Why Hartford

Quality of Life

Hartford’s quality of life is second to none and features many venues not often found in a mid-size community.

A downtown revitalization project, co-sponsored by the City of Hartford, the HADC, the Downtown Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce will bring significant change to Main St. The vision of the project includes a business hotel, more downtown living options and additional dining and entertainment options. Landscaping, wayfinding signage and other improvements are also envisioned.

The Schauer Arts & Activities Center offers musical performances, plays and visual arts from local and touring performers and artists. Hartford is home to the Wisconsin Auto Museum, a collection of more than 100 vehicles on display featuring models produced locally at the Kissel Car Company and a 250 ton steam locomotive. Other attractions include Pike Lake State Park, nearby Holy Hill and the Erin Hills Golf Course, home of the 2017 US Open.

Hartford’s recreational opportunities also include a city operated Recreation and Aquatic Center, Veterans Memorial Pool (renovated in 2015-2016 to include a new 50 meter pool with 8 lanes and a water park) and several parks and golf courses located minutes from downtown Hartford.

A variety of educational opportunities provided by the University of Wisconsin – Washington County, Moraine Park Technical College and five public high school districts in the county contributes to a highly educated and skilled workforce uniquely qualified to staff the businesses located here.

Area Attractions

Businesses know that Hartford is an ideal location and so do area residents. It’s a great place to live, work and play. Located in the scenic Kettle Moraine region of Southeastern Wisconsin, Hartford is a mid-sized city (population 14,500) with many amenities more often associated with larger communities. A broad spectrum of cultural, recreational, and family oriented activities are available.

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen can enjoy biking, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping and cross country skiing at beautiful Pike Lake State Park. Additionally, watching the seasons change by visiting the grounds of nearby Holy Hill (the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary) during the year is a great family activity.

Downtown Hartford

Downtown Hartford, home to several high quality restaurants and specialty shops, is experiencing a revitalization thanks to the combined efforts of several local groups including the Downtown Business Improvement District, the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hartford Area Development Corp. and a number of volunteer groups.

Recreation Center

Hartford has a first class Recreation Center featuring the Signicast Aquatic Center with an indoor pool. In summer of 2016 after a very successful local fundraising campaign, the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center opened it's doors. It boasts a lazy river, raft waterslide, body flume slide, diving boards (1M and 3M), shade systems, in-pool bench, and sand play area as well as featuring an 8 lane 50 meter competition pool. Hartford’s Rec Department has year round programs for adults and children of all ages. We have a fine park system that is the envy of many larger communities.


If golf is your game, the opportunities to play courses of varied skill levels are abundant. Hartford is home to the highly regarded Washington County Golf Course and the Hartford Golf Club. The Erin Hills Golf Course, site of the 2017 US Open is a “short putt” away from downtown. Numerous other quality courses are located within 20 minutes of Hartford.

Wisconsin Auto Museum

Hartford is also home to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. Showcasing transportation history, the museum is Wisconsin’s largest auto museum, featuring an ever-changing display of classic and vintage autos and artifacts plus the largest assembled group of Hartford-built Kissel luxury automobiles. The museum’s striking art deco interior showcases 110+ vehicles and a 1913 steam locomotive and a huge Lionel train layout sure to delight kids of all ages.


A historical gem, the Chandelier Ballroom, was built in 1928 as the Schwartz Ballroom and has been known as an architecturally prominent recreational facility ever since. In its early years it hosted touring vaudeville performers and big bands and in the 1960’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s presented concerts from various rock stars who were on tour in the area. Today the Chandelier Ballroom is used for wedding receptions, business functions and a variety of community social events.


Cultural enthusiasts will recognize the Schauer Arts Center as a local and regional treasure. Filled with culture and history, the Center was transformed from a canning factory built in 1919 into an architectural award-winning performing and visual arts center. Since opening in 2001, the Center has provided the community and region with high quality professional touring performances in its theater and regional artwork tastefully presented in the art gallery. The Center also serves as the home to several resident groups including the City Band, Community Chorus, The Hartford Players and the Kettle Moraine Fine Arts Guild.

These and other venues make Hartford an ideal place to live and have helped to evolve the slogan “live where you work”. Coupled with the close proximity of cultural and sporting activities in Milwaukee and Madison, Hartford area residents enjoy a quality of life second to none.

Housing, Schools and Education

Attractive and Affordable Housing

Nearly any type of housing design and location can be found in the Hartford area. Attractive and affordable single-family homes, condominiums and apartments are readily available.

Three new apartment developments will be completed in 2017 bringing a total of 310 new apartments into our community inventory. This will provide Hartford with a variety of housing options that will meet the needs of multiple generations for years to come.

Whether you want to live on a lake, in the country or a residential neighborhood the available options are significant. Prices in Hartford are generally lower than in metropolitan areas and you can be assured that housing options that fit your budget can easily be found.

Quality Education

Hartford prides itself on its commitment to excellence in education through an ongoing focus on curriculum, facilities and faculty.

Public Schools

Public education is the responsibility of two school systems.

The School District of Hartford Joint No. 1 provides a quality educational experience for students in grades K-8 while the Hartford Union High School District provides a comprehensive education to students in grades 9-12 preparing them for college and career pathways.


Moraine Park Technical College and University of Wisconsin Washington County are available to provide quality educational experiences for post high school students of all ages.

Hartford’s employers support continuous learning with a variety of employee assistance programs such as tuition reimbursement. Additionally, numerous advanced learning opportunities are available at colleges and universities in Southeastern Wisconsin that are within easy commuting distance from Hartford.

Private Schools

Private schools, offering a religion based learning experience for students in grades K-8, are also available.

Health and Wellness

Rehabilitation and Wellness Services

There are several facilities in the Hartford area that provide premier rehabilitation and wellness services for both short and long-term care needs. The community also has retirement centers, independent and assisted living centers and provides a variety of services for seniors.

United Way of Washington County

The United Way of Washington County operates a resource center in Hartford providing residents with easy access to a variety of social services designed to meet individual and family needs.

Aurora Health Care

Aurora Health Care operates Aurora Medical Center in Washington County which provides both hospital and clinic facilities for area residents and local employers.

Froedtert and the Medical College

Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin health network also operates a clinic in Hartford.

Child Care

Day Care

Hartford is home to a number of quality child care (day care) facilities that support the needs of working parents. Additionally, the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County has a Hartford site that provides a variety of supervised programs, including homework support and character building exercises. The Club operates after school each day and during the summer months.