Browse by Subject

Showing 1-20 of 82 entries


Published in the Milwaukee Journal in 1956, this political cartoon by Ross Lewis illustrates how Granville's contested status left residents unsure of which municipality they lived in.
Milwaukee’s uniquely jagged borders and large size relative to most Midwestern cities are historical byproducts of its dramatic and often controversial territorial growth. Throughout the city’s history, Milwaukee has grown through two primary means: annexation, which expands a city’s boundaries through the gradual addition of adjacent territory, and consolidation, in which entire municipalities fully merge…
Read More

Bay View

The Bay View Rolling Mills employed many neighborhood residents for decades after opening in 1868. This photograph shows the plant in 1938, shortly before its demolition.
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


The Village of Belgium, located within the larger town, was incorporated in 1922 and maintains its own village hall, pictured here in 2006.
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

Brewer’s Hill

The Frederick Ketter Warehouse, built around 1891, has housed a variety of manufacturing operations, including a horseradish and honey factory. Situated near the edge of Brewer's Hill and Halyard Park, the building has been claimed by both communities throughout its history.
The Brewer’s Hill neighborhood has experienced a cycle of prosperity, neglect, and renaissance. Brewer’s Hill is located to the north of DOWNTOWN between North Holton Street and North Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. It stretches as far north as North Avenue, with the Milwaukee River making up its southern border.An industrial neighborhood from its development…
Read More


This photograph shows the flour mill built in 1855 in the heart of Cedarburg.
The City of Cedarburg is located in Ozaukee County approximately 20 miles north of the City of Milwaukee. Incorporated as a city in 1885 with a population of approximately 1,000 people, by 2010 the city’s population was 11,412. The Town of Cedarburg remains a separate entity that manages services such as parks and roads. Cedarburg…
Read More

City of Oak Creek

The Wisconsin Electric power plant in Oak Creek, pictured here in 2012, began operation in 1953 and catalyzed an annexation battle with the city of Milwaukee. The culminating legislation, known as the Oak Creek Law, resulted in the incorporation of the City of Oak Creek.
Oak Creek’s historical development was similar to many other suburban communities. But its incorporation effort in the early 1950s resulted in a change to Wisconsin state law that transformed the Milwaukee area’s municipal landscape. The first town meeting in Oak Creek took place on April 5, 1842, when an estimated forty families lived in the…
Read More

City of Pewaukee

The building that was home to this Rexall Drug Store in 1937 still stands in Pewaukee today. It is currently home to a pet supply store.
The City of Pewaukee is located approximately seventeen miles west of Milwaukee in WAUKESHA COUNTY. It surrounds the independently governed VILLAGE OF PEWAUKEE, which in 1876 voted to separate from the Town of Pewaukee (initially established by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in 1840). Self-promoted as “The City in the Country,” the sprawling City of Pewaukee…
Read More

City of St. Francis

Neighbors in the Town of Lake resisted the incorporation of St. Francis starting in the 1920s because the new city would take with it tax revenues from the Lakeside Power Plant.
At 2.55 square miles, the City of St. Francis is one of the smallest suburbs by area in MILWAUKEE COUNTY. According to early white settlers, native residents called the area “Nojoshing,” possibly meaning “strip of land extending into the water.” When the territorial government divided Milwaukee County into townships, Nojoshing became part of the Town…
Read More


An early 20th century postcard of Packard Avenue, one of Cudahy's major streets.
Located in Milwaukee County, just east of Milwaukee’s southernmost portion, the suburban city of Cudahy was named for city founder and meatpacker Patrick Cudahy. Cudahy is bordered by St. Francis to the north, General Mitchell International Airport to the west, Lake Michigan to the east, and Oak Creek and South Milwaukee to the south. The…
Read More


A 2009 photograph of Delafield's St. John Chrysotom Church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The City of Delafield is a residential and resort area centered on Lake Nagawicka in the Lake Country area of Waukesha County. The Town of Delafield was created in 1842, allowing local government functions. Approximately 25 miles west of Milwaukee, Delafield was incorporated as a city in 1959. In 2010 the city’s population was estimated…
Read More


Old World Wisconsin reconstructs life in 19th century Wisconsin in a buildings that are clustered by ethnicity. This Finnish log house was moved from its original location in Oulu, Bayfield County, Wisconsin.
Eagle, Wisconsin is a community in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, about 35 miles west of Milwaukee. Eagle consists of two legal entities: the Town of Eagle and the Village of Eagle. Although they are legally separate, they are closely linked by shared official services as well as community history and recreational attractions. Like most…
Read More

East Side

This 2008 photograph shows a portion of Milwaukee's East Side, looking north along Farwell Avenue. Highrise private housing is visible along the lakefront, and a public highrise tower stands on the left side of the image.
Milwaukee’s East Side is the area roughly bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, the Milwaukee River to the west, the Village of Shorewood (E. Edgewood Avenue) to the north, and E. Ogden Avenue to the south. Covering a small northeast corner of the city representing only about 4% of Milwaukee’s total area, the East…
Read More


Franklin originated as a heavily wooded, 36-square-mile frontier bordering Racine County and bisected by the Root River. It was inhabited by the Potawatomi and Menominee Indian tribes until the mid-1830s, when German, Dutch, and Irish immigrants began arriving to clear the land for farming. Milwaukee County put land up for sale at $1.25 per acre,…
Read More

Franklin Heights

This aerial photograph of Franklin Heights taken in the 1960s shows the A. O. Smith Corporation site in the foreground, surrounded by residences.
Franklin Heights is a neighborhood in the City of Milwaukee between Capitol Drive, Burleigh Street, Twentieth Street, and the railroad tracks that run through the former A.O. Smith industrial complex. While sometimes the area south of Townsend Street is not counted as part of the neighborhood, this entry uses the broader definition. Franklin Heights started…
Read More


On June 14, 1885, the nation's first observation of Flag Day was held at Stony Hill School in Waubeka in the Town of Fredonia.
The Town of Fredonia is located in the northwestern corner of OZAUKEE COUNTY. The Town of Fredonia was created out a portion of the Town of Port Washington in 1847. The Town contains the Village of Fredonia and the unincorporated communities of Waubeka and Little Kohler. The Town of Fredonia was settled by GERMAN and…
Read More


Germantown continues to promote its German heritage through local events and German language on its signage.
Designated in 1836 as Wisconsin Territory’s “Town Nine,” the area that became Germantown was the oldest settlement in WASHINGTON COUNTY. Following the removal of the area’s native POTAWATOMI people in the 1830s, speculator Anthony Wiesner and pioneer Levi Ostrander became the settlement’s first white residents. GERMAN and IRISH immigrants and Yankee migrants dominated this early…
Read More


An 1898 photograph of the Doornek & Wranovsky Blacksmith shop in Granville.
Originally a town within MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Granville is now a neighborhood located on the CITY OF MILWAUKEE’s northwest side. Created in 1840 by the territorial legislature, the Town of Granville extended north from Hampton Avenue to County Line Road and west from 27th Street and Range Line Road to 124th Street. The majority of this…
Read More


Children play on the street in this 1939 photograph of Greendale houses.
The federal government developed Greendale in 1936 as part of the Resettlement Administration’s (RA) Greenbelt Towns Program. Some historians, such as Paul Conkin, consider the greenbelt communities built under this program to be one of the most innovative New Deal initiatives. Resettlement Administration head Rexford Guy Tugwell is credited with the idea for these towns.…
Read More


Lacking any major industrial sites, Greenfield does host several larger shopping facilities, like the Spring Mall, pictured here in 1982.
Surveyed for settlement in 1836 and created as the Town of Kinnickinnic in 1839, the 36 square mile area between present Greenfield and College Avenues and 27th and 124th Streets was soon renamed “Greenfield,” the title of its post office, in 1841. There is no known association for its name; there are “Greenfields” in many…
Read More

Hales Corners

The Layton House, built in 1848, served travelers through what is now Hales Corners in the nineteenth century, shown in this photograph from 1880.
The Village of Hales Corners possessed a strong identity from 1836, when the first white settlers arrived, but it did not attain legal independence until 1952. The area that is today Hales Corners was initially part of the Town of Lake and then the Town of Kinnickinnic (renamed Greenfield in 1841), which included present day…
Read More
1 2 3 5