Piggsville - The Online Neighborhood Success Story


Life is what you make it,
And you make it what you will.
If you're happy in this valley,
Don't try to climb the hill."
-Ambrose Sery

The poem above was written by a resident of Valley Park (lovingly called Piggsville) and captures a bit of the flavor of this uniquely named and uniquely spirited neighborhood in Milwaukee.

You may think the name quaint and might therefore be tempted to dismiss the neighborhood, and the families that live there, as unsophisticated, but Piggsville residents have used Neighborhood Link to establish an extremely successful online presence.  The effectiveness of their online neighborhood communication rivals any neighborhood in the United States today.

What Does the Piggsville Website Offer?

The Piggsville neighborhood website is not a static or stagnant page of neighborhood information.  The residents have used FREE Neighborhood Link utilities to fashion a dynamic site with communication between neighbors, city officials, and local law enforcement.

The implementation of this online community has been so successful that Piggsville on Neighborhood Link has been a model to other online neighborhoods throughout the United States. 

These impressive communication innovations required no special computer savy on the part of the Piggsville neighbors.  There was no need to hire an expensive computer programmer or technical ‘geek'.  No training in scripting languages or even rudimentary knowledge of HTML was required.

Piggsville Website Success Stories

Piggsville users routinely envision and implement new ways to effectively use their website.  Through their online efforts the fabric of their local community has been greatly strengthened.  Many of the Neighborhood Link tools have been applied to the benefit of the entire community.

Using the online Neighborhood Link tools Piggsville residents have:

  • Helped police locate criminal suspects
  • Created a leading-edge online criminal incident reporting mechanism
  • Alerted neighbors to scams
  • Increased neighborhood volunteerism
  • Banded together in efforts to proactively stop crime.
  • Facilitated neighborhood walks
  • Brought neighbors together to support fundraisers for cancer
  • Disseminated information about meetings with police and city officials
  • Organized support-efforts for veterans and their families.
  • Coordinated the donations of hundreds of books and clothing items.
  • Helped families find information about food storage
  • The list is endless...

The discussion area is probably everyone's favorite area of the site and posts there by Piggsville neighbors have benefited the community in a variety of important ways:

Piggsville Discussion Area

ALERT! PLEASE READ!-FAKE UTILITY WORKER(S) This posting resulted in two neighbors volunteering to replace existing doors with more secure ones for the elderly victim. A District wide police bulletin on this issue went out within a day of the posting.

Growing Number Foreclosures/Abandonments - Posting information on this growing concern and bringing those concerns to the local police district has resulted in the District Commander initiating a strategy (in process), to deal with foreclosed properties in the local neighborhoods.  Milwaukee so far has about 2,000 foreclosures and expects over 4,000 more by years end.

THANK YOU to Secret Snow Santas!!!!!!!! - These postings brought out the best in the Piggsville neighbors this winter, many taking the initiative to help each other out with shoveling and plowing. This effort particularly helped the elderly and disabled.

Piggsville Community Calendar 

Allows for Postings of Piggsville's wonderful ethnic festivals which go on all summer and fall along their lakefront, as well as local church festivals from small to large, and not to mention the return of the "Great Circus Parade" to Milwaukee this Summer- they are within a few short miles of all these events!  Neighborhood Meetings, Rummage Sales, Picnics and Concerts are also popular.


Piggsville Pages and Links

Report Neighborhood Problems Online! A Piggsville brain child, since it's implementation on the neighborhood website, the local Police Department now also has a similar city-wide online reporting  site.  Piggsville credits the online reporting tool as one of the best things Neighborhood Link has facilitated for them on the site.  They have even received incident reports from other states!

The Mystery Surrounding the Name "Piggsville"

People not familiar with the Neighborhood, including most Milwaukeeans, usually chuckle when they hear the neighborhood referred to as Piggsville. The name has a long history and there are many arguements as to how it came to be. One old timer will tell you the name Piggsville comes from when "pig iron" may have been made in the old industrial valley to the south of us (not truepigironwas never made here). Another will say that before the neighborhood asked to be annexed by the City of Milwaukee back in in 1925, it was pretty much more a village occupied by along a river with dirt roads occupied by immigrants. Some folks up the hill especially the Railroad and Brewery Barons looked unkindly on the neighborhood and would refer to people living here as "pigs". 

The most likely reason we are called Piggsville, and the one we embrace, is because back in the day people were allowed to raise their own livestock here. Chickens and pigs were popular. Being that the entire neighborhood sits alongside the Menomonee River, spring floods were common prior to a large flood control initiative in the late 1990's. When the flood waters rose it was not uncommon to see the neighborhood pigs floating down the river and bottle necking where the river narrows and emtys to the south. Why 2 p's in Piggsville? It just stuck when someone painted "PIGGSVILLE" on the side of a large bridge that borders the neighborhood more years back than most folks could remember. The bridge has been replaced and the painted name declaration is now gone-but we're still Piggsville!

Now residents are content to sit back and openly enjoy the distinction this unusual name brings to their neighborhood. Though some prefer to call it "The Valley". 

Source: Neighborhood Link with Contribution from Lisa Emmons - A Piggsville Resident
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