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Richard Lorenz

Milwaukee's panoramic painters sit around a table drinking beer in 1885. Richard Lorenz is seated furthest to the left behind the table.
Noted Milwaukee artist Richard Lorenz was born in 1858 in Voigtstedt, Germany. He began to study art at a young age as a student of prominent German artist Theodor Hagen. In 1886, shortly after winning the Carl Alexander prize, Lorenz was hired by William Wehner to work for Wehner’s American Panorama Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.… Read More


The North Avenue Dam, in place since 1891, was partially removed in 1994 and fully removed in 1997 to help improve the river’s water quality. A pedestrian bridge is now in place near the former dam site, which connects the two sides of the RiverWalk.
The RiverWalk is a pedestrian walkway along the MILWAUKEE RIVER in DOWNTOWN Milwaukee. SOCIALIST city planners first envisioned the RiverWalk in the early 20th century, and a segment was built outside the Gimbels Department Store in the late 1920s. In the 1980s, Mayor HENRY MAIER revived the idea and pushed for a connected system of… Read More


Carriages parade past Frank Burczyk Saloon on North Bremen Street in Riverwest.
Riverwest is a neighborhood in the city of Milwaukee bounded by the Milwaukee River on the east and south, N. Holton Street on the west, and E. Capitol Drive on the north. The neighborhood’s first development was at dams on the river in the mid-1830s—one located just south of present-day Capitol Drive, the other south… Read More

Roads and Streets

Men working on building the road at North 7th Street and West Wells in this 1913 photograph.
Generally, roads link distant places together, while streets provide access within a community. Before Europeans came to the Milwaukee area, Indian trails served as the way to travel from one place to another. They provided routes between what would later become cities and towns, like WAUKESHA to EAGLE or WEST BEND to PORT WASHINGTON. Many… Read More

Robert “Bob” Schilling

Portrait of Robert Schilling, a prominent Milwaukee labor leader and politician in the late nineteenth century.
Robert Schilling (1843-1922) was a significant labor leader and reformist politician in Milwaukee in the late nineteenth century. Born in Osterburg, Saxony, Schilling migrated with his family to St. Louis in 1846. He began work as a cooper at thirteen, and, fluent in both German and English, quickly became a prominent leader of the Coopers’… Read More

Robert George Uecker

Bob Uecker acknowledges the crowd at Miller Park before throwing out the first pitch to start the NL Divisional Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011.
Robert George “Bob” Uecker is best known as a Milwaukee Brewers’ radio broadcaster, but he also has gained fame as a national baseball commentator, actor, author, and commercial spokesman. Born in Milwaukee on January 26, 1935, Uecker grew up watching the minor league Milwaukee Brewers at Borchert Field and aspired to a professional baseball career.… Read More

Robin Yount

Photograph of Robin Yount early on in his storied twenty-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Drafted at age eighteen, Robin Yount became an everyday starter for the Milwaukee Brewers in his first season and played his entire major league baseball career (1974-1993) with the Brewers. Yount led the team to the World Series in 1982 and earned two league MVP awards (shortstop, 1982; centerfield, 1989). Collecting more hits during the… Read More

Roller Derby

Milwaukee's women's roller derby team, the BrewCity Bruisers, competes against the Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep in 2010.
Roller derby was a sports entertainment phenomenon in the 1950s, gained a new generation of fans via television in the 1970s, and underwent a twenty-first century resurgence with a feminist impulse. As part of this third wave of organized roller derby, the BrewCity Bruisers began holding “bouts” in 2006 at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex.… Read More

Roller Skating

Three children roller skate down a Milwaukee street in this photograph from October 1943.
From 1900 through the 1940s, Milwaukee’s well-to-do often laced up their roller skates for an evening of “fashionable amusement” at the local skating rinks, most notably the Riverview and the Palomar. The former, overlooking the Milwaukee River on North Avenue, offered ladies’ instruction in both plain and fancy skating in the afternoon and hosted the… Read More

Roman Catholics

Photograph of the congregation standing at a Mass held in the Church of the Gesu.
Roman Catholicism has been an important social and cultural force in the history of Milwaukee from the putative beginnings of white settlement in the area with Solomon Juneau. Juneau himself and his wife, Josette Vieau Juneau, were Catholics. Father Florimond Bonduel, an itinerant priest from Belgium, celebrated the Catholic Mass in their home. From this… Read More

Rufus King

Seated portrait of General Rufus King, 1814-1876.
Prominent Milwaukee editor and political activist Rufus King was born in New York City on January 26, 1814. He was the son of Charles King, longtime editor of the New York American, and the grandson of another Rufus King who helped author the United States Constitution. King attended the preparatory academy at Columbia College before… Read More


Runners line up at the start of the Briggs & Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in 2008.
Numerous annual races serve as fundraisers for local charities and organizations. One of the largest of these, Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, has raised over $14 million since its first running in 1977. The Milwaukee County Zoo’s Samson Stomp & Romp was first run in 1981; its proceeds benefit… Read More


Immigrants from the part of the world that was the Russian Empire until 1917, the Soviet Union until 1989, and the Russian Federation today, arrived in two waves, at two different bookends of the twentieth century. In 1910 some 15,000 people reported that they were born in “Russia” in the Milwaukee metro area. Of those,… Read More

S/V Denis Sullivan

The S/V Denis Sullivan was built to educate modern visitors about nineteenth-century sailing.
The Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan is a replica three-masted Great Lakes schooner. In the 19th century, schooners were the most common means of transporting bulk commodities on the Great Lakes. In 1991, a group of Milwaukeeans began recreating a three-masted schooner. They formed the Wisconsin Lake Schooner Education Association (WLSEA), a non-profit foundation with the… Read More

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology

This aerial photograph provides a view of the Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology campus as it looks today.
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (SHSST) is a Roman Catholic graduate institution located in Franklin, Wisconsin, that offers two degrees (Master of Divinity and Master of Arts) as well as an English as a Second Language program. Its primary purpose is the training of men for ordination to the priesthood, but it also… Read More

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army's 100th anniversary booklet, published in 1999, emphasizes both the organization's significant contribution to the community and its continuing presence.
From its entry into Milwaukee in 1889, the Salvation Army has pursued its two-part mission to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” Captain Samuel Neil, his wife, and four companions established Milwaukee’s first Salvation Army center on what is now North Plankinton Avenue. In 1893,… Read More

Sandlot Baseball

Photograph of the 1912 Kosciuszko Reds, a popular  baseball team gathered outdoors.
From the turn of the twentieth century until the years immediately following World War II, grassroots baseball built around local teams and leagues was an important participatory and spectator sport in Milwaukee and in other major northeastern and midwestern cities. Operating below the level of full-fledged professionalism, the game played by these teams was commonly… Read More


Built in 1848 by William Payne, one of Saukville's first residents, the Payne Hotel still stands near Saukville's downtown area and Triangle Park.
The Saukville area is about 25 miles north of Milwaukee in Ozaukee County. The Saukville area was initially part of the Township of Washington, which is today’s PORT WASHINGTON. Established in 1848, the Township of Saukville contained what became municipalities of the Village of Saukville and the Town of Saukville. The original inhabitants of the… Read More

Schlitz Brewing Company

Postcard featuring the Schlitz Brewing company plant.
The Schlitz Brewing Company (1849-1982) was one of Milwaukee’s industrial brewing giants. Marketed as “the beer that made Milwaukee famous,” Schlitz was an important innovator in the national brewing industry and the largest brewery in the United States for a significant part of the twentieth century. The Schlitz Brewing Company originated in August Krug’s pioneer… Read More


1973 photograph of the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipe Band performing at Summerfest, showcasing the historic connection between Milwaukee's Scottish community and modern culture.
The first Scots came to Milwaukee in the 1810s as fur traders. James Murray arrived in 1835 and became the first permanent Scottish settler in the city. A renaissance man of sorts, Murray was a painter, glazier, and real estate broker. As a Presbyterian, he played a role in founding the First Presbyterian Church in… Read More
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