Facts About Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s largest city lies on Lake Michigan, where the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers come together. People had lived there for more than 13,000 years before the first Europeans arrived. At that time Milwaukee was neutral ground shared by several American Indian tribes. Fr. Jacques Marquette left the first written record of it in 1674, and other French explorers referred to it in 1679, 1681 and 1698. The earliest mention of Europeans is a reference by Lt. James Gorrell to an unnamed fur trader at Milwaukee in 1762; at least four others traded there before 1800. In 1763, Milwaukee bands of Potawatomi, Ottawa, Ojibwe and Menominee joined Pontiac’s Rebellion against the British, and 15 years later they supported the colonies during the American Revolution. The city’s modern history began in 1795 when fur trader Jacques Vieau (1757-1852) built a post along a bluff on the east side, overlooking the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers. Vieau was a seasonal resident, and in 1818 transferred his Milwaukee assets to his son-in-law, Solomon Juneau (1793-1856). Juneau is generally considered not only the city’s first permanent white resident but also its founder.
In 1822 Solomon Juneau built the first log cabin in Milwaukee and two years later, the first frame building. In 1831 he became an American citizen and began to learn English, and in 1833 he partnered with Morgan Martin (1805-1887) to develop a village on the east side. In 1835 Juneau and Martin laid out streets, platted lots, and began selling them to new settlers. Over the next two decades Juneau served as Milwaukee’s postmaster and mayor, built its first hotel and courthouse, started its first newspaper, and backed almost every public improvement. Between 1835 and 1850, Milwaukee’s population grew from a handful of fur traders to more than 20,000 settlers. Three separate villages were started: Juneau’s, east of the Milwaukee River and north of the Menomonee; Byron Kilbourn’s across from Juneau’s, on the west bank of the Milwaukee; and Walker’s Point, across the Menomonee from the other two. In 1846 they incorporated into a single city. By then Milwaukee rivaled Chicago in size, wealth and potential, but in 1848 the Illinois city secured railroad and telegraph connections that enabled it to eclipse Milwaukee. Between 1846 and 1854, a wave of German immigrants arrived, bringing with them expert industrial skills, refined culture, liberal politics, and Catholicism. Milwaukee soon became a center of foundry, machinery, and metal-working industries, as well as a center for brewing and grain trading. During the last third of the 19th century, visitors often commented on Milwaukee’s refined German culture, European elegance, and prosperity (while usually overlooking the laborers who produced its wealth with the toil of their hands). On Oct. 28, 1892, a fire in the Irish third ward wiped out sixteen square blocks, leaving 2,000 immigrant working-class residents homeless. During the first half of the 20th century, Milwaukee became known for its “sewer socialism.” City leaders sought to clean up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, municipally-owned water and power systems, community parks, and improved educational opportunities. Victor Berger (1860-1929) became the symbol of Milwaukee socialism by organizing voters into a highly successful political organization based on Milwaukee’s large German population and the active labor movement. During the 1930s the city was hit especially hard by the national depression: the number of people with jobs fell by 75% and 20% of residents needed direct relief from the government. The number of strikes increased sevenfold between 1933 and 1934, and conditions only improved when World War Two demanded huge amounts of factory goods between 1941 and 1945.
Milwaukee’s population peaked in 1960, according to the decennial US Census, with a count of 741,324 and a national ranking as the 11th largest American city. Milwaukee made its final boundary annexations and consolidations in the same year, when it established the configuration of borders seen today. By 1970, as the city continued to exhibit the trends of decentralization, its population had fallen to 717,099 as the 12th largest American city. In 2000, it was the 19th largest, with a population of 596,974. The population decline was a result of various factors. Starting in the late 1960s, as in many cities in the Great Lakes “rust belt,” Milwaukee saw the loss of blue-collar jobs. The construction of Milwaukee’s interstate highway system, beginning in 1964 with the completion of its first seven miles of I-94, heralded an age of greater decentralization, as southeastern Wisconsin suburbs continued to proliferate along interstate corridors, providing an alternative to crowded city living. Nevertheless, a backlash against the freeway in the late 1960s and early 1970s virtually ground Milwaukee’s freeway construction to a halt, leaving the city with about 50% of the highways recommended by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s freeway plan.
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Accurate Basement Repair
3125 E Allerton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53235