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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


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

Sheboygan County

This map illustrates the city of Sheboygan as it appeared in 1885. Begun as a small village in 1836, the city grew to become the county seat of Sheboygan County.
Just fifty-five miles north of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County on Lake Michigan’s western shoreline lie the city (population 49,288 in 2010) and county of Sheboygan (population 115,507 in 2010). The area that was to become Sheboygan County was once covered by a vast forest. Native American tribes such as the Menominees, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, Sacs, Foxes,… Read More

Sherman Park

Taken in the summer of 1963, this photograph provides a view of N. Sherman Boulevard from North Avenue.
Sherman Park is a primarily residential neighborhood on Milwaukee’s West Side, located between 35th and 60th streets, North Avenue and Capitol Drive. It is one of the city’s most diverse communities. In the late 1890s, GERMAN residents of Milwaukee’s crowded North Side began building homes in the farmland west of the railroad line that ran… Read More


This postcard provides an aerial view of the Wonderland amusement park at the beginning of the 20th century, first opened as Lueddemann's-on-the-River in 1872.
In 1900, the village of East Milwaukee was incorporated. It occupied an area of roughly 1.5 square miles between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River, the Milwaukee City border on the south, and the recently incorporated village of Whitefish Bay to the north. In 1917, the name was changed to Shorewood to further distinguish the… Read More

Story Hill

This 1934 photograph displays houses in Story Hill neighborhood, as well as the recently improved intersection of North Story Parkway and West Wisconsin Avenue.
The Story Hill neighborhood is on the west side of the City of Milwaukee. The neighborhood’s boundaries are roughly the Menomonee River to the north, Frederick Miller Way to the south, Hawley Road to the west, and US Highway 41/Miller Park Way to the east. But parts of it extend along Blue Mound Road to… Read More


This 1892 map provides a bird's-eye illustration of Wauwatosa and Milwaukee's western suburbs looking east toward the city and Lake Michigan.
In the United States context, suburbs typically are low-rise, residential municipalities beyond the commercial and industrial cores of central cities, sprinkled as they are with denser, older, multi-family housing stock. In the greater Milwaukee area, the processes and motivations for decades of suburbanization were varied and multifaceted. Some suburbs developed as enclaves of professionals and… Read More

Thurston Woods

The intersection of N. 35th Street and Silver Spring Avenue, as it appeared in 1940.
The Thurston Woods neighborhood is located in northwest Milwaukee. It is bordered by Douglas Avenue to the north, Silver Spring Avenue to the south, Hopkins Street to the west and Teutonia Avenue to the east. It includes several distinctive sections, including an eponymous subdivision and the Berryland Public Housing Development. It is named after oyster… Read More


Houses under construction in 1950, shortly after this parcel on South Howard Street was annexed into Milwaukee.
Tippecanoe is a neighborhood in the City of Milwaukee. The city government describes its boundaries as Morgan Avenue to the north and Norwich and Whitnall Avenues to the south from the City of St. Francis to Howell Avenue, with a segment extending to Sixth Street between Howard Avenue and Norwich Avenue. Unofficially, some people put… Read More

Town of Addison

Long shot of the facade of Ritger Wagonmaking and Blacksmith Shop. The building consists of two wings, one that is a single story and one that is two stories with regularly spaced windows. It has a brown roof and walls made of field stones, set near trees beginning to turn with fall colors.
Located in west-central WASHINGTON COUNTY, the Town of Addison borders Dodge County to the west, the TOWN OF WAYNE to the north, the TOWN OF HARTFORD to the south, and the TOWNS OF BARTON and WEST BEND to the east. Settled predominantly by Germans following the regional completion of the U.S. Public Land Survey, the… Read More

Town of Barton

The facade of Barton Roller Mills against the blue sky. The building consists of two and one-half stories and features several white-framed rectangular windows and cream-like coloured exterior walls. Three white doors are placed on the first floor under a wide eave. A small American flag is displayed on the second floor under the mill's huge nameplate.
The Town of Barton occupies 19.5 square miles in WASHINGTON COUNTY, 37 miles northwest of downtown Milwaukee. The town is governed by a town board made up of five members. The town is home to the unincorporated community of Young America. The early histories of town and village of Barton were intertwined. The Village of… Read More

Town of Brookfield

Side view of Dousman Inn's facade facing slightly to the left against a clear blue sky. The two-and-a-half-story building has white-colored wooden exterior walls and two chimneys atop its roof. The building features two-story front porches with four posts on the ground floor and four on the second. Balustrades enclose the balcony. Several pleated American fan flags hang on the second-story balcony's handrails.
The Town of Brookfield is in Waukesha County, about six miles west of the western border of Milwaukee County. According to the U.S. census, the Town had 6,116 residents in 2010. The Town is geographically fragmented due to the growth of the City of Brookfield. Commuting from one part of the Town to another may… Read More

Town of Erin

Aerial shot of the Town of Erin displaying a wide rural farm area and a few dwellings among the green grounds. A lake surrounded by groves of trees is visible in the background.
Incorporated on January 16, 1846, the Town of Erin is located in the southwest corner of WASHINGTON COUNTY. The Town features one of the highest points in southeastern Wisconsin, an elevation of 1,330 feet above sea level. Perched atop this hill, overlooking hundreds of acres of natural hardwood forest is HOLY HILL, a minor basilica… Read More

Town of Farmington

Low-angle shot of St. Peter's Church's facade features mortared fieldstone exterior walls. The church's front section has a half-circle window and an entrance below. A cross stands atop a square cupola-like structure on the roof.
The Town of Farmington occupies the northeast corner of WASHINGTON COUNTY. It borders Sheboygan County to the north and Ozaukee County to the east. Originally, the Town of Farmington was part of the TOWN OF WEST BEND, though in 1847 an act of the territorial legislature set off a piece of land, first called Clarence.… Read More

Town of Genesee

Grayscale long shot of the Booth House under the shade of a tree that grows on its corner front. The facade has an entrance and two windows on the left and right sides of the door.
The Town of Genesee is located in the Kettle Moraine region of WAUKESHA COUNTY, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. Its contemporary population of approximately 7,340 people is spread out over its 32 square miles. Genesee’s first European settlers, primarily German, Welsh, Irish, and English immigrants, arrived in the 1830s. These migrants established many small… Read More

Town of Grafton

Panoramic view of a bluff in Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve set adjacent to the blue-colored Lake Michigan. A faraway view of Port Washington and the blue sky are visible in the background. A narrow beach or dirt path arcs between the bluff and the water's edge.
Located twenty miles north of Milwaukee in Ozaukee County, the Town of Grafton borders LAKE MICHIGAN to the east and the VILLAGE OF GRAFTON and the TOWN OF CEDARBURG to the west. The Wisconsin Territory created the Town in 1846. While it shares much of its history with the Village of Grafton, the Town of… Read More

Town of Lisbon

The unincorporated community of Lake Five, pictured here, exists within the boundaries of the town of Lisbon, a rural area with significant natural space.
The Town 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

Town of Ottawa

The Scuppernong Trail through the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which makes up a large portion of the Town of Ottawa.
The Town of Ottawa, established in 1843, is located about 30 miles west of MILWAUKEE in western WAUKESHA COUNTY. The Town occupies 36 square miles. Bordered by the villages of SUMMIT, DOUSMAN, and NORTH PRAIRIE and the towns of EAGLE, GENESEE, and Concord, Ottawa is a rural area defined by its connection to the KETTLE… Read More

Town of Polk

This 1915 plat map of the Town of Polk highlights how waterways and railroads shaped its settlement and development.
Incorporated on January 21, 1846, the Town of Polk hosts numerous lakes, streams, and rivers. Located in the center of Washington County, the Town’s northern edge follows the coastline of both the Little and Big Cedar Lakes. Major rivers within the Town include Coney River, part of Evergreen Creek, and Cedar Creek. From the earliest… Read More

Town of Port Washington

This reproduction of an 1892 plat map illustrates the rural landscape of the Town of Port Washington that surrounded the city's limits.
John H. Mullett first surveyed what would become the Town of Port Washington in 1833 as part of the exterior portion of the Public Lands Survey in Wisconsin. Mullett noted that the land was “gently rolling” and second rate, with both streams and swamp lands containing birch, ash, elm, oak, and sugar bush. The interior… Read More