Loomis Pony Express

By Doug Schmidt

No one who has lived th the Greenfield, Greendale or Franklin area for any length of time has traveled along Hwy , 36, more commonly known as Loomis Road.
But can anyone explain how it came to labeled as Loomis Road?
In the early 1800’s the southwestern portion of Milwaukee County was largely a frontier. As townships began to emerge, a pony express route was established to transport mail form the south side of Milwaukee to far reaching townships in Burlington and Waterford. The route dissected Franklin which was established as a civil town on December 20, 1839.
Three years later on April 5, 1842, the first government meeting was held at the home of J.C. Loomis. Records indicate that 37 gentlemen attended as
“voters,” including two members of the Loomis family. H.W. and Jonathan,
who acted as clerks for the meeting.
The influence of the Loomis family at that those early meetings along Hwy. 36 inspirited the naming of the trail after those founding fathers.
Interesting, the mail carrier who traveled that pony express was an America Indian named White Dove. One of his postal stops was a block north of Rawson Ave. at the intersection of 76th Street and Loomis Rd.
It was the site of Hoppel’s Blacksmith Shop until 1928 when Ed and Marie
Stremke bought the property and built one of Franklin’s earliest landmark
Taverns and dance halls. In tribute to the legendary mail carrier, they named it the White Dove.
Through nearly five decades and several owners, the White Dove remained one of Franklin’s most popular establishments for dining,
drinking and graduations. It was finally demolished in the 1970s for the widening of 76th St. and construction of a new southbound on-ramp to Loomis Rd.
Today the only business that can still trace its origins to Old Loomis Rd. is the Loomis Center Garage which was built in 1927 by Ervin Tretow and
Remains a third generation family-run operation. Its name, of course, comes
from the intersection where it was constructed, Loomis Rd. and Center St. –
The original name of 76th Street.