The Valley/Piggsville


The Valley/ Piggsville

The neighborhood of Piggsville has humble beginnings. Once rural farmland, the area received its name from the profession of a local pig farmer named Freis.  Until 1925, Piggsville was a rural Milwaukee outpost with gravel roads, outhouses, and wells.

At first, the neighborhood was home to German immigrants. Slovakians, Serbians, Croatians, Czechs, Poles, and Russians settled in later on. By 1910, the neighborhood had a solid economic base due to its highly residential nature, access to Milwaukee Road shops, Miller Brewery, and other industries nearby.

Piggsville is little known to outsiders because of its near invisibility. Many bridges run above the neighborhood, leaving the homes in seclusion below.  Historically, the neighborhood was self-supporting; it teemed with grocery stores, butcher shops, bakeries, and taverns. Residents did not have to leave their boundaries too often, which engendered a very close-knit community. But physical infrastructure developments deeply altered the character of Piggsville:  I-94 was built to border the south side of the neighborhood, the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge was replaced, the 1997 floodwall was erected on the Menomonee River, and Miller Brewing Company expanded. Demographic changes occurred, too, with more working-class African-American, White, and Latino families moving into the neighborhood.

Amidst the changing state of Piggsville, the neighborhood strived to hold the close-knit traditions from the past. It is known today for its affordable housing, strong sense of identity, and peaceful location.