Visit Johnson Creek where small-town charm meets big ideas
About Johnson Creek
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin welcomes you year-round to discover rich natural attractions, dive into ultimate shopping experiences, feast at one-of-a-kind restaurants, and comfortably dream of your next adventure.
Known as the “Crossroads With A Future,” Johnson Creek is Jefferson County’s fastest-growing community where small-town charm meets big ideas. Located midway between Milwaukee and Madison to the east/west, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois to the north/south, it is the perfect location for travelers to escape the big city.
“Johnson Creek is the perfect small Midwestern town. Jam-packed with friendly faces that welcome visitors like old friends, Johnson Creek hosts some of southeastern Wisconsin’s hidden treasures. Be it a show at the infamous Gobbler Theater, a nature hike at historic Aztalan State Park, or a shopping extravaganza at the Johnson Creek Premium Outlets, you will find just what you’re looking for in Johnson Creek.”
-Tourism Director Katie Newcomb
“After my husband and I would drive long distances to experience the health benefits of salt and sauna therapy, we knew there was a need to open a wellness center in our hometown. The Johnson Creek Village team was fantastic during the building process and in four short months our dream became a reality. Now, Breathe Salt & Sauna is the only place in all of Jefferson County to offer both infrared sauna and salt therapy in one place. It’s a great feeling to be a part of a growing community that cares about the well-being of their neighbors.”
-Laurie Adams, owner of Breathe Salt & Sauna
“My family has been in business in Johnson Creek for nearly 30 years. The community is rich with hard-working and caring people who have lived here for generations. To see the economic growth of our Village has been fantastic. But what makes us special is our genuine care and pride for one another. We have, and always will be, a community where neighbors jump in and help neighbors. It’s who we are. And this extends to visitors who come for the shopping, the shows, the nature adventure, or yes…those who happen to find us by accident. No matter how you find us, once you’be been here, you’ll know you’re always welcome.”
-Lyle Wuestenberg, co-owner and president of J&L Tire
The Village of Johnson Creek had its inception in 1838, when Timothy Johnson and Charles Goodhue made a claim upon land where the main part of the Village is now located. They built a cabin on ground over which the Northwestern Railroad now runs. A dam and a sawmill were also constructed by the same men.
WISCONSIN’S FIRST TRAIN WRECK
By the fall of 1859, traveling by rail was on the rise. Wisconsin was a relatively new state and fortunate to have rail lines that extended north from Chicago by the Chicago and Northwestern Road. On November 1, 1859, an eleven car free-excursion train, lead by the wood-burning engine Perry H. Smith, carried over 600 passengers who were celebrating the train’s maiden voyage from Oshkosh to Chicago. When it came upon a Johnson Creek bridge, it struck an angry and confused ox that was charging at the train. Since the road and railway had just been built, there wasn’t time to build a fence to keep animals away. Sadly, fourteen people were killed and 30 injured.
INCORPORATION: MAY 11, 1903
In 1903, eight prominent businessmen signed a petition requesting territories in the towns of Aztalan and Farmington to be declared the incorporated Village of Johnson Creek. These men included F.C. Mansfield, W.A. Christains, J.H. Scofield, Jule Warnes, Ed Kottke, E.F. Flat, H.O. Meyers, and T.J. Jax. At that time, the population was 466 and new gas street lamps were installed.
WIZARD OF OZ CONNECTION
Meinhardt Raabe, who graduated form Johnson Creek High School in 1932, played the Munchkin Coroner in the 1938 film, The Wizard Of Oz. He was also employed by Oscar Mayer and known as “Little Oscar.”
JOHNSON CREEK TODAY
Today, Johnson Creek is a thriving community known as “The Crossroads With a Future.” New home building and economic development are on the rise as we are the fastest growing community in Jefferson County. Industries that have joined our community in recent years include: Johnson Creek Premium Outlets, Kohl’s Department Store, the largest Menard’s store in the state, and TREK’s Global Distribution Center.
We welcome you to visit and experience all Johnson Creek has to offer.