While casually looking at the Milwaukee neighborhood map, I noticed that there is a neighborhood on the Northwest Side called Valhalla.
Valhalla, as in Led Zeppelin’s "Immigrant Song"? (Ah ah AHHHHH!) As in the hall where the Norse god Odin housed those killed in combat whom he found worthy of dwelling with him?
I have lived in Milwaukee my entire life and yet, I never knew of a neighborhood named Valhalla.
The Valhalla neighborhood boundaries are Villard Avenue to the south, Fond du Lac Avenue to the east, Silver Spring Drive to the north and Appleton Avenue to the west (with a little jog on the north side extending past the avenue farther to the west).
The neighborhood is a mostly residential area that’s home to about 4,400 people: 70 percent of whom are black; 20 percent white; 5 percent Hmong, 2 percent Latino and a remainder called "other."
Today, we drove through the neighborhood to see what’s going on these days. I was surprised to realize that the long-defunct Mainstream Megastore, 8201 W. Silver Spring Dr., was located in Valhalla. I worked for Mainstream Records long ago – at two different locations – and attended numerous meetings at the Megastore. Its space is now enveloped in the Greater Newbirth Church.
Notably, Valhalla has a large community garden, the Valhalla Memorial Cemetery and a post office. Nostalgia 2 Nightclub is there, too, but appeared closed and the phone number wasn’t in service.
Across Appleton Avenue from the Valhalla neighborhood is Timmerman Field. While observing the activity at the airport today, I hoped Milwaukee’s Valhalla might someday take off.
In the meantime, I’ll be listening to the Zeppelin song.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.