Series Description

Chapter 1: Natives and Traders
Native Americans, Fertile Land, Pristine Waters. French Explorers and Trader Soloman Juneau. Exile of the Potawatomi.


Photo credit: Rexnord Industries

Chapter 2: New Frontiers
Lake Michigan brings Settlers. Agricultural Plenty. Milwaukee’s Three Founders Struggle for Supremacy. Milwaukee becomes a City, 1846.

Chapter 3: King Wheat
Wheat Sows the Seeds of a Growing City. Railroads and Brash Byron Kilbourn.

Chapter 4: Here Come the Germans
Waves of German Immigrants. Beer, Brats, Gemutlichkeit. Milwaukee, “the German Athens of America”.

Chapter 5: Neighbors and Strangers
Milwaukee becomes a Melting Pot; Irish, English, African-Americans. Ethnic Tensions, Abolitionist Fervor, and a Tragic Shipwreck. The Civil War.

Chapter 6: City of Industries
Tanneries, Breweries, Slaughterhouses. Steam Engines, Machine Shops, Iron Rails. Plankinton, Pfister, Pabst, Miller, Allis. Milwaukee Grows Economic Muscle.

Chapter 7: City of Immigrants
Ethnic Europe Discovers Milwaukee. A Polish Fishing Village and Milwaukee’s Bascilica. Irish, Italians, Greeks, Jews & Eastern Europeans Spice the Ethnic Stew.

Chapter 8: “Machine Shop of the World”
Milwaukee, the Manufacturing Powerhouse. Enterprising Inventors, Mechanics, and Machinists. Workers Seek the Eight Hour Day. Rioting and Bloodshed in 1886.

Chapter 9: Greater Milwaukee
Architectural Adventures: Mansions, Theaters, Offices, a Million-Dollar City Hall in 1895. Suburbs Rise from South Milwaukee to Whitefish Bay. A “Big Small Town”.

Chapter 10: Trouble in Town
Dirty Air and Water. Dirty Milwaukee Politics. Socialists and Labor Rise Up for Clean Government.

Harley Davidson

Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society

Chapter 11: Socialists at Work
“Municipal Enterprise”. Honest Government and Civic Virtue. Creating Milwaukee’s Park System.

Chapter 12: The War to End Wars
Making the World Safe for Democracy, 1917. Anti-German Fever in Milwaukee. Socialists under Siege. Prohibition Closes the Breweries.

Chapter 13. The Roaring Twenties
America Turns Inward. Manufacturing Soars. African-Americans and Latino Premeros Make Milwaukee Home. Automobiles, Electric Lights, Radios and Movies.

Chapter 14. Hard Times and Wartime
The Great Depression. The Rise of Labor. Prohibition Ends. World War II Claims a Mayor. Milwaukee’s Industrial Might Goes to War.

Chapter 15. The Exploding Metropolis
After the War: a Baby Boom, a Housing Boom, an Economic Boom. Socialism Returns to City Hall. Suburbs and Annexations. The Milwaukee Braves.

Chapter 16: City Under Siege
New Civic Structures and Urban “Renewal”. Poverty, Prejudice, Housing Discrimination. The Riot of 1967.

Chapter 17: Almost Yesterday
Parades, Festivals, Ethnic Pride. New Ethnic Groups. Deindustrialization Hammers Milwaukee. The City Reinvented.

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