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HistoryLand for the village was purchased from the government in 1841. It was first platted by James Dickerson in 1850, May 9th and 19th, and recorded July 12th, 1850. Settlers paid $1.25 an acre and received a certificate of entry. There were twenty three lots.
Dickerson came in 1849, dammed the creek and built a small saw mill, that soon fell into disuse. He then built a grist mill in 1852, the first building in the village. The second building was a wagon shop built by W.J. Miller. Across the street, James Stilson built a store that also had the first post office. The fourth building was a home built by James Dickerson, which was later used as a hotel for some of the mill hands, and burned in 1883.
The first railroad was built in the fifties, and was known as the Fox River Road. In 1862 the Chicago and North Western built a line from Williams Bay to Chicago. The Oatman Bros built a creamery, and shipped milk to Chicago. They dammed the creek, built an ice house, and shipped ice to Chicago.
Before the railroad lines were built, the settlement was called Genoa and was named after a town in New York state which was named from the city in Italy. The settlement was renamed to Genoa Junction due to the junction of the two railroad lines. (There is also a Genoa located in Vernon County, Wisconsin and a Genoa located in DeKalb County, Illinois)
One of the first settlers was Timothy Fellows who came from Michigan. The area was so sparsely settled, that the settlers had to blaze trees to make paths. Not even a road marked the site of the future village. Daniel Rowe came in 1838 and settled west of the creek.
The first school, called the Old Academy Building, was moved to Freeman Street and used as a drug store by W. C. Goetse.
By 1880 the village had about three hundred inhabitants and had a post office, flour mill, grist mill, lumber yard, two carriage shops, hotel, three general stores, one drug store, grocery store, hardware store, tailor, shoe maker and two salon keepers. In 1885 Adolf Freeman platted two additions.
On January 11th, 1884, a fire destroyed many businesses on Freeman Street.
In 1852 the Congregational Church left meeting in Bloomfield, and built a church at a cost of $3,300, a bell was purchased in 1872. After having a Methodist Sunday School class for many years, a class room was built in 1893. The next year an audience room was added due to the efforts of J. M. Carey.
In 1890 the Borden's factory was built. The Carter Opera house in 1892. New buildings replaced those lost in the fire. The J. M. Carey store building was moved down and across the street, and was known as the Gasoroil building.
Today...Like many small communities, Genoa City has seen many changes since the early days when it was known as Genoa Junction! Genoa City now has a population of over 3000 residents with industrial parks, an elementary school, a middle school, library, full-time police department, paid/volunteer fire department and a host of other local businesses.
One of the community's biggest family attractions is the Genoa City Recreation Program organized in part by three local residents; postmaster Joe Darling(d), pharmacist Jim Krisik(d) and Stan Torstenson (business owner). Through their efforts and strong baseball/softball support of the community, Genoa City now has several ball fields along with family parks.
Continuing in the spirit of community support, People for the Parks (through fundraisers and donations) purchased and installed playground equipment and plan to add more.
Veterans Memorial Park is host for the annual Genoa City Days sponsored by the Genoa City Lions Club. This annual three day event is enjoyed by young and old, with food, music, games, mud bogs and other family fun!
Stop by and check out the "Gateway to Wisconsin" -- Genoa City!
for visiting Genoa City!
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