From Milwaukee’s Town of Lake, by Ron Winkler
“In 1856, Morgan Burdick sold land to the Town of Lake to build a school named for his son Alfred Burdick. It was built in 1925 at 4348 South Griffin Avenue. Alfred was on Lake’s board of education and was known as “Doc” for his knowledge of treating animals.
Burdick School was designed by H.C. Hauser, who also designed Burdick’s two subsequent additions in 1930 and 1954. In 1954, when Lake consolidated with the City of Milwaukee, Burdick became part of Milwaukee Public Schools. It is the only school built by Lake that is still in use as a school.
In 1944, Burdick School started a newsletter, the Burdick Star, which was written by eighth-graders under faculty advisors. It featured news submitted by each classroom as well as poetry, jokes, stories, and editorials. It was renamed the Burdick Buzz in 1946. In 1974, it was replaced by a class book with glossy photographs.
When Burdick School became part of MPS, it was successful and was allowed to continue with little intervention. In the 1990s, it was recognized as a pioneer in the digital revolution with strong technology and music programs.
Burdick School’s numerous music awards fill one of its walls. The music department was founded in 1930 by Anthony Erickson, and parents organized the band parents’ club. Erickson left Burdick in 1948 to become Milwaukee County’s first supervisor of Music. He is standing on the far left in this photograph (click to enlarge) of the 1948 Burdick School band. (Joanne Spraitz)
George Cerwin replaced Erickson as Burdick’s music director. In 1952, former students approached Cerwin about forming an alumni band. They then formed the Town of Lake Band, which became the Lake Band in 1954 when the town consolidated with Milwaukee. In the summers, the band practiced on Tuesday evenings at the Lake water tower, where its awards are still housed. The Lake Band disbanded in 2006.”
You may purchase a copy of Milwaukee’s Town of Lake by ordering it through the Bay View Historical Society or by contacting Ron Winkler directly at 414-744-9404.
Please visit the Bay View Historical website here.
Read more about the story of Alfred E. Burdick.
Below are additional historical photographs courtesy of David Premetz, class of 1961, as well as other archived photos.