Hank Aaron State Trail: Neighborhood Life

© Photographed August 14, 2016
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
Erected by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc.,
Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
43°01'53.8"N 87°57'15.2"W
43.031598, -87.954227
Google Map

During the late 1800s, thousands of workers arrived in the Menominee Valley to work in industrial jobs. They established the large residential neighborhoods west of downtown -- Piggsville, Merrill Park, and Concordia. Company executives lived in mansions on Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue), while laborers lived at the bottom of the bluffs in modest cottages near to the train tracks.
Families worked, played, worshipped, and shopped in their immediate neighborhood. They formed community groups like the West End Sewing School, the Shamrock Club, Sokol gymnastics teams, and the Menomonee Valley Civic Association. Soot-covered laundry fluttered on backyard clotheslines in warm weather. On winter weekends, children went sledding on the bluffs along the Valley.
Most workers walked to work carrying lunch pails. They were known as the "bucket brigade". When their shifts ended, workers climbed stairs up the Valley's steep bluffs to visit neighborhood saloons for cold beer, good food, and lively conversation.
By 1920, 50,000 people worked in the Menomonee Valley. 
Read The West End by John Gurda
about the neighborhoods north of the Valley.
Get involved with your local neighborhood association.
The boulder is located along the Hank Aaron State Trail and is easily accessible from westbound West Canal Street, at its intersection with North 32nd Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208.

The pavilion is included in the Merrill Park Eight Boulders and a Pavilion Tour.

The marker is on the left.

Looking west along West Canal Street.

Asphalt crew working on streetcar lined, 1920s.

Overhead line repair crew for the Wisconsin Electric Company, 1930s.

The marker is located at this kiosk.
The marker is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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