The Valley/Piggsville

The neighborhood of Piggsville had humble beginnings as rural farm land and received its name from the profession of 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 with highly residential with Milwaukee Road shops, Miller Brewery and other plants nearby to provide a solid economic base.

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 its 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 expanded.  Many homes and taverns were lost.  Demographic changes occurred too with more working class African Americans, Whites, and Latinos 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.