Lake Geneva’s history revolves around its name sake Geneva Lake. The first settlers to Lake Geneva choose the site to build the county’s first flour mill at the outlet of Geneva Lake to the White River. In 1840, a major road and stage route between Kenosha and Beloit was established through Lake Geneva and in 1844, the settlement became an incorporated village.
Manufacturing was never an important industry in Lake Geneva at that time. Its reputation as a place that rests upon a beautiful lake, and its proximity to Chicago attracted many wealthy men who built, on the south shore particularly, some of the most expensive summer homes found in Wisconsin. After the Chicago Fire, many of the wealthy Chicago families moved into their summer homes while Chicago was rebuilt, causing a large economic boom in the City.
Referred to as “The Newport of the Midwest” or “The Hamptons of the Midwest” the area boasts a rich history of old Chicago wealth. Today Lake Geneva draws individuals from around the world who come to view the multi-million dollar mansions lining the shores and learn about the history that has made this city synonymous with fame and wealth.
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