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One of the great things about Sussex-Lisbon is the 17 miles that can be traveled from downtown Menomonee Falls to Lannon, Sussex, Lisbon and now North Lake.

There is a hard covering for walking, running and biking and also snowmobiling in select situations. One of the major reasons it was built, in 1888 to 1890, was to connect up with the quarries in Lannon, as well as a quarry in Templeton (East Sussex). Another reason involved the western end, where the Sussex Elevator on Maple Avenue was located, which had a depot for less-than-carload lots shipping-receiving business, and a stop for passengers going to Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee (via Granville).

When developer Art Sawall came to Sussex and developed the Mammoth Springs Apartments (which were astride the then-existing graveled Bug Line Trail), he had a combination problem/enhancement of his proposed large-scale apartment complex. He saw an opportunity to offer his tenants to, essentially, walk out their front doors and have immediate access to the walking and biking trail. Today, it gets a lot of use by tenants.

Then there was the massive old limestone water-filled quarry located in the property's "backyard." What to do with it?

He came up with a state-of-the-art trail around this water-filled quarry, decorative fencing, a lime chip hardened walkway and a massive steel bridge over a protruding quarry corner. It was a very expensive development.

Now, apartment renters use it frequently and casual walkers of the long trail are encouraged to make a leisurely side trip around the quarry, even 126 years after it was opened and 100 years after it closed in 1916 (and was immediately filled with water).

A new Sawall development is occurring on the former Deyer Drive, off Silver Spring Drive. The tenants of this development will also have access to the trail.

Meanwhile, for Sussex residents and visitors to the community, there is access from Main Street by the apartments Bug Line trail.

The quarry was used for public swimming after a massive 1916 fire, which allowed ground springs to fill up the quarry (approximately 22 feet deep with water), as all quarries will fill up once the pumps are stopped.

The water quarry was also used by Charles Busse and Herman-Claude Kaderabek for a source of block ice harvesting in the winter. The man-made body of water was also used for ice skating in the winter.

The quarry was closed down for swimming in 1991 because of the American Disabilities Act. Three men had died in the waters: Tubby Weber, a teenager who fell off the east wall while fishing in the early 1950s, an Elm Grove/Brookfield boy illegally swimming in May 1962 and then an elderly person who used it to commit suicide.

For those who live in Sussex-Lisbon, it is a must to walk the Bug Line (started in the 1980s) and maybe visit the Sussex Quarry trail and the "Grand Canyons” east of Lannon.

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