The Seward Neighborhood has a rich and storied history. From 1870 to 1880 the Seward neighborhood was used as the State Fair Grounds. After the fair moved across the river, the residential character of the Seward we know began to emerge. Even in the early 1900s, Seward was a community of immigrants. Many families from this early wave of newcomers remained in the neighborhood, and in some cases passed property down through three or more generations to current residents.
Throughout the last century, Seward has consistently been known as a neighborhood that has high level of community engagement and participation. This neighborhood pride was one impetus for the Seward Memorabilia Collection, which has archived relevant documents and items since 1977. The downtown pubic library houses the large collection on behalf of the Seward History Committee. Strong interest in using this information to write a book about the history of Seward began to come together in 2010, and the Legacy Fund and Seward Coop grants were raised to fund the project. The initial organizers consisted of a core group of eight people which later expanded to include sixteen writers and many other committee members, whose efforts are being coordinated by Dick Westby. The book will include chapters written by this diverse group that cover topics ranging from the preservation of Milwaukee Avenue to the infamous “Hub of Hell.”
The committee is already planning their next project, which will highlight the significance of local buildings. Local businesses with archival materials or great stories are strongly encouraged to take part in wonderful collective project. If you have anything to contribute, please contact Dick Westby at firstname.lastname@example.org.