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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
—  City  —
Downtown Lake Geneva
Location of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 42°35′33″N 88°26′4″W / 42.5925°N 88.43444°W / 42.5925; -88.43444Coordinates: 42°35′33″N 88°26′4″W / 42.5925°N 88.43444°W / 42.5925; -88.43444
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Walworth
 - Total 5.8 sq mi (15.1 km2)
 - Land 5.0 sq mi (13.0 km2)
 - Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
Elevation [1] 879 ft (268 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 7,148
 Density 1,425.1/sq mi (550.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 50012
FIPS code 55-41450[2]
GNIS feature ID 1581223[1]

Lake Geneva is a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,148 at the 2000 census. A resort city located on Geneva Lake, it is southwest of Milwaukee, and popular with tourists from metropolitan Chicago and Milwaukee. It is home to the Geneva National Golf Club.



Originally called "Muck-Suck" (Big Foot) for a Potawatomi chief,[3] the city was later named Geneva after the town of Geneva, New York, located on Seneca Lake, to which early settler John Brink saw a resemblance. Geneva, to avoid confusion with the nearby town Geneva, Illinois, was renamed Lake Geneva; later the lake was renamed Geneva Lake. In practice both forms are used for the lake, but never for the city.

Railroad access from Chicago made the area a popular summer retreat for the barons of wealth in lumber, cattle, oil, steel, cement, manufacturing, and durable goods (Morton Salt, Wrigley Chewing Gum, etc.), with mansions and large homes such as Stone Manor and Black Point built on the lake during the heyday of the roaring 20s. The city was then known as "The Newport of the West". The city is also known today as "The Hamptons of the Midwest". In the automobile era the city's fortunes at first declined and it became a haven for Al Capone and other mobsters.

In 1954, Lake Geneva was named as one of the three finalists for the location of the new United States Air Force Academy, but ultimately lost out to Colorado Springs, Colorado.[4]

Hugh Hefner built a Playboy Club in Lake Geneva. Guns N' Roses lead singer, Axl Rose, also owned property on the southwest side of the lake from 1988 until 1998. The popular song "Paradise City" was written about the Playboy Club. The club was closed in 1981 and converted into the Americana Resort, and later to the present Grand Geneva Resort.[5] Lake Geneva was also home to Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax until his death in 2008.

The city operates under a mayor-council form of government. Lake Geneva recently annexed a large tract of land that will expand the city around the south shore of Geneva Lake.


Lake Geneva is located at 42°35′33″N 88°26′4″W / 42.5925°N 88.43444°W / 42.5925; -88.43444 (42.592380, -88.434424)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.8 square miles (15.0 km²), of which, 5.0 square miles (13.0 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it (13.77%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 7,148 people, 3,053 households, and 1,801 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,425.1 people per square mile (549.8/km²). There were 3,757 housing units at an average density of 749.0/sq mi (289.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.81% White, 0.90% African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.08% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 5.16% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.75% of the population.

There were 3,053 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,924, and the median income for a family was $54,543. Males had a median income of $38,930 versus $25,671 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,536. About 4.7% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people



  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ The Encyclopedia of Wisconsin, 1990, ISBN 0403099071
  4. ^ Steven A. Simon, "A Half-Century of History", Fifty Years of Excellence: Building Leaders of Character for the Nation, 2004.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links



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