A German Heritage

© Photographed September 13, 2015
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
Google Map

Census data since 1850 back up the claim that Milwaukee is America's most German city. Over time German workers have left their stamp on the riverfront.

On Old World Third Street, German architectural flourishes, such as half-timber buildings and cobblestone intersections, recall the look and feel of Milwaukee's Germantown in its heyday. The street was lined with bakeries, meat markets, restaurants, and beer gardens between 1850 and 1900. Usinger's Famous Sausage (1 above), founded in 1880, and Mader's restaurant, 1041 N. Old World St., founded in 102, remain family-run today.

Remnants of several tanneries owned and operated by German families in the late 1800s also line the Milwaukee River. For a time, Germans were as prominent in the production of leather as they were in the brewing of beer.

German businesses and institutions virtually defined Milwaukee's cultural identify. The Germania Building (10 above), built in 1896, houses America's largest publisher of German-language newspapers. And Germans established the Milwaukee Turner Society (2 above) in 1858 to provide social and physical outlets to help members develop "sound minds in sound bodies."

By the 1860s, the German influence on the city was so strong that Milwaukee was nicknamed the "German Athens of America."
The marker is located along North Riverwalk Way and is accessible from westbound West Kilbourn Avenue, at its intersection with North Plankinton Avenue, at or near 840 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203.

NOTE: Except for a small parking lot for a restaurant, there is no parking at the marker location

The marker is visible in the bottom left corner of the kiosk.

The referenced map.

A gorgeous afternoon in downtown Milwaukee!!

With the Milwaukee Center Office Tower in the background.

The marker is located along Milwaukee's RiverWalk.

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