Hales Corners, a crossroads community since its earliest days, continues to serve as a hub of commerce. Its Community Development Authority, created by the village government in 1994, is dedicated to building on a legacy of strong local enterprise. It works to foster a healthy business environment as well as an attractive residential community.
The governing body of the Village consists of six trustees and a president, all elected at large. A full-time professional administrator manages the daily affairs of the Village. Although Hales Corners enjoys a quasi-rural atmosphere, it provides a full range of municipal services.
An abundance of green space coupled with an absence of heavy industry makes Hales Corners an ideal residential community. Good schools, locally owned businesses, and convenient access to the cultural attractions of the metropolitan area also contribute to an inviting ambience.
Hales Corners traces its origin to the Hale family, who emigrated from Pompey, New York, in the 1830s. Ebenezer and his sons William and Seneca had been prosperous farmers and innkeepers in the East. They used their energy to establish new homes and enterprises in the Wisconsin Territory, which Congress had created in 1836.
One of the earliest businesses in the Hales new home was a sawmill built by Seneca on his farm, which provided a plentiful supply of trees to saw into lumber. A business district soon developed nearby, where the branching of present-day Forest Home Avenue and Janesville Road creates a "triangle." It was on this triangle that William built a hotel, the Planters House, in 1848. The first post office was established in 1854 and located in the Planters House. When William was appointed the first postmaster, the community became known as Hales Corners (the apostrophe was later dropped).
A favorable location on the Indian trail that became Forest Home Avenue enabled Hales Corners to serve farmers from the surrounding area. They appreciated the accommodations and shops that made it unnecessary to travel to Milwaukee for all their supplies. Today, as in the 1850s, local residents can meet their daily needs within the Village or within a few miles of its historic center of commerce.
The Rapid Transit, a train that began serving Hales Corners in 1903, helped make Hales Corners a suburban community from which people could commute to work in Milwaukee. Today, commuters cover the 14 miles to downtown Milwaukee via the accessible Milwaukee County Freeway System. Major state and county highways also serve the Village and surrounding communities. Travel throughout the metropolitan area for purposes of commuting to work, shopping, or entertainment can also be achieved through Milwaukee Countys convenient bus service.
Although the population of Hales Corners has stabilized at about 7,800, its commercial enterprises have continued to expand and diversify. Holz Motors, the oldest and largest Chevrolet dealership in Wisconsin, occupies an 11-acre site at the historic crossroads. Specialty shops and service enterprises are easily accessible along Highway 100, Forest Home Avenue, and Janesville Road. Whether you need a creative advertising campaign, a pair of skis, a new boat, quilting supplies, camping gear, a new appliance, or fresh flowers, chances are you will find what you need within a mile of your home.
Service is a specialty in Hales Corners because so many businesses are owned and operated by local families. For generations, they have provided exceptional products, and they stand behind what they sell.
Hales Corners also boasts a number of restaurants catering to various ethnic tastes as well as fast food preferences. Many additional fine restaurants are within a short drive of the community.
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