When visiting Jones Park located on South Carferry Drive, you may expect to see a roped off area of green grass, a playground where young children can be seen swinging on swings, or owners walking their beloved pets, but what you will quickly come to find is that this park is unlike any other in size, shape, appearance and history. Milwaukee’s smallest park, Jones Park, has only a large anchor and a commemorative plaque, that reads "Designated as a Milwaukee landmark in 1974 in recognition of the unique multi-ethnic fishing village that flourished on this peninsula during the late 19th and 20th centuries and played a significant role in the city 's history." Yet this tiny park has one of the most interesting histories of global connection and migration to Milwaukee. In 1870 the Polish Kashubes originally settled upon the island, and began to turn the area into a home for families who made a living off of fishing lake Michigan. By 1905 the flourishing island was covered with boats, docks, fences, houses, smoke houses, fish shanties, barns, saloon-dance halls, grocery stores, butcher shops, bakeries, a yacht club house, and four grade school barracks. The island had over 1500 inhabitants and was packed full of the traditions and culture that these strong willed people brought with them. The island at that time was known amongst the city as a great place to have a German beer and a Fish prepared by the Kashubes. Its said that the island was a great resting place for the immigrating Kashubes, because in appearance it was very similar to their original homeland, Puk and Hel near the Baltic Sea in Poland. The Kashubes are from a region of Poland called Kazube, now known as Pomerania, some of whom left Poland in the early 1800s while there was political reorganization by neighboring countries. These immigrants from Poland settled in Milwaukee’s Jones islands as well as across North American and Ontario.
References: BrevvÃ¤xling, R. (n.d.). OnMilwaukee.com Travel & Visitors Guide: Kaszubes Park marks an interesting past. OnMilwaukee.com - Milwaukee 's Daily Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://onmilwaukee.com/visitors/articles/kaszubespark.html Conner, A. (1978, October 4). Kashube: A Nationality fused from others. The Milwaukee Journal , p. Page 5. Kriehn., R. (n.d.). The fisherfolk of Jones Island (Book, 1988) [WorldCat.org]. WorldCat.org: The World 's Largest Library Catalog. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.worldcat.org/title/fisherfolk-of-jones-island/oclc/19121218&referer=brief_results SueBurke. (n.d.). Patchword.com : The online writers ' resource centre. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.patchword.com/sueburke/eng/print/freewriting_detail.asp?id=56 Lackey, J. F. (Director). (2003). The people nobody knew [Documentary]. United States: Urban Anthropology Inc..