By Colleen Jurkiewicz Reporter Published Aug 08, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I grew up in the ghost town of Ulao, down the street from a guy who killed the president. Or, I should say, from his house. Charles Guiteau, who assassinated James Garfield in 1881, is Highway 60’s biggest claim to fame. He spent a good part of his childhood in what is now Grafton, in the quaint and beautiful Gustav Noltze farmhouse on the corner of Ulao Road and Highway C.

I drove by that old farmhouse countless times late at night, and I always sped up going past. It was just creepy.

Now, Charles Guiteau is featured in a new exhibit at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, W62 N546 Washington Ave. – along with all the other creepy (and quirky) bits of Ozaukee County history. "Lost Ozaukee" is a joint effort between the CCC and the Ozaukee County Historical Society; on display Aug. 6-Oct. 13, it features a wide offering of wacky, amusing or just plain weird Ozaukee trivia.

It all started about a year and a half ago, when Sue Gyarmati, historic programs coordinator for the CCC, realized how many tantalizing examples of "did-you-know" history exist in Ozaukee county.

"I was at an event and I was talking to a friend of mine, and he happens to be on the board of the Ozaukee County Historical Society, and we were just talking about all the cool little trivia that we knew about the county between our two organizations," she recalled. "There are some cool little tidbits that I don’t think people know about."

Tidbits like the fact that Port Washington used to be known as "Little Reno" and was a popular destination for common folk and celebrities alike to obtain quickie divorces. Or the story of two 12-year-olds who robbed a bank and ran away to Milwaukee, leaving a trail of hundreds of dollars’ worth of extravagant purchases in their wake (they claimed to be trying to end the Great Depression). Or the grisly details of Ozaukee’s very own ax murderer, who killed a Civil War veteran in 1893.

In addition to the physical exhibit at the CCC, also offered is a driving map, so you can hop in your car and tour Lost Ozaukee for yourself. See where a German Bund camp existed on a few acres of secluded land south of Lime Kiln Park in Grafton in the late 1930s and early 1940s, or where Billie Frechette, girlfriend of notorious bank robber John Dillinger, ran her car off the road on Highway 57 in Mequon.

Or visit the turn-of-the-century Ulao Tavern and Dance Hall, now a great restaurant called Juice's Ghost Town, where yours truly spent a summer waitressing after high school (poorly, I might add).

For more information on Lost Ozaukee, visit

Colleen Jurkiewicz Reporter

Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.