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The frontage of the Christ Polish Baptist Church located on a streetcorner adjacent to residential buildings. The church has a broad gabled roof and a cross erected on top of it. A gabled entry porch and tall, narrow arched windows are some of the main features of the building's exterior. Snow surrounds the church and covers some parts of the street. A deciduous tree, bare of foliage, stands near the sidewalks in front of the property.
Baptists were among the earliest faith communities in Milwaukee, holding their first meeting in 1836. As fervent believers in congregational self-determination, Milwaukee’s Baptists have become a diverse and multi-confessional group. In 2010, over 45,000 Baptists worshipped in the greater Milwaukee area as part of at least thirteen denominational bodies. The organizations with the largest number… Read More

Basilica of Saint Josaphat

A grayscale landscape photo that displays the Basilica of St. Josaphat with its huge dome appears from afar. The church is located near a body of water and looms over residential buildings and trees in its neighborhood.
St. Josaphat Basilica Roman Catholic parish church is located on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 6th Street on Milwaukee’s historically Polish south side. The parish was founded in 1888, the fifth in its burgeoning Polish immigrant community. After the first church burned down and a second was too small for a parish of 12,000… Read More


A grayscale group photo of Marquette Men's Basketball team in two rows. All five men sitting in the first row wearing uniforms that feature the word "Marquette." The one sitting in the middle holds a basketball that has the number "1917" painted on it. In the second row are four men in jerseys and three men in suits standing next to each other.
The game of basketball appeared in Milwaukee shortly after it was first played by students at Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1891. The popularity of the game increased rapidly and, by 1896, Milwaukee was home to five organized teams, including the city’s first high school squad at East Division High School. These clubs competed with… Read More

Bastille Days

A man in a half squat position balances a tray with a wine bottle and a wine glass in his right hand as he moves under a horizontal pole. His body leans to his left while his eyes concentrate on the tray. A bunch of people sit in the grass field several feet behind him while watching the Bastille Days waiters' race.
As the only Milwaukee ethnic celebration that operates as a genuine street festival, Bastille Days has been held in the Cathedral Square neighborhood on the East Side every July since 1982. The multi-day festival is inspired by Bastille Day, the French national holiday, which commemorates the storming of the eponymous prison on July 14, 1789,… Read More

Bay View

Aerial photo of the Bay View Rolling Mills showing a complex of buildings and rail tracks. It sits in a relatively low-density area. A body of water is located near the plant. Another building complex appears in the upper portion of the image
Bay View is a residential community in the southeastern section of the City of Milwaukee. Its borders are Lake Michigan (east), Morgan Avenue (south), Kinnickinnic River/Chase Avenue (west) and the Kinnickinnic River north of Becher Street (north). Bay View has its own school, post office, library, historical society, community center, park, newspaper, neighborhood association, and… Read More

Beer Gardens and Beer Halls

A painted postcard of the Schlitz Palm Garden's interior in predominantly red and green color. It shows an array of dining tables and palm trees scattered in the hall under its vaulted ceiling. Inscribed in red ink on the bottom part of the painting is "Interior Schlitz Palm Garden, Milwaukee."
Beer gardens and beer halls were key early institutions in the vibrant beer culture that accompanied the development of Milwaukee’s iconic brewing industry. Milwaukeeans and visitors from various ethnic and class backgrounds frequented these establishments located throughout the city to drink beer, listen to music, play games, socialize with friends, neighbors, and family, and partake… Read More

Bel Canto Chorus

High-angle shot of a side view of a theater's stage where members of the Bel Canto Chorus perform with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The musicians with instruments perform on stage while hundreds of singers stand in the seating areas.
Milwaukee’s Bel Canto Chorus originated in the city’s numerous German singing clubs of the 1930s, a tradition brought to the area by nineteenth-century immigrants. One group, the “Festival Singers of Milwaukee,” founded in 1931 as a small a capella chorus, featured eight volunteers who performed sacred music. The organization evolved into the Bel Canto Chorus,… Read More


An outdoor monument sign mentions two facilities in the Village of Belgium: the Village Hall and the Fire Department. The monument sign also gives the address as 195 Commerce Street. The monument is built on brick walls decorated with red landscaping plants. Appearing in the middle behind the monument is a pole with an American flag.
The Town of Belgium, located in the northeastern corner of OZAUKEE COUNTY, contains the Village of Belgium. The unincorporated communities of Lake Church, Dacada, Holy Cross, Decker, and Sauk Trail Beach are also within the Town of Belgium’s boundaries. Belgic LUXEMBOURGERS were among the first Europeans to settle the area in the late 1840s. According… Read More

Bennett Law

Sepia-colored exterior view of German-English Academy, a 3½-story building. The wing on the far left features three round-arched windows. Adjacent to the main building on the right is a 2½-story structure featuring a wide entrance and a the date "1892" inscribed on the second-floor exterior wall.
The conflict over the Bennett Law of 1889 reveals the social forces acting on Milwaukee’s schools in the late-nineteenth century. Immigrant culture, nativism, and the push for “Americanization” were all at issue in this contest over the instructional language to be used in education. The roots of the Bennett Law lie in a speech by… Read More

Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue

Wide shot of the long facade of Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue in grayscale. The image shows two sides of the exterior wall. The left one features regularly spaced double rectangular windows. The right one has a covered entrance. Words in Hebrew are inscribed on top of the door and on its left and right sides.
In 1923 Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue, then known as Congregation Beth El, became the first Conservative Jewish congregation to hold services in Milwaukee. As the only congregation on Milwaukee’s West Side, the first synagogue was built at North 49th Street and Garfield Avenue. (The building still stands today.) By the 1940s, it became evident… Read More

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

A person in a "Smokey the Bear" points to a forest fire-related learning board while interacting with two children dressed up in hotshot crew uniforms. The US wildfire prevention mascot wears blue jeans, a brown belt, and a round hat bearing the name "Smokey." They are standing in a colorful exhibit arena.
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum reflects a larger national trend of educational institutions embracing a child-centered design. Since 1975, the number of children’s museums in the U.S. has grown from approximately 38 to nearly 350 in 2015. By that year there were at least ten children’s museums in Wisconsin alone. Opened in April 1995, Milwaukee’s… Read More

Betty Quadracci

Medium shot of Betty Quadracci from the waist up, bending towards the camera lens while signing a signature plaque with her right hand. She wears a black long-sleeve blouse, a necklace, and a wrist corsage on her left hand. Her eyes look at the plaque on a long table covered with a white tablecloth. A hall with dim light and a red carpet are in the background.
Betty Ewens Quadracci was born the fourth of six children in 1938. Raised in SHOREWOOD and Milwaukee’s Upper East Side, she overcame polio as a young girl in the 1940s. In 1961, she graduated from Washington, D.C.’s Trinity College. Trained as a Montessori teacher, she helped establish the Montessori School of Waukesha in 1964. She… Read More

Beulah Brinton

Grayscale wide shot of the Beulah Brinton House facade in a residential area. The L-framed building consists of two-and-a-half-stories. The narrow side of the structure is on the right featuring windows on each of its stories. The longer side on the left has an entrance on the ground floor and a balcony on the second floor enclosed by balustrades.
Born in Jay, New York, Beulah Brinton (1836-1928) moved to BAY VIEW from Michigan with her husband Warren, a manager at the Milwaukee Iron Company, in 1872. There, she served as a midwife and taught English and home economics to the wives of immigrant steel mill workers. During her forty years in Bay View, Brinton… Read More


High-angle shot of a bicycle race from the viewpoint of the spectators who sit on the hill. This grayscale image shows two people sitting on the grass under a tree shade, watching the racers heading down the hill on a winding road. The vast expanse of Lake Michigan appears in the distance, in the upper portion of this picture.
The Milwaukee region has been the epicenter of Wisconsin’s long and complicated love affair with bicycling since the last decades of the nineteenth century. In January 1869, a young man named Joshua G. Towne rode a velocipede—the all wood-and-iron frontrunner to today’s more modern bicycle design—through the city for the first time. Milwaukee residents soon… Read More

Billie the Brownie

A smiling doll wearing an elf hat appears between two men. One in a Santa costume sits on the left, and one wearing a formal suit sits on the right. Both men look at an open book that the man in the suit holds. Written on the book cover is its title, "Tales from Storyland."
Billie the Brownie was a multi-media star of Christmas in Milwaukee from the 1920s to the 1950s. Years earlier, the writer and artist Palmer Cox had popularized “Brownies”—he created dozens of the little men, each with a different ethnic background, personality, and occupation—in scores of stories published in children’s magazines late in the nineteenth century.… Read More

Billy Mitchell

Sepia-colored headshot of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell in a uniform. His body faces to the left while his face gazes at the camera lens. Various military medals, badges, and insignia decorate the General's uniform.
General William “Billy” Mitchell (1879-1936) was both a celebrated and polarizing figure during his career as a US Army officer. After World War I he championed military aviation. His fierce advocacy brought him into conflict with other military leaders, ultimately leading to his court martial. He has been posthumously praised for his vision and widely… Read More

Blatz Brewing Company

Image of a postcard featuring a colorful drawing of an aerial view of the Blatz Brewing Company offices and plant. Standing out in this picture are several tall old buildings and three industrial chimneys rising high with billowing smoke. The company logo appears on the top left corner of the postcard. Their iconic bottled beer products appear on the other three corners.
The Blatz Brewing Company was one of Milwaukee’s industrial brewing giants. Operating from 1851 to 1959, Blatz was an early innovator in bottling and national shipping, the first of the city’s national giants to sell its interests to concerns outside of the city, and the first of these giants to close its plant. The Blatz… Read More

Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Church

Facade of the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii church by the crowded street. The image shows the main entrance and exterior wall that is partly made of pink bricks. An angel statue in white stands on top of its roof.
In the aftermath of Milwaukee’s most devastating fire in history in late October 1892, significant portions of the Third Ward’s Irish population migrated west toward the Tory Hill and MERRILL PARK neighborhoods. Replacing this first wave of immigrants was a second contingent, generally from Italy and more particularly from Sicily. Their numbers grew steadily, from… Read More

BloodCenter of Wisconsin

Sepia-colored image of the Junior League's Blood Center facade by Wells Street. The place features three entrance doors, as it consists of three shops combined. Attached along the building's top is the rectangular "Junior League Blood Center" sign. The storefront is adjacent to a Schlitz beer tied house. Above their flat roof are billboards advertising Schlitz beer, a county judge's reelection campaign, and a chewing gum brand.
In 1947, the JUNIOR LEAGUE of MILWAUKEE founded a blood center to deliver blood from donors to patients. By 2012, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin annually provided more than 300,000 units of blood to medical centers in 29 counties. It also investigates health treatments and conducts scientific research. For example, in collaboration with other research centers,… Read More

BMO Harris Bradley Center

The facade of the BMO Harris Bradley Center's northeast entrance outlined against the blue sky. Hanging between the building's pillars are two banners. One reads "Welcome to BMO Harris Bradley Center" and the other advertises an upcoming match between the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit.
The BMO Harris Bradley Center, located in the heart of DOWNTOWN Milwaukee, hosted sports and entertainment events, including concerts, ICE SKATING shows, and corporate gatherings. Opened as the Bradley Center in 1988, the facility was funded by JANE BRADLEY PETTIT to honor her father, the industrialist Harry Lynde Bradley. In 2012, the Bradley Center sold… Read More