate 41 and Interstate 43 in Green Bay.|
||County Trunk Highway B terminates in the west on the village's southern edge at Wisconsin Highway 47. Its eastern terminus is County Trunk Highway PP.|
|The Canadian National, going northbound routes to and terminates in Shawano. Going southbound it routes to Appleton and the Chicago area.|
Airports near Black Creek
Major airports near Black Creek include Austin Straubel International Airport (public) in the village of Ashwaubenon and Outagamie County Regional Airport (public), in the town of Greenville. Private airports in the vicinity include Shiocton Airport in Shiocton and Five Corners Airways in Five Corners.
Water services are provided by the village's waste water treatment plant. Electricity and natural gas lines for the community are run by WE Energies. Biweekly recycling pickup is performed by Outagamie County Solid Waste Department and the village provides weekly garbage collection.
ThedaCare Physicians serves Black Creek as the local clinic. Other health resources in the village include a chiropractor, a dentist and an optometrist. Nearby hospitals are Appleton Medical Center, part of the ThedaCare System; St. Elizabeth Hospital, part of the Affinity Medical Group; and New London Family Medical Center.
Arts and culture
- Annual 5K Run for the Timbers
- Annual Altrusa Club Polkafest
- Annual Village-Wide Rummage Sale
- Annual Black Creek Community Christmas Festival
- Annual Family Daze Parade and Festival - formerly known as "Homecoming"
(Festivities held at South Park after parade):
- Antique Car, Tractor, & Motorcycle Show
- Craft Fair
- Softball Grudge Match
Citizen of the Year Award has been held by the Black Creek Advancement Association since 1990. The award recognizes individuals actively involved in the community who are nominated by other residents.
Points of interest
- Black Creek Sportsman's Club
- Black Creek Swimming Lake
- Black Creek Downtown Shoppes
- The Meadows
In May 2013, Black Creek Advancement Association and Duhm-Masch American Legion Post 332 announced they would create a veteran's memorial in Black Creek.
The village of Black Creek is served by three parks and one recreational trail. There are also two environmental nature preserves in the vicinity. Parks are officially open from April 1 to October 15 (weather permitting).
- Fallen Timbers Environmental Center is a 456-acre (1,845,366 m²) environmental nature lab with woodlands, meadows, ponds, and prairies. There is also 8.2 miles (13.197 km) of hiking and cross country skiing trails
- Lake Park is 11 acres (40,468 m²) and includes a swimming hole, playground, pavilions, restrooms, disc golf course, and a horseshoe toss.
- Mack State Wildlife Area is a 1,350-acre (5,463,256.17 m²) wildlife preserve with woodlands, marsh, meadows, and swampland.
- North Park is 6 acres (20,234 m²) and includes a baseball diamond, a batting cage, and restrooms.
- South Park is 9 acres (28,327 m²) and includes a two baseball diamonds, batting cage, playground, pavilion, restrooms, firefighter's water fight barrel, and (during winter) an ice skating rink.
Newton Blackmour State Trail
The Newton Blackmour State Trail, part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, extends 24 miles from Seymour to New London. The trail is used for snowmobiles, snowshoing, and cross country skiing in winter and hiking, biking and horse back riding in summer. The name "Newton-Blackmour" is made up from the four incorporated communities along the trail.
Black Creek Youth Sports Organization (BCYS) is the area's only sports league. The organization plays tee ball (ages 5–6); machine pitch (ages 7–8); Little League (ages 9–12); and softball (ages 9–12). Teams are sponsored by local businesses. Softball and Little League teams play against other area communities, while tee ball and machine pitch teams play against other Black Creek teams. Each year Black Creek Youth Sports has three tournaments, either tee ball or machine pitch tournaments, and also sponsors the annual North/South Grudge Match softball tournament.
Snowmobiling is a major winter activity in the Black Creek area. The village is within county snowmobile trail zones one, two, and seven and is criss-crossed by numerous trail routes.
National Register of Historic Places
The George Peters House, located at 305 North Maple Street in Black Creek, , is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places. It is in an area of Black Creek where buildings range from 100 to 180 years old. Historic Hotel Arlington is located just down the street from this residence, located across the street is the Black Creek Founders Memorial next to the Newton Blackmour State Trail. Also located in this area is the historic Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (named Evangelische Lutheran Immanuel's Kirche) and the downtown business district.
The village of Black Creek currently supports four active houses of worship including the Community Bible Church (1999), of the Southern Baptist Convention, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) (1901), Saint John's United Church of Christ (1877), and Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church (1873).
- John Miller Baer, U.S. Representative for North Dakota
- Kenneth E. Priebe, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- W. C. Zumach, Wisconsin State Senator and American Socialist
Looking north at WIS DOT sign on WIS 47
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