A hike through downtown Milwaukee's skywalks: More fun than Disney World? And no places to dive in and swim. The Riverwest History Society, a committee set up solely for this purpose, will publish the book. History During the second half of the 20th century Milwaukee turned its back on a valuable economic resource, the three rivers that run through the heart of the City. Those early settlements have long since been replaced by a modern and cosmopolitan cityscape. Once a locus of industry, the river is now the center of a housing boom. There wasn’t much of a social safety net in those days, and jobs for common laborers tended to be seasonal. It takes a look at the lives of people who lived in Milwaukee in the late 1800s and early 1900s in an engaging way that allows you to easily imagine what was there before. 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. In the winter between 1900 and 1901, a pitched battle erupted on the frozen Milwaukee River above the North Avenue dam between enraged ice harvesters and the equally violent crew of a steam-powered launch. "The fascination of history is that it's like a jigsaw puzzle," Swanson said. Tons of ice. A squad of police marched onto the ice to prevent an all-out brawl between the crew of the boat and ice company employees. One of the more fascinating aspects of the study of geology is the occasional opportunity to … googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1597166322662-mid-article-3'); }); In its April 5, 1901 edition, the Journal reported, "The ice is all gone, and there is nothing to fight about, so the famous 'ice cases' have been dismissed in police court by mutual consent. That’s because it never happened! There was, however, a small strip of land between North Lake’s new icehouse and the railroad siding. As riverwalks go in cities, this was stood out for its quality! The Milwaukee River through the years Like a vibrant ribbon, the Milwaukee River, with its sidewalk cafes, shops, public art, green spaces, and special events, has defined development in downtown Milwaukee. Turn it one way, and the sign read "25," flip it the other way and it read "50." Apart from those ghosts from the past, Hubbard Park is a great place for a family to hang out after a history lesson. The newspapers called it "The Ice War." As they enter our Harbor, boaters have the option of exploring the KK River (south), the Menomonee River (west) and the Milwaukee River which winds through Downtown Milwaukee. A History of Port Milwaukee. By 1900, ice harvesting took place at several locations along the upper river, as well as on many area lakes. Tolan wrote the history 20 years ago, as part of the Milwaukee Humanities Program, a federally funded organization based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he’s updated it over the last several years. First, there's the river itself. Sign up for our Wisconsin Family newsletter for ideas on family-friendly things to do delivered to your inbox. On Sunday, Jan. 20, 1901, the battle reached a fever pitch to the delight of nearly 1,000 spectators gathered on the North Avenue bridge and both banks of the river. Posts about Milwaukee River written by MilwaukeeNotebook. Facebook | Twitter | Instagram. Milwaukee or “gathering place by the water*” was built on a Great Lake and the Milwaukee Harbor welcomes vessels and other boaters to our great city. It's really well-done, with wide sidewalks on both sides of the river, interesting variation in the pathway as you move between sections, and some cool art along the way. We will rejoin the war in progress in a moment. Riverwalk History. Those former quarries created lagoons that were deep enough to swim in — but also extremely dangerous due to the hidden tunnels and dropoffs that resulted from the mining. Impressive! It was founded in 1849 by German immigrant John Kopmeier. It's also the type of thing that is just as interesting to kids as it is to adults. It was easy to keep food cool in winter, obviously, but summer required frequent visits from the iceman, who set huge blocks of ice into insulated tin-lined wooden iceboxes. In the winter between 1900 and 1901, a pitched battle erupted on the frozen Milwaukee River above the North Avenue dam between enraged ice harvesters and the equally violent crew of a steam-powered launch. In an October 30, 1901 article on the opening of the North Avenue dam to draw down the level of the river to facilitate sewer construction along the west bank, the Journal reported the owners of the Wisconsin Lake Ice Co. were using the occasion to reshape the shore edge to ease ice harvesting. Ice, in other words, was a huge business in the state, and Wisconsin Lakes Ice Co., based in Milwaukee, dominated the market. In its second year, the Milwaukee River History Tour offers a unique view of the city from the waterway that allowed a small fur trading post to become a metropolis. I had no idea what was there, and then I researched and found out it had been the Gordon Park Boathouse.". Onlookers and reporters thought it hilarious, but real injuries were sustained, working men had their livelihoods threatened and it all had to do with … ice. A park with dogs to look at in the dog exercise area. Milwaukee began as a Great Lakes port in 1835, when the first commercial cargo vessel called at the struggling new village on the west shore of Lake Michigan. It flows generally southward through central Wisconsin past Rhinelander, Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wisconsin Dells (site of a scenic gorge). Wisconsin River, river rising in Lac Vieux Desert (lake), Vilas county, northern Wisconsin, U.S., on the Wisconsin-Michigan border. On a section of river that has witnessed many strange things over the years, the ice war was perhaps the strangest. MILWAUKEE COUNTY LANDMARKS City of Milwaukee Milwaukee County Courthouse 901 North 9th Street Milwaukee Landmark Designation: 1976 Milwaukee County’s first two courthouses were located east of the Milwaukee River in today’s Cathedral Square. The results of the Milwaukee River study were dismal. "I was walking in Gordon Park, and I came across some concrete stairs, which seem to connect from nothing to nowhere. Rock River History – The Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Have you ever heard of the the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal? They might take a subject and go with it.". An 1881 visitor described the Milwaukee River as “a currentless and yellowish murky stream, with water like oil, and an odor combined of the effluvia of a hundred sewers.” Household sewage and horse manure were the worst of it, at least in the short term. 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. In 2005, Hometown Inc. sold its 150-year-old ice business to a Canadian firm, Arctic Glacier, and closed its last remaining Milwaukee ice plant. Now the plot thickens. Milwaukee History In 1901, Riverwest residents battled on the frozen Milwaukee River. 48, No. There's plenty of room for running around, throwing a ball around and just playing. The company owned more than 500 delivery horses. 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