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A caricature shows a big man leaning over and asking a crying child and a dog, "Don't you know whether you live in Milwaukee, Town of Granville or Village of Brown Deer?" A banner that reads "GRANVILLE AREA RESIDENT" hangs behind the child. At the bottom of the cartoon is a sentence, "All I know Is, I'm Lost."
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

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


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

Brewer’s Hill

Facade of the Frederick Ketter Warehouse with a narrow structure. The two-and-a-half-story building features stepped parapet gables and exterior brick walls that are turning black. The first-floor front consists of three bays: Double doors on its center bay, and a smaller single door on the left. A wooden stair is attached in front of the small door.
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… Read More


Panoramic view of a city street framed by rows of buildings and parked cars. On the left, three people are walking on the sidewalk. In the center of this grayscale photo is a road with cars passing by.
Known variously as the “Inner Core,” “Sixth Ward,” and (pejoratively) “Little Africa,” among other names, Bronzeville was the historic core of African-American Milwaukee on the city’s Near North Side. Racial segregation roughly defined its boundaries along State Street, North Avenue, North 3rd Street (now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive), and North 12th Street. Milwaukeeans… Read More


Exterior view of Cedarburg Mill facing left next to a small filling station. This grayscale image shows the five-story building that has one wing on the left. Two cars are parked by the building. The structure stands out in its surrounding area.
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 Brookfield

Three men in casual clothes demonstrate skiing on a man-made sloping terrain installed inside the mall. They hold ski poles and wear skis on their feet. Onlooker crowds around them are gazing up at the demonstration.
The City of Brookfield is located in the northeast corner of Waukesha County. It is north of New Berlin, south of Menomonee Falls, and east of Pewaukee. According to the U.S. Census, the City of Brookfield had almost thirty-eight thousand residents in 2010. Its elected officials include a common council of fourteen alderpersons and a… Read More

City of Glendale

The Milwaukee Town Hall facade in grey-colored exterior wall. The single-story building has a covered porch supported by three columns. Atop the porch's roof is a sign that reads "Town Milwaukee Hall." The front side has an entrance on the furthest right and two rectangular windows on the left. A front stair connects the building with the sidewalk.
Glendale, Wisconsin, is an inner ring suburb just north of Milwaukee that was carved from the remains of the old Town of Milwaukee. When incorporated in December 1950 at the leading edge of a postwar suburban wave, Glendale included 3,152 residents in a strangely shaped area that stretched east of the Milwaukee River and west… Read More

City of Mequon

Sepia-colored long shot of Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church exterior. The single-story building has a tower at the back with a cross atop. Three small trees grow on the lawn in the foreground.
The City of Mequon, located north of MILWAUKEE, forms the southern border of OZAUKEE COUNTY. Encompassing over forty-eight square miles, Mequon extends from LAKE MICHIGAN to WASHINGTON COUNTY and surrounds the VILLAGE OF THIENSVILLE. Incorporated in 1957, the City retains many rural traits such as low population density and undeveloped properties. The land that became… Read More

City of Milwaukee

An industrial area along the lakefront fills the foreground of this 2016 photograph, while Milwaukee's downtown stands in the background.
According to the 2010 census, the City of Milwaukee was the largest city in the State of Wisconsin, with 594,738 residents. It was ranked thirtieth most populous city in the United States in 2012. It has grown from seven square miles in area in 1846 to 96.8 square miles. Milwaukee has a mayor-council form of… Read More

City of Oak Creek

Wisconsin Electric Power Plant appears in the far distance with its tall chimney releasing white steam. The building complex border is located on the shore of Lake Michigan. The light blue lake occupies most of the right and foreground of the photograph, although a hazy shoreline is visible in the far background. On the left is a land area with leafless trees and yellowing plants visible in the foreground left. Above is the blue sky.
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

Grayscale long shot of a two-story building facing slightly to the left. The image shows two sides of the structure. The one on the left is the facade. It features three entrances on the ground floor and several identical rectangular windows on the upper floor. The door on the left belongs to Rexall Drug Store. A smaller door in the center has a sign with a physician's name. The right entrance is for the Luick ice cream shop. The building's other sides have a mural advertising the drug store and ice cream parlour on the ground floor. A sign promoting Coca-Cola is installed on the second floor's top left corner. A street stretches from left to right in the foreground. An adjacent building and overhead utility wires are visible on the far left.
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 Port Washington

Long shot of Port Washington port light standing at the end of a breakwater. Lake Michigan, in light-blue color, spans the foreground. The white-colored port light's tower stands atop an arched open concrete structure. A group of people gathers beneath the opening. Some walk along the breakwater that stretches towards the land in the background. Green trees and buildings appear in the far background. The blue sky is above.
The City of Port Washington was first founded in 1835 as part of an expansion of American interests into lands controlled by the French and British prior to the War of 1812. The area was largely settled by members of the Potawatomi tribe prior to 1835. There was a large village approximately three miles inland… Read More

City of South Milwaukee

High-angle shot of the interior of the Bucyrus-Erie plant in grayscale. Rays of sunshine from large windows on the right light up heavy equipment, gears, and other machines lying on the floor. Some people work down there. Steel structures are visible in the background.
South Milwaukee was incorporated as a village on November 8, 1892, following in the footsteps of Whitefish Bay and Wauwatosa, which both incorporated earlier that year. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan and the banks of the Oak Creek, the new village included the Oak Creek settlement, which dated back to the 1840s. A… Read More

City of St. Francis

Grayscale long shot of Lakeside Power Plant facing slightly to the left. The building stands in the image's background. Five tall chimneys appear on the left of the structure. Trees grow along the building's elongated side. Fences separate the power plant from a street that spans from the right-to-left foreground. Several cars line up outside of the building.
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

City of Waukesha

Grayscale photograph of visitors to Hygeia Springs. The pavilions' interior, with the spring well in the center foreground, is showcased in this image. The stairway down to the well is in the center back. Some people stand around the stairs. Wall and balustrades surround the stairway and the area around the well. The Hygeia sculpture sits on the upper floor on the right of the well. The upper story's floor area is visible on the left. The ceiling is visible. Rows of columns and outdoor views can be seen in the background.
“Wi-saka” does not adorn the gate of any park, or the entrance to a school. However, the Potawatomi people who inhabited Waukesha and surrounding areas before European arrival know the name well. Potawatomi oral tradition calls Wi-saka “the Great Spirit” and credits him with the creation of the world. The naming of modern-day Waukesha, though,… Read More

City of Wauwatosa

A painted postcard showcases a Wauwatosa street stretching down with the TMER&L Company interurban line in the middle. The streetcars in yellow are in the distance. Buildings and utility poles appear on either side of the street as far as the eye can see. Overhead wires are visible. Text at the top reads, "Street Scene at Wauwatosa on T.M.E.R & L. CO. Line, Milwaukee, Wis."
Wauwatosa is a city in the western portion of Milwaukee County. It is immediately east of the City of Brookfield and the Village of Elm Gove, both in Waukesha County. It shares a tiny section of its southwestern border with the City of West Allis but is otherwise surrounded by the City of Milwaukee. According… Read More

City of West Allis

A painted postcard illustrates a scene in the State Fair Park in West Allis. Automobiles and people appear around an ornate gate on the left. Groups of people gather on the right, next to a pavilion. Tall and lush green trees are in the background. The text at the top right reads, "Entrance to State Fair Park, Milwaukee."
West Allis is a city in Milwaukee County, nestled against the City of Milwaukee’s western boundary. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 60,411, which makes West Allis the eleventh most populous municipality in Wisconsin and the third most populous municipality in the four-county metropolitan area, behind only the cities of Milwaukee… Read More

Clarke Square

Postcard depicting the Mitchell Park Conservatory's long building on the upper portion of the image. A large pond in the bottom portion reflects the conservatory's central dome. The top edge of the postcard reads "Greetings from Milwaukee" on the left and its German translation "Gruss aus Milwaukee" on the right.
Clarke Square, one of Milwaukee’s most diverse, storied, and densely populated neighborhoods, dates back fifty years before Milwaukee became a city. In 1795 French-Canadian fur trader Jacques Vieau built Milwaukee’s first settler’s cabin there as part of his trading post overlooking the Menomonee Valley (a site marked in Mitchell Park). In 1819 Vieau gave the… Read More


Exterior view of the Robert Faries house in sepia. The building features dormer windows and a turret. Lawn and landscaping plants are set next to the house in the foreground. Smaller residential buildings are in the far background.
The Concordia neighborhood is in the City of Milwaukee between Wisconsin Avenue, Highland Avenue, 27th Street, and 35th Street. It is north of the MERRILL PARK neighborhood and northeast of PIGGSVILLE. These three neighborhoods make up the “West End,” so named because it was at the west end of Wisconsin Avenue in the late nineteenth… Read More
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