Cedarburg is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States with Cedar Creek running through it. The city is bordered by the Village of Grafton to the east and the Town of Cedarburg elsewhere. Cedarburg is a suburban community with a population of 11,101, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Milwaukee and near the shores of Lake Michigan. The town is noted for its historical allure and prides itself on preserving more than 230 century-old stone and brick buildings. The community has many parks and the general consensus is to preserve green space, even in the downtown area. The city's chief economic activity is tourism.
The first white person to settle in the area was Joseph Gardenier, who built a log shanty on Cedar Creek, in what is now Hamilton. The shanty was his headquarters for surveying for the construction of the Green Bay Road. Frederick August Leuning, who immigrated to the area in 1843, built a cabin near Cedar Creek on what was later the east end of the city. He called the cabin "Cedarburg", which meant "the castle of the Cedars". Soon afterwards, he built the Columbia Mill on that site.
In 1845, Frederick Hilgen and William Schroeder founded the village of Cedarburg. A year earlier, they had built a gristmill on Cedar Creek. After eleven years of operation, they replaced the original structure with the five-story, stone Cedarburg Mill. This became the focal point of the new community. Five dams and mills were eventually built along the creek in what are now the city and town of Cedarburg. The Hilgen Spring Park, begun in 1854, was a 74-acre (300,000 m2) resort, that attracted visitors from all over the Midwest.