As you look across the Kewaunee River, it is hard to imagine that a small, thriving community existed on the opposite bank. The center of the community was the imposing flour and gristmill, which drew so many customers from miles around that it operated year round, often 24 hours a day.
Grist, flour and sawmills were in operation along the Kewaunee River from the mid-1800's until 1936 when the West Kewaunee Mill was dismantled. Mill owners such as Volk, Stransky, Breummer and Seyk made Footbridge well known.
Around the turn of the last century, the annual sucker run drew thousands of people. Entire families would converge on Footbridge from near and far. On the designated day, the mill dam was closed trapping the suckers on their annual spring spawning run upstream. As the water receded, the riverbed became a sea of suckers.
People rushed into the river armed with spears, pitchforks, nets or just their bare hands and tossed the fish to family members or friends on the riverbank who gathered them up and put them into burlap bags. Tons of suckers were loaded on wagons to be taken home and pickled or smoked. Sucker Day was over for another year.