Traditional Oral History of East Troy Village Square

Sometime around 1847, two landowners, Jacob Burgett and Austin McCracken, had property in what is now known as East Troy. Being far-sighted men they knew that if the railroad come through East Troy, it would grow from a settlement into a town. At this time there was no main street. They recognized that a town needed a central main street for businesses and homes, so each donated a parcel of land in the boundary lines of their adjacent properties. This square of land was deeded in perpetuity to the Village of East Troy. A central “square” of land was divided into North-South and East-West quarters, with diagonals connecting the corners, and Main Street encircling it. Laid out in this fashion no individual would benefit more than another would. To encourage businesses to move in, both Mr. Burgit and Mr. McCracken sold lots very reasonably.

Later, a wooden bandstand was built. It stood until sometime in the 1930’s when it was replaced by the present day brick bandstand, built by the Federal “works Progress Administration” (W.P.A.). During the 1950’s the hitching posts were removed, and the bandstand become the site of summer band concerts presented by the Community Band each Wednesday night.

The village was platted in 1847 by Jacob Burgit and Austin McCracken. As a way of attracting people to the village itself, they offered to give each homesteader a lot, providing that the villager would build and improve on it. They also set aside a certain number of lots within the village for religious societies.