A Vivid Photographic History of Wauwatosa
Forced migration of Indians from their homelands east of the Mississippi opened up territory for settlement in Wisconsin in the 1830s. A few white settlers were attracted to the forested banks of the Menomonee River where it dropped on its way to meet the Milwaukee River.
Here New Yorker Charles Hart built a grist mill in 1835, and then a sawmill soon after, and called it Hart’s Mills. More Yankees followed, and--the area becoming more than mills--the village they formed was named Wauwatosa, possibly a token to the Ojibwe they displaced, whose word “wauwautasi” meant firefly.
In the next decades, the population grew with the addition of more immigrants--German, Irish, Latvian--the craftsmen and laborers who moulded the houses, schools, shops and churches into a brisk village. Images of America: Wauwatosa is rich with images of the settlement of the city, and the progress that those settlers made possible.
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