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Milwaukee

Milwaukee - description of the city:

In the state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee is the largest city. It is located on the southwest side of Lake Michigan. The population of the city is 594,833 according to the census of 2010. The first Europeans that went through the area were fur traders and French catholic missionaries. Solomon Juneau, a French Canadian explorer, settled in the area. In the year 1846, the town that Juneau found along with 2 neighboring towns combined to become the city of Milwaukee. The population of the city increased because of a large number of immigrants and Germans moving into the city. 

The city is well-known for its brewing traditions. Some of the newer additions to the city include the Wisconsin Center, the Riverwalk, and Miller Park. There have been renovations done to the Cellular Arena as well. There are many new condos, skyscrapers, apartments, and lofts built in the city along the river banks and lake fronts.

History 

There were several native American tribes that first inhabited the Milwaukee area. These tribes included the Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Sauk, Mascouten, Fox, and Menominee. French traders and missionaries started passing through the area in the late part of the 17th century and early 18th centuries. In 1785, Alexis Laframboise, settled a trading post in the area. He is considered to be the first resident of the region from Europe. 

The name Milwaukee may come from minwaking, which is from the Potawatomi language. It may also stem from the word ominowaking from the Ojibwe language. This means gathering place by water. There were various names used by the early explorers to describe the area. Some of the names include Milwaucki, Milwarck, Mahn-a-waukie, Milwacky, and Melleorki. For several years the printed records from the area offered the name Milwaukie. 

One of the stories about how the city finally got its name states that during the 1800s a newspaper changed the name of the city to Milwaukee and this has remained the name of the city to this day. The alternative spelling of Milwaukie is used by a city in Oregon that was named after the city in Wisconsin in the year 1847. 

The city started out as a trading post that was first settled by Alexis Laframboise, who was a French Canadian. This means that Solomon Juneau did not arrive first in the area in the year 1818. However, he did found a town called Juneautown or Juneau’s Side, which attracted settlers. On the west side, Byron Kilbourn was the equivalent of Juneau and he established his own town that he called Kilbourntown. He made sure that the streets that ran towards the river did not connect to the roads on the east side. This is one of the reasons that there are several angled bridges in the city still today. On top of not connecting the streets, Kilbourn also gave out maps of the area that did not show the area east of the river, essentially showing that Juneautown did not exist or the east side of the river was undesirable. 

There was a 3rd prominent builder in the area as well. His name was George H. Walker and he claimed the area located south of the river. This area was named Walker’s Point. 

By the early 1840s the 3 areas had grown as did their rivalries. Some intense battles between the cities took place, mostly between Kilbourntown and Juneautown. The battles culminated during the Milwaukee Bridge War that took place in 1845. After the bridge war, it was determined that the best action would be to unite the towns officially. In January of 1846 the towns were combined and Juneau was elected as the first mayor of the city. 

During the 1840s, many immigrants, especially Germans, started making their way into the area. By the year 1900, 34% of the population of the city had a German background. The largest number of immigrants in the city came from Prussia, there were also large numbers from Saony, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Hanover. 

The German element is still seen in the city today. There is a German fest held each July in the city and in October the Oktoberfest festival is held. There is a large number of German restaurants in the city as well as a German beer hall. Immersion school for the German language is offered for young children in the area as well. Germans have been and still are an important aspect of the Wisconsin and Milwaukee culture.

Culture 

The city is quite popular for windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing on lake Michigan. In addition, there are many places that offer ethnic dining and there are cultural festivals that take place throughout the year. The city is well known for its festivals and is often called “the City of Festivals.” There are many cultural events that take place at the Maier Festival Park, at museums, and on the lake. Jazz in the Park happens each week in parks located downtown.

Art 

There are several art museums located throughout the city. The Milwaukee Art Museum offers a $100 million wing that was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The “brise soleil” is a moving sunscreen at the museum. It unfolds like the wing of a bird. 

The Grohmann Museum offers a comprehensive art collection that is dedicated to human work. The Man at Work collection is located here and it consists of over 700 sculptures and paintings that date back to 1580 through today. There is also a great rooftop sculpture garden at the museum. 

Some of the other art museums in the city include the William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design, Charles Allis Art Museum, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and the Haggerty Museum of Art.

Science and Natural History 

The primary human history and natural history museum for more than 125 years is the Milwaukee Public Museum. The museum consists of 150,000 square feet of permanent exhibits. Some of the exhibits feature the Artic, Europe, Africa, South America, Middle America, the tropical rainforest, dinosaurs, a European village, a replica of the Sampson Gorilla, animatronics, and several hands on laboratories. 

Discovery World is dedicated to science and is located on the lake front, just south of the Milwaukee Art Museum. The hands on exhibits are a big draw for visitors as are the large freshwater and salt water aquariums. There are touch tanks and digital theaters in the museum as well. 

If you are visiting the city with young children the Betty Brynn Children’s Museum is a must see. There are many great hands on exhibits as well as interactive programs located in the facility.

History Venues 

If you want to learn more about the culture of the area, there are several great places to visit. The Pabst Mansion was built in the year 1892 and is a wonderful house museum to visit. The historical society provides information about the city and its history. Other places to visit include the black historical society, the black holocaust museum, the Jewish Museum, the Mitchell gallery of flight, and the Harley Davidson Museum.

Festivals 

One of the main reasons that people visit the city of Milwaukee is because of the great festivals that take place in the city throughout the year. The city is host to the state fair as well as another fair that takes place on the lake front that is called Summerfest. This is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1999 as being the largest music festival in the world. Summerfest has attracted about a million people in the past few years to the eleven stages that are set up for the festival. 

Throughout the summer there are several ethnically themed festivals that take place. Most of these festivals take place on the lake front and typically last for three days, often Friday, through the weekend. The festivals celebrate the history of the city as well as its great diversity.

 Riversplash, is marketed as being the official opening of the summer season and takes place during the last weekend in May. This festival was started in the year 2008. Pridefest, which celebrates the LGBT community and the Polish Fest take place in June. Summerfest spans over 11 days through the end of June and into July. In July, the Great Circus Parade takes place. There are French, Greek, Italian, and German festivals that also take place in the month of July. From August through September there are festivals that celebrate the Arab, African, Mexican, Irish, and the American Indians. In addition, the city is the home for Trainfest, which is the largest model railway show in the United States. This takes place each November. 

No matter what time of year that you visit the city of Milwaukee, you are likely going to find a wonderful festival to attend. If you happen to come during a time when there are no festivals, there is still plenty to do as the city of Milwaukee is an extremely cultural town with lots to do no matter what your interests may be. 

Country United States
International title Milwaukee
Population 594,833 people
Timezone America/Chicago
State Wisconsin
Geographic coordinates Latitude: 43.0389 x Longitude: -87.90647

Photo Galery Milwaukee

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Travel across Milwaukee
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Visiting Milwaukee
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Famous places of Milwaukee
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Acquaintance to Milwaukee
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The main attractions of Milwaukee
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Famous Landmarks of Milwaukee
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Walks across Milwaukee
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Sightseeing in Milwaukee
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Milwaukee video guide

Places to visit in Milwaukee

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