Park History

Doctors Park is located on the border of Fox Point and Bayside on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It shares it’s northern border with the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.
Doctors Park is comprised of approximately 49 acres situated on the bluff, and features a number of ways to descend from the parking lot, playground and practice fields above to the beach and lake below. These include a paved trail, stairs and semi-maintained dirt trail.

Doctors Park was established in 1928, a gift to the City of Milwaukee by Dr. Joseph E. Schneider, an eye specialist. The land was that on which he had established his country home, and upon his death he willed the land to the city with the intent that the land be undisturbed, save for any measures necessary to open the property for public use. The park opened to the public in 1930 after an expenditure of $26,000 0n improvements.  Part of this expenditure was the memorial at the park entrance which was dedicated on September 14, 1930. The park was transferred to Milwaukee County Parks  in 1937, along with a few other city of Milwaukee parks. Adjoining the park on the south is a small Dutch cemetery, one of the oldest burial grounds in Milwaukee County. First burials date from the cholera epidemic of 1850. The photo here is an aerial view from 1937.  Note the path from Dean Road to the Memorial and the arching path that comes from Fox Lane (a tree lined road that served his house from Fox Lane that is still in use) and an extension that led to the path down to the beach that is still visible but abandoned years ago.

Other developments which took place after the park’s opening included construction of the bathhouse and jetties as part of a WPA  project in 1939-1940. Additional jetties, the pavilion (restrooms) and the long staircase on the face of the bluff were constructed in 1949. Doctors Park’s wonderful, expansive beach, was named Tietjen Beach in 2001, after George Tietjen, who founded Milwaukee County’s Lifeguard Corps. Mr. Tietjen became the first Lifeguard Director for the Parks Department in 1946 and held this position until he retired in 1977.  Earlier in the beach’s history, report of nude night time bathers prompted sheriff patrols in August 1930.

2 replies added

  1. J. Jahnke June 1, 2012

    Hi
    Does anyone know the names of the people buried in Doctors Park cemetery? Are there grave stones? I’m pretty sure some of my relatives are buried there.
    Thanks
    JJ

  2. Doctors Park Friends June 1, 2012

    JJ
    Actually the cemetery is not a part of Doctors Park. The Village of Fox Point oversees it. I would start there.

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