With a current population of 9,118 Hartland offers top rated schools, beautiful homes, fine churches, tree lined streets, and spacious parks. The Bark River runs through the downtown adding charm. It is a full-service village offering the best in home town amenities with metropolitan conveniences. Hartland provides full-time police, fire protection and emergency medical services. Hartland has enjoyed steady growth for the past 20 years and it continues to grow at expected population projections.

Hartland BID’s Mission Statement

The mission of the Hartland BID is to provide leadership for the vitality of downtown Hartland; an area that offers a variety of commercial, retail and service businesses. The BID serves as a catalyst to improve and promote downtown Hartland through business development, marketing, economic development and business education.

To promote business development in downtown Hartland, the Village of Hartland approved the formation of the Hartland Business Improvement District in 2007. The BID provides services to over 150 businesses in the downtown area. A Business Improvement District is a means for non-residential property owners to levy and collect special assessments to finance the accomplishment of common goals. Staffed with a professional manager, the BID creates a link between, service, retail, civic and social activities. It is anticipated that these efforts will help increase district sales volumes, attract additional business investment, and enhance property values in the district commercial area.

The BID offers two successful matching grant programs to assist businesses with façade improvement grants and sign and awning grants. These programs create an added incentive for property and business owners to make visible changes that impact building facades. The BID also has a Business Loan Pool Program that offers loans up to $25,000. The programs goals are to enrich the overall appearance of the downtown.

Marketing programs create opportunities for BID members to participate in downtown events, and provide opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and services.

History of Hartland

You might say that the seed from which Hartland grew was planted in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sometime in the fall of 1837, Stephen, the oldest of 13 children of the Sylvanus Warren family of Ann Arbor decided to move west and walked to Fort Dearborn (Chicago). He worked there and saved money for his journey and in February of 1838, he walked to Milwaukee and ultimately to Prairieville (Waukesha). In 1839 he bought 165 acres of land between Maple and Cottonwood Avenues (Hartland). Later he obtained probably another 80 acres east of Maple Avenue and became Hartland’s first real estate man, settler and builder.

Other pioneers began farming the fertile Bark River Valley around 1837 and the village was known as Warren. Later, in 1842, a grist mill was built by Christian Hershey and the village was renamed Hersheyville. Even in those early days Hartland was a popular recreational site. A race track with a baseball diamond in its center was built in 1845. After horse races, the ball games between Hartland and neighboring towns drew as many as 10,000 people. Inns and resorts sprang up when the Watertown Plank Road (literally made from 10′ log planks) was built in 1846. The first Post Office was opened that same year with William Clark as Postmaster. After the railroad came in 1854 the village was given the name it still holds – Hartland, after the Indian word “Shabaquanake”.

As the fury of the Civil War descended upon the nation, Hartland continued to prosper. Settlers continued to arrive in the area, some from abroad, some from other parts of the United States and even some returning to the area after having tried their hand at endeavors in other parts of the country. The news of Fort Sumter’s surrender reached areas around Hartland on Saturday evening, April 12, 1861, but was not generally disseminated until Sunday. Several soldiers are buried in area cemeteries.

In 1886, Hartland saw it’s first local paper, The Hartland Index. It changed names and hands several times but continues to this day as The Lake Country Reporter.

Hartland was incorporated as a village in 1892. Until this time, the village had been divided between the townships of Merton and Delafield. An election was held on February 13, 1892, and a descendant of the original founding family, M.H. Warren was elected the first Village President. With roads, mills, stables, inns and a railway nested inside fertile farmland, Hartland developed into the village we know today.

Visit the Hartland Public Library for more information on the history of Hartland.