University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Port Washington 1835 to 1985
([1985])

People, places and events,   pp. 22-31


Page 26

1964 Tornado
The widely accepted theory that "tornados
never touch down near the lake" was struck down
on Saturday, August 22, 1964, at 4:55 p.m. when a
twister cut a path of destruction through Port
Washington, starting at Highway 32 just south of
the city limits, and spinning and grinding its way
to the northeast through residential sections on
the west side. Twenty homes were totally
destroyed, 34 suffered heavy damage and 140
others were in some way touched by the event. A
home on Webster Street was cut in half by a flying
roof; the front door was all that remained of a
house on Monroe; and another, under construc-
tion, completely disappeared. The Harnisfeger
Homes plant sustained $250,000 in damages.
Amazingly, there were no serious injuries. Total
damage was estimated at $2,500,000.
Damage done by the tornado which roared through Port
Washington on August 22, 1964, was extensive. This was the
Jerry Lorge home at 944 N. Webster St.
Photo courtesy of Ambrose Mayer
Churches of Port Washington
When the decision to build a new Grand Avenue United
Methodist Church was made in 1966, the bell was removed
from the tower and kept to be put in place in the special stand
on the side lawn of the new church at 505 W. Grand Avenue.
The Methodists, according to available records,
were the first denomination to hold services in
Port Washington. A tiny congregation met as ear-
ly as 1843 in private homes, later moving to the
public school house. The first pastor, Rev. Lewis,
like all pioneer ministers, traveled on horseback
for distances of many miles to care for the needs
of mission churches widely scattered in the
wilderness. Two Methodist churches appear on
the city map of 1883, the English Methodist
Church on Washington Street between Franklin
and Wisconsin, built in 1851, and the German
Methodist Church built in 1862 on the corner of
Jackson and Milwaukee Streets. In 1898 property
was purchased on Grand Avenue by the
Methodists, and a substantial new church was
dedicated there in 1900. The Grand Avenue United
Methodist Church, completed in 1966, now oc-
cupies the site.
Barnum Blake, a prominant early Port
Washington merchant and owner of one of the
commercial piers, donated a lot on Main Street at
Milwaukee Street for a Presbyterian Church. Ser-
vices were held there until 1864, when the
Presbyterian congregation dissolved. The struc-
ture was purchased by the early Lutheran settlers,
who had been meeting wherever they could find
space since 1854. At that time, St. John's
Lutheran Church was founded. The congregation
met at the Milwaukee Street church until land was
purchased on Webster Street and Foster Street,
and a new church was erected in 1914, the site of
the present church.
First Congregational Church was formed in the
spring of 1898 when a large majority of the
English speaking people of the community met to
discuss forming a new church group that would


Go up to Top of Page