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Vel Phillips

Medium shot of Vel Phillips in a striped sweater and a necklace sitting behind a desk that is placed in the image's foreground. Her body faces the camera lens while her eyes glance slightly to the right. Phillips lays her hands atop documents on the desk. A nameplate with her name is in the center foreground. On its right behind is an empty glass ashtray. The background is blurred, showing a wall and some office supplies.
Vel Phillips (1924-2018), Milwaukee’s first alderwoman and the first African American on its Common Council, was born Velvalea Rodgers on the South Side of Milwaukee. While she was a child, her family moved to Bronzeville, where she later established her political career. She graduated from Howard University in 1946, returned to Wisconsin to attend law school… Read More


Sepia-colored group photo of survivors of Co. H, 11th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry posing in three rows. Men in the front row are seated on the floor. Men in the second row are kneeling and those in the back standing. They all make eye contact with the camera lens. Text beneath the photo includes the names of all the veterans.
The most remarkable reminder of the presence of veterans in Milwaukee is the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center (WMC), which was built on the downtown lakefront as a “living memorial” to veterans. Finished in 1957, the War Memorial building is the home of the Milwaukee Art Museum, while the non-profit organization that administers the WMC… Read More


The old Wisconsin Avenue viaduct stretches from the left to right background in grayscale tone. A tall building with a "Coakley Bros. Co" ad appears in the far right background. The guard rails of an overpass are visible on the right. Several buildings below the viaduct appear in the far left back. Several others can be seen in the foreground, in the area between the viaduct and the overpass.
Milwaukee’s topography of rivers, valleys, and high bluffs created significant transportation challenges. Engineers in Milwaukee constructed bridges to allow vehicles and pedestrians to cross over waterways, while viaducts directed traffic across changes in terrain. During the late nineteenth century, innovations in iron and steel construction allowed viaducts to cover greater distances with multiple spans and… Read More

Victor L. Berger

Portrait of Victor Berger in grayscale tone sitting facing slightly to the right in an armchair. He wears round glasses and a curvy collared suit. Both his arms rest on the chair. His eyes look to the right radiating confidence.
Newspaperman, co-founder of the Socialist Party, and first Socialist U.S. Congressman, Victor L. Berger (1860-1929) created the party apparatus that shaped Milwaukee politics for a half century. Berger fought for free speech, opposed war, and advocated for programs ranging from old-age pensions to Milwaukee’s public parks. Berger believed that change would come through evolution and… Read More


Group photo of Father Joseph Quang and several choir members posing in two rows inside St. Martin of Tours church. Father Quang, in black-colored attire, stands in the center, between the first and second rows. Female choir members in light-blue and white dresses stand in the front. Six male members stand in the back. They are in white shirts and light-blue ties. All men are in suits except the one on the far left. A wooden cross is attached to the wall in the background. Sunshine goes through a mosaic window that appears on the left background.
Vietnamese refugees arrived in Milwaukee in several “waves” during and after the Vietnam War. In the years following, the Vietnamese who arrived in Milwaukee assimilated into American society. “First wave” refugees, with medical educations and middle- or upper-class backgrounds, came to America before 1975. These refugees used their connections to former American military officers they… Read More

Village of Bayside

Image of the Lion Gate that features a lion statue placed on top of stone walls. Written on the sculpture's base is the name of one of its creators, which is "Fred Usinger." On the stone wall, several feet beneath the statue is inscribed "Country Life in Donges Bay 1890 – 1911.” Next to the gate is a street name sign that reads "E Fairy Chasm Rd." Lush trees growing behind the stone walls appear in the right portion of this image.
Located along LAKE MICHIGAN, about twelve miles north of downtown MILWAUKEE, the Village of Bayside occupies the northern end of MILWAUKEE COUNTY’s lakeshore and extends into OZAUKEE COUNTY. The Village had a population of 4,389 in 2010 and a median estimated home value of $325,600 in 2014. An AGRICULTURAL and summer home region in the… Read More

Village of Big Bend

Low-angle shot of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Vernon facade set on a green lawn. The image shows two sides of the one-story building. The main entrance is on the left, flanked by two rectangular windows. On the right are three windows in the same style. The entrance door and exterior wall are made of wood in white paint. Two stone chimneys are on its roof.
The Village of Big Bend is located along the Fox River within the Town of Vernon, southwest of MILWAUKEE. Like much of WAUKESHA COUNTY, Big Bend and Vernon began as farming communities. The Town of Vernon was founded in 1839, while the Village of Big Bend was incorporated out of Vernon’s land in 1928. In… Read More

Village of Brown Deer

Facade of the Brown Deer Little White Schoolhouse facing slightly to the right against the blue sky. The small single-story building consists of white-colored wooden exterior walls and a chimney atop its gable roof. The main entrance features a single white door set between two rectangular windows with white shutters. A large green lawn and several trees grow in its surroundings.
Located in northern MILWAUKEE COUNTY, the suburban village of Brown Deer is bordered on the west and south by the CITY OF MILWAUKEE. With an area of 4.5 square miles and a 2010 population of 11,999, Brown Deer is sometimes seen as a bridge between the city and the other North Shore suburbs of SHOREWOOD,… Read More

Village of Butler

Wide shot of the Butler Rail Yard showing a freight train in predominantly yellow color passing on one of several railroad tracks. Several buildings and a blue sky appear in the background. Utility poles stand in the foreground.
The Village of Butler lies on WAUKESHA COUNTY’S eastern border, surrounded by Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, and Milwaukee. The small, industrial village owes its existence to the railroad industry. In the twenty-first century, residents continue to celebrate that connection. In 1909, the Milwaukee, Sparta, and North Western Railway built a railroad yard on Milwaukee’s 124th St. border… Read More

Village of Chenequa

Panoramic view of Pine Lake and the centerpiece of the village of Chenequa in sepia tone. George Brumder's summer house appears in the distance among tall trees next to the large body of water.
The Village of Chenequa is centered on Pine Lake in the LAKE COUNTRY area of WAUKESHA COUNTY, approximately 30 miles west of the city of Milwaukee. In 2010 Chenequa’s population was estimated to be 590. The Potawatomi were the last native peoples known to have inhabited the area, with villages established on the eastern and… Read More

Village of Dousman

Long shot of the Dousman station of the Chicago and North Western Railway in sepia tone. It shows a crisscrossing railroad track line on the left and center of this image. To the right is the station's building, which features an open gabled roof and a chimney. Some people stand on the platform while a train approaches.
Dousman is a small village located about 35 miles west of Milwaukee in Waukesha County’s “Lake Country.” It was named after Talbot C. Dousman, a prominent local politician who settled there in in the mid-1830s. Historically a popular location for summer visitors to the Lake Country, Dousman was the most important community center in the… Read More

Village of Elm Grove

Grayscale wide shot of four nuns in white dress kneeling while facing left at the center background. A silhouette of another nun holding a bible appears dominantly on the right to the center front. A man in priestly garb stands at the left up a short flight of stairs.
The Village of Elm Grove is a community of about six thousand people in eastern Waukesha County. It borders the Village of Wauwatosa to the east and the City of Brookfield in all other directions. It was part of the Town of Brookfield until 1955. It is governed by a seven-member volunteer board. All trustees,… Read More

Village of Fox Point

Postcard illustrating a panoramic view of the Fox Point Club. It features a building complex set among a large and well-maintained park. A pathway to the main entrance is shown in the center of the image. Colorful landscaping flowers grow along the path.
Fox Point is a suburb of Milwaukee. It is located on the North Shore, east of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan, and was incorporated as a village in 1926. As a village, it does not have full-time elected officials. Rather, it has a village board that consists of a president and six trustees. They serve three-year… Read More

Village of Grafton

Long shot of the Paramount Plaza surrounded by a sidewalk and buildings. The image shows a statue of a musician playing a guitar. It is located close to an elongated stone wall with a black-colored sign reading "Paramount Plaza" and is surrounded by green landscaping plants. Some black benches are placed in the area.
The Village of Grafton, located twenty miles north of Milwaukee in OZAUKEE COUNTY, is centered on the Milwaukee River. The village is bordered by the City and Town of Cedarburg to the west and the TOWN OF GRAFTON to the east. In 1896, the Village of Grafton was incorporated from the Town of Grafton. When… Read More

Village of Hartland

Long shot of the Hartland Railroad Depot. Cream City bricks compose its single-story structure. The image shows two sides of the building. The left side features an entrance, two arched windows, and a bullseye window under the gable roof. The right side also has a door and two windows. A green lawn surrounds the depot that stands by a road.
According to legend, in 1838 Stephen Warren, the first white settler of the Hartland area, walked from the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan to the WAUKESHA area in search of desirable farm land. Warren established a farmstead where his family joined him. The Warren family was followed by native-born migrants in addition to Swedish,… Read More

Village of Lac La Belle

Aerial shot of Lac La Belle village showcases a wide expanse of green spaces with sparse houses. A large body of water in the background divides the spaces. Above is the blue sky.
The Village of Lac La Belle is a small, affluent community located about 38 miles west of Milwaukee along three miles of Lac La Belle, one of WAUKESHA COUNTY’S biggest lakes. With only 289 residents as of 2010, Lac La Belle is the least populated village in the county. It is located almost entirely within… Read More

Village of Lannon

A grayscale photograph highlights a portion of the Lake Shore stone quarry. It shows a cross-section of rock and limestone. A wooden building and a smokestack appear in the upper left. Double-track railways are located on lower ground in the foreground.
The Village of Lannon is a small community in northeastern WAUKESHA COUNTY incorporated in 1930. As of the 2010 census the village had a population of 1,107. Lannon is located on the Niagara Escarpment, a geographic feature that stretches across the Great Lakes region and contains a significant amount of limestone. The first limestone quarry… Read More

Village of Lisbon

Bird's eye view of the a farm area in Lake Five community in the town of Lisbon. Green landscape fills most of the image. Sparse residential places are built among trees. A barn with a grain silo sits in the center foreground of the image.
The Village of Lisbon is a rural community of approximately 10,000 residents spread out over 27 square miles. It is about 25 miles northwest of Milwaukee in WAUKESHA COUNTY. The first families to settle the area were the English Redfords and Weavers, who arrived in the mid-1830s. After 1838, when Lisbon became an official Town,… Read More

Village of Menomonee Falls

A map features a rectangular painted picture of the bird's eye view of Menomonee Falls, illustrating the buildings, roads, and the green landscape in the village. Some buildings are given a symbol in the form of a letter or number. Letters A to C marks different churches. D is a public school. E is a post office. F is temperance hall. Among the buildings numbered from 1 to 23 are residential places of important figures and industrial places.
Home to roughly 36,000 residents in 2010, Menomonee Falls is Wisconsin’s most populous village. Located approximately fifteen miles northwest of Milwaukee in WAUKESHA COUNTY, the settlement was named for the Menomonee River, a tributary of the MILWAUKEE RIVER. Native Menomonee people inhabited the area before white settlement, which began in earnest after 1840; the village… Read More

Village of Nashotah

Grayscale long shot of the Nashotah Railway Depot in the distance, sitting on sloping terrain. Railway tracks stretch from left to right foreground. The depot is on the left background. The building's side that faces the railroad tracks features a grand staircase and a portico with two supportive columns, among others. Two empty baggage wagons stand between the tracks and the depot on the left. On the right of the depot is a steep driveway leading up to a windmill.
The Village of Nashotah is located about forty miles northwest of MILWAUKEE in WAUKESHA COUNTY’s LAKE COUNTRY. The Village’s name comes from a Native American term meaning “twins.” Nashotah is named for the nearby Upper and Lower Nashotah Lakes, although the lakes themselves are not within the Village. The Village does border Lake Nagawicka and… Read More
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