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Who was Beulah Brinton? And why was she so well loved in Bay View?

This week on Urban Spelunking, we're learning about an important figure in Bay View history, and we're going inside the public building that still bears her name today: The Beulah Brinton Community Center.

If you have taken a class through Milwaukee Recreation, chances are you've set foot in the building on Bay Street, just north of Russell Avenue. It has been in Bay View for decades, and has always been a community resource for learning and connecting neighbors. In addition to community classroom space, it also offers a gymnasium and a well-used outdoor playground.

So, what's the connection to Beulah Brinton?

Brinton was a prominent community leader who invited early Bay View residents to her own home, and eventually to a standalone center inside a disused neighborhood firehouse in 1924, writes OnMilwaukee's Bobby Tanzilo, before it was demolished for the new center in the late 1970s.

The old center before it was demolished. Photo via and courtesy of Milwaukee Historical Society.

She offered some of the same services as the present day center, but on a smaller scale, including language and cooking classes. Her original home is still standing today, not too far from current location, as the permanent home to the Bay View Historical Society.

Listen to this week's podcast to learn more about Brinton's legacy and the happenings at the community center. And be sure to read OnMilwaukee's complete story, written by Tanzilo.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee