Sheboygan / Wisconsin, USA
With around 51,000 inhabitants, Sheboygan is a typical small American city in a beautiful location on the western edge of Lake Michigan.
From the city’s harbour district, you can get a close-up view of the many yachts and deep-sea fishing boats. Lakeside promenades, shops, restaurants and pubs all invite you to take a stroll and pop in for a bite to eat or a quick round of shopping. The Blue Harbor Resort was opened in summer 2004. The Conference Center, the pleasure park and relaxation center draw in visitors from far and wide. The city’s primary green space, the Esslingen Park, is also worth a visit.
The area around Sheboyan is characterized by arable land, small villages, idyllic lakes and fast-running streams.
At one time, all you would see around the many lakes and rivers in this area would be the tipis of Native Americans. It is thought that the Frenchman Jean Nicolet was the first white man to step foot on the shores of Sheboygan in 1635. Many years passed before the first fur traders and settlers arrived. German, Dutch and Irish settlers, and later English and French ones too, gradually settled to the area and set themselves up as farmers and craftsmen. William Farnsworth arrived in the area in 1822, and was one of the first fur traders to set foot in Sheboygan. He is considered to be Sheboygan’s founding father because he was responsible for a large part of the city’s development. Sheboygan was officially founded on 7th December 1836, and the number of inhabitants rose rapidly. Streets, bridges and a prison were all built in the city. The Sheboygan Mississippi Railroad Co. was inaugurated in 1856.
Education and culture
Pupils and students in Sheboygan have a wide choice of educational institutions, including Lakeland College, Lakeshore Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, which around 7,000 students attend. In addition, the Kohler Arts Center offers children and adults of all ages courses, workshops and camps for both dance and the visual arts.
A symphony orchestra, musicals, the ballet and the theatre that was built in 1928 are permanent features of the city’s cultural life. A number of museums, art exhibitions and festivals draw visitors to the city. Every year in August, Sheboygan hosts a festival with music, fireworks and a historic parade. The festival begins on the first Saturday of August with ”Brat Day” - a homage to the German Bratwurst. The recipe is said to originate from German settlers who moved to the city at the beginning of the 19th Century. ”Bratwurst made in Sheboygan” are praised throughout Wisconsin and even further afield.
Economy and tourism
Factories, sawmills and water-driven flour mills quickly turned the city into a prosperous center of industry just a short while after its founding. The huge forests allowed the wood industry to flourish. The wood from the forests was used to create windmills, window frames and furniture. The Austrian immigrant John Michael Kohler founded Kohler Co., an iron and steelworks, in 1873. Today, Kohler is the largest employer in the region and enjoys a global reputation for manufacturing sanitary facilities. The company uses various charities to promote art and culture in Sheboygan. There is an entire district of the city that bears the name ”Kohler”. Most of the (usually) pretty little houses in this district are home to Kohler Co.’s employees. Other important branches of industry include car parts and the production of plastics.
Sheboygan is primarily an attractive destination for tourists who prefer a sporting getaway. Water sports are a popular activity thanks to the city’s proximity to Lake Michigan. Golfers will enjoy the city too: the American Club is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.