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Map of the County of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (upper left quadrant)

H.F. Walling

Boomtown Milwaukee
A picture of the city on the brink of becoming the leading wheat market in the world.

This map, which details the northern part of Milwaukee County, was published as part of a subscription series in 1858. It is part of a much larger map that shows county and city land holdings. A detailed section of land holdings in the city can be seen in the far right-hand side. The vignette in the upper right corner probably portrays the residence of an early subscriber to the map series.

After Native Americans ceded their Milwaukee-area lands in 1831 and 1833, Milwaukee was swept up in the settlement and land speculation boom of the 1830s. The juncture of the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee Rivers near Lake Michigan provided an excellent harbor site.

City promoters succeeded in their campaign to secure funding to improve the harbor and build a railroad connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. By 1862, Milwaukee became the leading wheat market of the world, a position that lasted nearly a decade.