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Milwaukee - Past, Present, Future
Day 1
What is Social Studies? What was your Social Studies curriculum like in first grade, second grade, third grade? Predict what we will do in fourth grade?

Lesson #1:

Anticipatory Set -
Q: What do the Badgers, Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Admirals, and Wave all have in common?
Accept Responses - they are all Wisconsin sports teams.

Q: Where did these names come from?
Accept Responses - Badgers (Lead Miners), Packers (Meat Packers), Brewers (Breweries/Beer), Bucks (Male Whitetail Deer),Admirals (Immigrants coming over on boats), Wave (Lake Superior/Lake Michigan)

Q 1
- Picture a mental image of early Milwaukee. What do you think it would look like hundreds of years ago?
*Accept Responses - examples: lake, farmland, hills, horses on the gravel roads

Q 2
- Why do people move to unknown places?
*Accept Responses - examples: to gain freedom from their old homes, to move from a crowded area, something may have happened to their previous home, exploring to see what else is out there, digging for gold, looking for lead, looking for a new job

Q 3
- What challenges might people face when moving to a new place?
*Students should brainstorm answers with children sitting next to them.
*Accept Responses - weather might be bad (harsh winters and summers), no heat, no medicine, no jobs, no transportation, hard to find a house/shelter, forest land is so dense that they may not see the sunlight for several miles, no clean water, limited food, no government, no technology, wild animals

Q 4
- What would they use to build their houses?
*Accept Responses - trees, hay, adobe or mud bricks

Q 5
- What did they use for transportation?
*Accept Responses - horses, wagons, feet

Q 6
- What did they eat?
*Accept Responses - bear, fish, deer, crops, rice

Q 7
- Was anyone else here when the settlers came? If so, who?
*Accept Responses - Yes, Native People, Native Americans

Milwaukee became a city in 1846.

Q 8
-When did Wisconsin become a state?
*Accept Responses - 1848

Q 9
- How is possible that a city can be formed before a state?
*Accept Responses - the area needs to be populated before it can become a state, the needs of the people determine the necessity of becoming a state





Video Clip - Chapter One, The Making of Milwaukee, Native Traders (15 minutes)
Facts from the video clip -Pre-European Settlers........Milwaukee Historical Society Click Here

  • Milwaukee started where the lake meets the land. Lake Michigan is one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the Earth.
  • Lake Michigan is the reason "why" Milwaukee is here.
  • 12,000 years ago, the land emerging from glaciers that were 1 mile thick, presented beautiful shorelines and marshy wetland areas. Wild rice and fish were plentiful. There were forests above the marshlands that were dense and thick. Bear and Deer were plentiful. Bark and Saplings were used to make shelters. Plants were used to make medicine.
  • 200 Earthen mounds were built by Native Americans 1,000 years ago. These mounds were graves of buried tribal members. They were buried with special artifacts. Currently, there are only two mounds left. One of which is at State Fair Park.
  • Pre 1600, Monominee, Ho Chunk and Winnebago Native Americans lived in Wisconsin. After 1600, the Sauk, Fox, Ojibwe, Huron, and Potawatomi Native Americans arrived.
  • Milwaukee means Good Land.
  • Menominee means Wild Rice.
  • The Menominee were gardeners, growing pumpkins, squash, melons, and corn. The leader of a neighboring village was named, Corn Stalk.
  • Living in early Milwaukee was like camping for 12 months a year.


European Settlers begin to arrive...
  • Jean Nicolet (a missionary from France) arrived in 1634 on the shores of Green Bay.
  • In 1674 Jacques Marquette and Joliet arrived along the shores of Green Bay, camped in Milwaukee, and headed west to the Mississippi River.
  • Next came more Frenchmen because of the many beavers located in the area. Beaver Fur trading drew many settlers to Milwaukee.
  • Jacques and Angelina Vieux were the primary fur trappers in Milwaukee and lived in a small cabin in what is now Mitchell Park.
  • In 1818 Solomon Juneau became the first mayor of Milwaukee. He married Vieux's oldest daguther in 1820 and had 13 children. He became Milwaukee's leading fur trader in 1825. He was wealthy enough that he sent his children to boarding schools in Detroit and Green Bay.
  • Eventually, there were very few beavers left and the European settlers wanted to plot out the land to be made into businesses. In order to do this they needed to "push out" the Native Americans. Thus began the Exodus of the Native People to Iowa, creating Wisconsin's own Trail of Tears.
  • Many Native Americans hid in the the forest and ahead of the European Settlers. The Potowatami now has Gaming Sites in the state.
A few things to think about (after the clip).....
1. What were the natural resources that Native Wisconsin People used to help them survive?
  • rich soil
  • wild rice
  • fish
  • marshy wetlands
  • trees - sap and syrup
  • bark - canoes, homes
  • plants - medicine
  • deer, bear - food
  • dense forests - homes

2. Who was Solomon Juneau?
  • came by the St. Lawerence Seaway from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • first mayor of Milwaukee
  • beaver fur trader

3. Who was Jacques Marquette? A Jesuit missionary that landed on the banks of Green Bay.

4. Describe Milwaukee's own Trail of Tears. The Native Americans were forced to leave the state of Wisconsin and move to Iowa. They were forced to sign a one-sided treaty.

Homework: In your social studies notebook, write a response to the following - How could this situation of one sided treaties have been handled differently so that both the Native Americans and the European Settlers could have benefited?

Lesson #2:

Review of natural resources:
  • wild rice
  • corn
  • animal skins and meat (bear, deer, beaver pelts, fish)
  • bark (canoes, houses)
  • fresh water (Milwaukee River, KK River, Menomonee River = all flow into Lake Michigan)
Three Rivers - Milwaukee
  • plants (medicine)
  • tools (stone, arrowheads)


Review of Milwaukee's Trail of Tears:
Native People forced to move by local government - primarily led by Solomon Juneau.
Accept answers from the homework lesson given after lesson 1.
Homework: In your social studies notebook, write a response to the following - How could this situation of one sided treaties have been handled differently so that both the Native Americans and the European Settlers could have benefited?

Q: How were the settlers and native people alike?

Q: What was attractive to the settlers? Why did they want to settle in Milwaukee?
For the:

  • natural resources
  • fresh water - food, transportation, shipping, industry
The St. Lawrence Seaway and the Erie Canal (1825) allowed travel from the east coast to Lake Michigan.

Video Segment #2, The Making of Milwaukee, Founding FathersFacts from the Video

Pictures of Milwaukee from the Milwaukee Historical Society Click Here.

  • Milwaukee means city built on water. It was the deepest river and had the widest bay. It took one month to get from the East Coast to Milwaukee. The founding father arrived in Milwaukee on schooners or side rail steamships.

  • Juneau - 1831 developed the east side of Milwaukee. He was the first postmaster. He was the first mayor. He came here to trade furs but ended up trading real estate. He had a business partner named, Morgan Martin.

  • Kilbourn - 1834 settled the west bank of the Milwaukee River. He was aggressive and nasty and refused a partnership with Juneau.

  • Walker - 1834 settled the south side. He was from Virginia and was a good dancer and ice skater. He weighed 350 pounds.

  • In 1835, public land sold for $7.00 per city block.

  • The Green Bay Advocate published headlines that read, Milwaukee is all the rage!" Many people came to Milwaukee because of that reason. Land was cleared, stumps were ground, wetlands were drained and then plows came and planted fields in rich soil.

  • in 1836, the population of Milwaukee was 1,000. In 1842, the population of Milwaukee was 6000. It now rivaled Chicago.

  • Not everyone loved Milwaukee. An outspoken man from Detroit, named George Pinckney, hated Milwaukee and called it "God Foresaken!"

  • Kilbourne published maps with lots for sale on the west side in the Milwaukee Journal (his paper). Juneau published maps with lots for sale on the east side in the Milwaukee Sentinel (his paper).

  • Bridges were built at a diagonal because Kilborne designed the west side first and each founding father after that developed his own area of the city and nothing lined up.

  • Bridges were the life line for people to move from one side of the city to another. In 1845, the Bridge War began. East siders vs. the West Siders. They chopped down bridges and had fist combat so no one could get to the other side of town.

  • In 1846, all sides came together to make the city. Juneau became the first mayor in 1846. In 1848, he moved to Theresa (kettle morraine area) and stayed there until he died in 1856. There is a statue of him now located in Juneau park.
Thoughts and conversation after the video -Use the Founding Father's Comparison Sheet templated to elicit responses about each individual founding father. Also discuss that even though the Founding Fathers were different, they all believed that if they kept bickering they would scare everyone away. They all believed that Milwaukee had a GREAT FUTURE!

Lesson #3 King Wheat and the GermansMilwaukee 1800's

  • Review of the Three Founding Fathers (Comparison Sheet assigned as homework after lesson 2)
  • Review Milwaukee became a city in 1846 and Wisconsin became a state in 1848.
  • Predictions, "Why would the people of Milwaukee want to move from being a territory to a state?
  1. established government
  2. have rights in the state, city, and at the national level, including congress
  3. have a voice in Washington DC which was established in the 1700s.

Video Segment #3 The King of WheatQ: How the wheat get distributed throughout the midwest?Ships - Wisconsin was the 2nd largest producer of wheat in the country. As a result, they needed to improve the harbor. A new harbor was created in 1857 and the riverbanks were lined with docks.It was stated that the harbor in Milwaukee was the best, safest, roomiest, and most accessible in the states.Railroad - Byron Kilbourn established the "arteries that would pump the wealth of WI to other areas." In 1850, his railroad went to Wauwatosa. The train traveled at the rate of 30 mph. In 1857, the railroad went as far as Prairie Du Chien. In 1852, the board of directors were so frustrated with Byron Kilbourn, that they fired him. He didn't miss a beat and founded a new company. This company became the second railroad in Wisconsin. It went to Kilbourn City, which later became known as Wisconsin Dells. Kilbourn wanted support for his railroads so he bribed politicians and newspapers with 10,000 railroad bonds. He lost his good name but won a land grant. Kilbourn was known for having NO ethics. Milwaukee became known as an open market for corrupt politicians. Kilbourn eventually retired to Jacksonville, Florida and died in 1870. He body was shipped back to Milwaukee and he was buried in the Forest Home Cemetary in 1898.*Because of Kilbourn and his railroads, Milwaukee became a point of wheat exchange in the Midwest.Chicago also had several railroads. The Transcontinental Railroad went throughout the United States. Milwaukee and Chicago became competitors in distributing wheat. In 1860, Milwaukee became the largest shipper of wheat in the world. The population quadrupled between 1846 and 1860. Milwaukee had 7 newspapers, 50 churches, the first telegraph came in 1848 and the first gas lights in 1852. With a growing population, three unpleasant circumstances developed:1. pollution2. crime3. corruption


Video Segment #4 - Here Come the Germans!

In the 1850's, the Germans began to immigrate to Wisconsin. Why did they leave their country?
  • They didn't like their government.
  • They were looking for religous freedom.
  • They were looking for new opportunities.
Q: Ask the students to list adjectives that describe the immigrants from Germany. A: These immigrants were brave, optimistic, determined, eexcited, scared, nervous, curious, and eager.*Milwaukee has 22 pages of names that begin with Sch in the White pages!In the 1860's 40% of the population of Milwaukee was German and by 1864, 50% of the population was foreign born. It became a push and pull situation; the push of the immigrants to leave their countries and the pull of Wisconsin as they offer new opportunities.Prominent Germans in the 1860's:
  • Frederich Miller - Brewery - bought with $10,000 of gold
  • German Jews had build 3 snyogagues - immigrated from the 1840's to 1880's.
  • Peter Engelman - German Educator who founded the Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Matilda Oercke - 1st Women's libber who founded a newspaper called the Women's Times. Later, it was shut down by men.
  • Turner Hall - gymnastics Milwaukee Turners. Click Here
History of the Milwaukee Turners
History of the Milwaukee Turners

The Milwaukee Turners have their roots, along with other American Turners societies across the country, in the German Turnverein associations of the early 19th century. These associations were founded by Frederick Ludwig Jahn in 1811 to prepare youth, both mentally and physically, for resistance to Napoleonic domination, and later for other anti-democratic forms of government.
The Turnverein associations became powerful social and political organizations in Germany that used gymnastic training as a preliminary and inconspicuous preparation for military drills. In 1848 they helped spark a liberal revolution to establish a unified, democratic republic in Germany. The revolution was defeated and over 600,000 Germans were exiled as a result.
The First Turner societies in the United States were organized in 1848 by German immigrants and exiles carrying the torch of liberty and democratic reform. These “48′ers”, as they were called, created vigorous athletic, cultural, and social societies throughout the country in the tradition of the German Turn Verein societies. The Turner motto, “Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” expresses their holistic vision for realizing human potential through the harmonious integration of intellectual and physical development.
The Milwaukee Turners received their charter from the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1855. Milwaukee was once known as “German Athens of America” for its vital German artistic, political and civic culture, and the Turners were a central part of this community. The Turners, both nationally and locally, established a reputation for fighting for the principles declared in their national charter: “Liberty, against all oppression; Tolerance, against all fanaticism; Reason, against all superstition; Justice, against all exploitation!”. Turners members volunteered in large numbers for the Union Army and served as President Lincoln’s personal bodyguards as he toured the nation. Turners were influential in developing the “ethnic vote” as a force for liberal Republican politics. They were also early advocates for women’s suffrage and equal rights, and were one of the first German-American organizations to publicly denounce the atrocities of National Socialism and Hitler’s regime in Germany.
Central to the Milwaukee Turners was a deep concern for social reform and a relentless pursuit of honest and open democratic government. In 1903 Turner Hall hosted a 3,000-plus person meeting that spurred the ‘clean government’ movement to eliminate graft, corruption and cronyism in local government that then swept the nation in the early twentieth century. By the turn of the century, many of the Milwaukee membership were no longer liberal Republicans, but had become Social Democrats. After the Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago and the Bay View Rolling Mill massacre in Milwaukee—just days apart in 1886—the right of workers to organize for basic human rights without fear of violence or retribution became a central issue across the nation and especially in Milwaukee. Turner members and leaders worked at the forefront of these issues.
Victor Berger, a long-time Turner in Milwaukee, pioneered with Eugene V. Debs the American Socialist Party dedicated to promoting the rights of workers and promoting clean, efficient, and democratic forms of government. Berger was the first Socialist elected to the U.S. Senate. Milwaukee is the only major city in the country to have three socialist mayors: Emil Seidel (1910-1912), Daniel Hoan (1916-1940), and Frank Zeidler (1948-1960); all three proud Turner members. Several Milwaukee mayors have been Turner members.
“Turnen” = GymnasticsThe Turners derive their name from the German word for gymnastics, Turnen. Appropriate to our motto: “Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” the Turner’s School of Gymnastics has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding, and continues strong today. The Turners were influential in the establishment of physical education in public schools both in Wisconsin and nationwide.
George Brosius, the first salaried gymnastic instructor at Milwaukee Turners in the mid 1800s, introduced one or the earliest examples of physical education in public schools in Milwaukee old 6th Ward School. A student of Brosius later introduced his training methods to West Point, eventually influencing the physical fitness training for the Army itself.
Milwaukee Turners produced at least two Olympic Gymnasts. One Turners gymnast represented the US in the 1968 Mexico City games and another was unable to participate in the Moscow games because of the US boycott.
The Milwaukee Turners continue to operate a gymnastics school in the same location it has operated in for over 125 years!
Read more about the Hall and the restoration effort of the ballroom.
To schedule tours of the building at no charge please call ahead at (414) 272-1733.

Brief Background of the American Turners

The Turners was founded in Germany in 1811 by German revolutionary and patriot Frederick Ludwig Jahn. Their purpose was to overthrow Napoleon, who had conquered Prussia, and have a unified Germany.
The Turners became very powerful both physically and politically and in 1848 helped spark a revolution to make Germany a republic. They were defeated, and OVER 600,000 Germans were exiled.
The first Turner society in the United States was organized in 1848 in Cincinnati, Ohio. These ’48′ers, as they were called, created vigorous athletic, cultural and social societies throughout the country.
When the Civil War broke out, the Turners were among the first to respond the call to arms and enlist in the Union Army.
Turners have actively opposed all forms of oppression and have long been champions of equal rights. The Turners supported women’s suffrage, and it was from the Normal School at Milwaukee Turners that the first female physical education teacher graduated in 1875.
Although there were hundreds of Turner Societies in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, only about 65 still remain; most are east of the Mississippi.
The active societies in Wisconsin are Sheboygan, Madison, Milwaukee and East Side Turners.

Turner Hall
Turner Hall
Constructed in 1882 and dedicated in 1883, Turner Hall is one of several important Milwaukee buildings designed by architect and German immigrant Henry H. Koch. Koch was also the architect for Milwaukee’s famous City Hall and the Pfister Hotel. His work was an innovative mix of Queen Anne and Romanesque styles expressed with local materials.
Turner Hall is a unique four-story, multi-use facility constructed of Milwaukee’s characteristic cream city brick. Complete with gymnasium, restaurant/beer hall, meeting rooms, and a grand two-story ballroom, the Hall continues to house functions that promote the development of both a sound mind and a sound body. The original Italianate façade of cream city brick was recently restored, as were the famous panoramic paintings located in the first floor of the building.
Turner Hall is the only building in Milwaukee that currently holds the three following honorary architectural and historical designations: a National Landmark, a listing on the National Registry of Historic Places, and a local Historical Landmark.
To schedule tours of the building at no charge please call ahead at (414) 272-1733.

Milwaukee became known as the "German Athens of America".In 1856, there were 2 dozen breweries in Milwaukee. Some of the names were Best, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller.Germans opened Bier Gardens (music, food, beer) to build and promote community. Many German families could be found enjoying each other on Sunday afternoons in the gardens.

Video Clip #5 - Neighbors and StrangersThe Irish were the next largest group of immigrants to come to Milwaukee, although most Irish settled on the East coast of the United States.By 1850, 15% of the population of Milwaukee was Irish. This group settled in the 3rd Ward and build St. Peter's Church, at Old World Wisconsin, in 1839. In 1876, a Scottish Immigrant, Alexander Mitchell, was one of the wealthiest men in Milwaukee. His name is associated with The Marine Bank, the Milwaukee Railroad, Nortwestern Mutual Insurance, Mitchell Park Domes, Wisconsin Club, the Airport. The Mitchell Building was built in 1876 and is still in Milwaukee today.Norweigens settled in Walker's Point. African Americans - Watson Family - Sully and Susanah - 1850's - St. Marks AME church in 1859Milwaukee was a city filled with diversity. However diversity does not always equal harmony.Milwaukee was safe for freed slaves. The people of Milwaukee did not ever believe in slavery and welcomed freed slaves. Even though the fugitive slave act said taht if a slave was captured s/he had to go back to the owner. People in Milwaukee did not support the fugitive slave act. In 1854, Joshua Glover was arrested in Racine. Several abolishionists protested his arrest. The people of Milwaukee burned the jail so that Joshua Glover could go free. After the jail burned, they put him on a boat to get away. Sherman Booth led the abolitionists. The Lady Elgin, an Irish Steamboat went on a trip to Chicago and on the way back collided with a schooner off of Winnetka Illinois. During the Civil War, Many Milwaukee citizens fought for the Blue Coats (North). Rufus King led the iron brigade. 82,000 went to war, 12,000 did not return. The Vet Hospital (VA) developed by the women of Milwaukee in honor of the local soldiers. It was established in 1865. It was a home for disabled vets. It has a theater, chapel, post office and swan ponds. It's southern border is on National Avenue.*From 1846-1865 was an extremely tumoltuos time in Milwaukee.Milwaukee Timeline

Video Clip #6


Milwaukee= port city: shipped out goods that came back as products

  • people wanted that changed because it was expensive!

Bay View: great site for factories because of the lake
Plankinton, Layton, and Cudahy: meat packers

Pfister, Vogel and Gallun: tanneries (using the hide of the animal)

Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller: breweries

Cream City Bricks- clay from MKE soil was cream-colored

grinding wheat into flour : mills (Edward Allis made machinery)

Menomonee Valley: marshland (wildlife, rice)

- later filled in with gravel and garbage

- rebuilt straight for docks/boats

Iron ore for railroad tracks


Milwaukee Walking Tour Parent Note - Milwaukee Walking Tour

Milwaukee River Walk

Clues for the Milwaukee Walking Tour

Duck Sculpture


Lady Elgin

Milwaukee Walking TourInformative Paragraph Using PagesPossibly put it all together using iauthor