Jeff Beutner

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Contact Jeff

Recent Articles

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The World’s Largest Shipper of Wheat
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The World’s Largest Shipper of Wheat

Two steamers, the Milwaukee and the Detroit, probably shipping wheat, 1867.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Sailing Vessels and Steamers, 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Sailing Vessels and Steamers, 1860s

Marine commerce thrived by then, but lost ships and passengers were not uncommon.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee & Rock River Canal, 1870
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee & Rock River Canal, 1870

Near what is now Cherry St., and the fabulous Notre Dame convent atop the hill.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee’s Canal, Mid 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Canal, Mid 1860s

The canal was one mile long, but never grew as the company went bankrupt.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee River Dam, 1850s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee River Dam, 1850s

The dam was built to help create the proposed canal connecting city to the Mississippi.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Fabulous Peirce & Whaling Hardware
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Fabulous Peirce & Whaling Hardware

Circa 1873, a celebrated company located on what is now Plankinton and Michigan.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Largest Hardware Store in America
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Largest Hardware Store in America

John Nazro's huge hardware store was in a building still located at 2nd and Seeboth.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Independent Milwaukee Brewery, c. 1901
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Independent Milwaukee Brewery, c. 1901

Its best-known beer, Braumeister, lasted into the 1990s.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Welcome Park in Whitefish Bay
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Welcome Park in Whitefish Bay

Guido Pfister created the park and beer garden at the streetcar stop in Whitefish Bay.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Pabst Brewery’s Grand Resort, 1890
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Pabst Brewery’s Grand Resort, 1890

Located in Whitefish Bay, it was served by rail and steamboat from downtown Milwaukee.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Future Whitefish Bay, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Future Whitefish Bay, 1870s

The Lake Avenue Turnpike linked Milwaukee to area that soon saw summer resorts arise.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Schlitz Garden’s Observation Tower, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Schlitz Garden’s Observation Tower, 1880s

Beer garden on 8th and Brown offered many thrills, with stunning views of Lake Michigan.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Outdoor Beer Garden, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Outdoor Beer Garden, 1880s

Early beer garden on near South Side was privately run and served Blatz.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Old City, About 1858
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Old City, About 1858

Rare engraving by famed lithographer Louis Kurz, who also did famous Chicago views.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Gramm-Bernstein Delivery Truck, c. 1916
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Gramm-Bernstein Delivery Truck, c. 1916

This is just in front of the bank building that would become the County Historical Society.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Smoked Fish Delivery Truck, 1915
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Smoked Fish Delivery Truck, 1915

M.C. Fischer & Sons had already made the transition from horses to auto.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Schuster’s Delivery Wagon, 1908
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Schuster’s Delivery Wagon, 1908

Schusters had department stores for 80 years in Milwaukee and made deliveries to homes.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Florist’s Horse-Drawn Wagon, 1910
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Florist’s Horse-Drawn Wagon, 1910

Into the 1920s, horse-drawn wagons were still widely used for commercial transport.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Horse-Drawn Milk Delivery Truck, 1908.
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Horse-Drawn Milk Delivery Truck, 1908.

Products came from downtown-based Gridley Dairy, the state's top butter manufacturer.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Jones Island Fishing Village, 1898
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Jones Island Fishing Village, 1898

The settlement by Polish "Kashubes" even had a main street and a small beach.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Cream City Brick Making Gets Mechanized
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Cream City Brick Making Gets Mechanized

Workers using a new Barnhart Steam Shovel in Menomonee Valley, about 1883.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Cream City Brick Factory, 1885
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Cream City Brick Factory, 1885

For decades the arduous work was done by hand -- with the help of lots of horses.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Cream City Brick Workers, 1885
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Cream City Brick Workers, 1885

Milwaukee was the world's largest producer of bricks, and it was hard and skilled work.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Boston Store, Mid-1920s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Boston Store, Mid-1920s

The newest and last surviving downtown department stores was at its peak then.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Gimbels Department Store, 1925
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Gimbels Department Store, 1925

It was part of the largest department store in the nation, and soon, in the world.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wells Building, 1915
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wells Building, 1915

Built in 1902 by Daniel Wells, building still stands, but stripped of roofline ornamentation.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Pfister Hotel, About 1910
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Pfister Hotel, About 1910

Pfister and Milwaukee Club buildings still survive. Both have famous designers.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Pabst Building, 1890s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Pabst Building, 1890s

City's first skyscraper, 14-floors high, built by Frederick Pabst, lasted until 1981.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Ludington Building, 1885
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Ludington Building, 1885

On the northwest corner of Wisconsin and Water, center of a booming downtown.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Bankers Row, 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Bankers Row, 1860s

Two of Milwaukee's oldest surviving buildings were banks at Water and Michigan.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Iron Block Building, About 1867
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Iron Block Building, About 1867

Influenced by the North Italian Renaissance Revival, its cast-iron architecture is rare.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Inside the Grain Exchange, 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Inside the Grain Exchange, 1880

The trading room was one of the "most lavishly decorated" public spaces in the region.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Van Cott Block Building, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Van Cott Block Building, Late 1860s

It had many businesses and is now where the high-rise First Financial Centre is located.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Spencerian Business College, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Spencerian Business College, Late 1860s

Located in the four-story Library Block, one of the city's tallest structures.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Menomonee Hotel, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Menomonee Hotel, Late 1860s

One of earliest hotels, near what is now Plankinton and Wisconsin, was modest indeed.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee and Wisconsin Streets, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee and Wisconsin Streets, Late 1860s

These buildings still stand today, except (at left) the original steeple of St. John's Cathedral.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Broadway in Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Broadway in Late 1860s

Then called Main St. and just south of Wisconsin, it boasted the Newhall House Hotel.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wisconsin Ave. and Northwestern Mutual, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wisconsin Ave. and Northwestern Mutual, 1870s

The company's new headquarters was proof of the city's increasingly cosmopolitan style.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: South Side of Wisconsin Ave., 1868
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

South Side of Wisconsin Ave., 1868

Then called Wisconsin St., it was a hot spot for photography studios.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wisconsin and Broadway, 1867
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wisconsin and Broadway, 1867

The well-dressed people in the photo had to stand rigidly in place, so the photo wouldn't be ruined.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Love Nest of A Beer Baroness
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Love Nest of A Beer Baroness

Huge 1889 mansion is where Pabst owner continued her affair with her daughter's husband.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Mansion Where Scandal Brewed
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Mansion Where Scandal Brewed

The wife of the Pabst Brewery's co-owner had a scandalous affair in this fine Italianate mansion.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Philip Best Brewery’s Moorish-Style Facility
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Philip Best Brewery’s Moorish-Style Facility

The old bottling plant still stands today. By 1885 the future Pabst Brewing moved to Downtown.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Philip Best & Co. Brewery, 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Philip Best & Co. Brewery, 1880

Already the world's largest brewer, the company would soon be renamed the Pabst Brewing Co.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Last Days of Melms Brewery, 1869
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Last Days of Melms Brewery, 1869

It would be taken over by the Pabst Brewery, soon to become a manufacturing colossus.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The First Beer Baron
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The First Beer Baron

1860s photo features the Menomonee Brewery and owner Charles Melms' Italianate home.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Loading Coal, 1885
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Loading Coal, 1885

These appear to be dock workers along the river. Coal was vital to the city's commerce and lifestyle.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Public Museum Exhibits, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Public Museum Exhibits, 1880s

The museum would move 12 years later, saving it from the exposition building's disastrous fire of 1905.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Panorama of Milwaukee, 1885
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Panorama of Milwaukee, 1885

The new Industrial Exposition Building gave a great vantage point for those photographing the city.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee Industrial Exposition Building, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee Industrial Exposition Building, 1880s

Touted as the "finest in the country," the exposition hall on 5th and Kilbourn held a wide range of events.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: German Market, Early 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

German Market, Early 1880s

The market hall on E. Juneau was popular from at least 1870 to about 1920.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: City Hall, 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

City Hall, 1880

The remodeled market hall became City Hall in 1861, but the Milwaukee Sentinel derided the result.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Elias Friend Residence, 1879
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Elias Friend Residence, 1879

The wealthy clothing manufacturer built this elegant home on Cass and Mason.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Fire Fighters in Dress Suits, 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Fire Fighters in Dress Suits, 1880

A classic photo of workmen at Firehouse No. 1, looking like dudes about town.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Broadway North of Wisconsin, 1879
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Broadway North of Wisconsin, 1879

Another classic H.H.Bennett photo captures Milwaukee just after the advent of telephones and telephone lines.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Water Street in 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Water Street in 1880

Looking south from Wisconsin, this was a prime business district dominated by Victorian buildings from the 1850s.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wisconsin Avenue Bridge, About 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wisconsin Avenue Bridge, About 1880

The wooden bridge would be replaced by a new iron one two years later. It is turned to allow boats to pass on the Milwaukee River.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: J.C. Iverson & Co. About 1879
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

J.C. Iverson & Co. About 1879

Located on Water St. south of Mason St. the company sold classic stereoviews of Milwaukee by H. H. Bennett.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Increase Lapham On The Case
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Increase Lapham On The Case

Milwaukee's pioneer scientist was with famed photographer H.H. Bennett inspecting rock formations in the Dells in 1869.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Downtown Milwaukee, 1871
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Downtown Milwaukee, 1871

Remarkably, many of these buildings still stand today on Wisconsin Avenue.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: View of Milwaukee,1856
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

View of Milwaukee,1856

This engraving offers remarkable detail about the quickly growing city just ten years after its incorporation.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Lakefront, Late 1920s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Lakefront, Late 1920s

Before the War Memorial -- and before trees and vegetation -- the lakefront was a flat plain.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Solomon Juneau Statue, Late 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Solomon Juneau Statue, Late 1880s

At the time it dominated the view, before changes in Juneau Park and on the lakefront.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Leif Erikson at the Lakefront, About 1910
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Leif Erikson at the Lakefront, About 1910

Not long after Solomon Juneau's statue was erected, a knockoff of a Boston-made sculpture of Leif Erikson was erected in the lakefront park.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Lake Bluff of Yesteryear
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Lake Bluff of Yesteryear

This late 1880s photo shows the dramatic views afforded by the winding paths of Juneau Park.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Lakefront Looking North, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Lakefront Looking North, 1880s

Oh, what a view Juneau Park offered back then.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: When the Lakefront Was At Its Ugliest?
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

When the Lakefront Was At Its Ugliest?

In the 1870s, the lakefront mostly served as a rail line, with a ramshackle railroad depot.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Lakefront, About 1866
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Lakefront, About 1866

Prior to the settlers arrival, the lakefront wasn't a gorgeous green space, but an often-grassless bunch of eroded bluffs.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Lakefront in 1911
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Lakefront in 1911

This scene from a century ago, with paths winding down to the lake, may have been when this area was at its peak.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee Journal, About 1917
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee Journal, About 1917

Then located on fourth street near Wisconsin Ave., the crusading newspaper had no shortage of delivery vehicles.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Badger Cab Co., 1926
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Badger Cab Co., 1926

By the 1920s horses were largely gone and motorized taxicabs were fighting each other for customers.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Milwaukee Fire Department, 1912
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Milwaukee Fire Department, 1912

A fleet of GM Cartercars at the downtown Engine House One, located on Broadway since 1872.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Chapman’s Biggest Department Store
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Chapman’s Biggest Department Store

The third Chapman's store was built in 1885 and would remain in business nearly a century.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Inside T.A. Chapman’s, 1873
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Inside T.A. Chapman’s, 1873

Chapman's, the city's first department store for upscale buyers, was the last word in elegance for Milwaukee.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Chapman’s Second Store, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Chapman’s Second Store, 1870s

Located on E. Wisconsin and Milwaukee St., it was the city's premier department store, easily withstanding the Panic of 1873.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: T. A. Chapman Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

T. A. Chapman Late 1860s

Long before Gimbel's and Boston Store, T.A. Chapman was the city's department store. This is its first location.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wolcott & Gregg Sewing Machine Store
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wolcott & Gregg Sewing Machine Store

Located on E. Wisconsin near what is now the Iron Block building, the store offered an item that was greatly desired.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Wheeler & Wilson Emporium, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Wheeler & Wilson Emporium, 1870s

The company manufactured sewing machines, and this was the interior of its Downtown store.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Great Storm of 1871
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Great Storm of 1871

The city got buried in snow in 1871 and a well-known photographer was there to record it.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Courthouse Square Fountain, Late 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Courthouse Square Fountain, Late 1880s

Created by Casper Hennecke, it became the subject of a popular Milwaukee postcard.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: East Town and Second Courthouse, 1875
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

East Town and Second Courthouse, 1875

The modest skyline at the time was also dominated by St. John's Cathedral, before its first tower was replaced.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Jefferson Street, 1873
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Jefferson Street, 1873

The dirt street where the new courthouse was located was mostly residential or empty. That would change quickly.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: County Courthouse, Early 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

County Courthouse, Early 1870s

It was built by architect Leonard Schmidtner, who also built St. Stanislaus church. His courthouse would stand for 66 years.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Building the Second Courthouse, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Building the Second Courthouse, 1870s

The courthouse was built in 1872 where Cathedral Square now stands, but only after sticky legal situation was finessed.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Market Square, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Market Square, Late 1860s

The intersection of Water and Mason streets was once Market Square, the civic and commercial heart of the city.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Alexander Mitchell’s Belvedere, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Alexander Mitchell’s Belvedere, 1880s

Considered the finest structure of its kind in America, it still stands today at the Wisconsin Club.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Mitchell Mansion’s Classic Fountain, 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Mitchell Mansion’s Classic Fountain, 1880

Photos of Alexander Mitchell's mansion and its classic fountain, 1880, and as the place looks today.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Mitchell Building, Around 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Mitchell Building, Around 1880

The headquarters for what became the Marine Bank, built by Alexander Mitchell, survives today almost exactly as originally built.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Lush Landscaping of Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Lush Landscaping of Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, 1880s

The famed photographer H. H. Bennett captured the splendor of the Mitchell mansion.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, Mid-1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Alexander Mitchell’s Conservatory, Mid-1870s

The fabulously wealthy business man created an unusual, two-story conservatory within his home.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Exterior of Alexander Mitchell’s Mansion, Mid-1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Exterior of Alexander Mitchell’s Mansion, Mid-1870s

What would soon be known as Grand Avenue became a row of millionaires' mansions.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Alexander Mitchell’s Mansion, 1872
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Alexander Mitchell’s Mansion, 1872

With his great wealth, he built a lovely home still standing today on 9th and Wisconsin, now the Wisconsin Club.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Plankinton Arcade, 1925
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Plankinton Arcade, 1925

The Plankinton Arcade sits on the site of the former Plankinton House Hotel.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Inside the Plankinton House Hotel, 1908
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Inside the Plankinton House Hotel, 1908

Two historic views of the Plankinton House Hotel's impressive interior.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Plankinton House Hotel, 1889
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Plankinton House Hotel, 1889

The Plankinton House hotel once sat on prime real estate.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Plankinton House Hotel, 1886
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Plankinton House Hotel, 1886

Milwaukee had become a boom town, where Adam Gimbel would relocate his dry goods business.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Plankinton House Hotel, 1867
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Plankinton House Hotel, 1867

Its owners would expand it over the decades to make sure it remained Milwaukee's finest hotel, but this is the original structure.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Plankinton House Hotel, 1869
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Plankinton House Hotel, 1869

It succeeded the American House hotel, which burned to the ground in 1861.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Northwestern Mutual Insurance, 1886
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Northwestern Mutual Insurance, 1886

A fire burned the Newhall House hotel to the ground, but a local company would build a new home on the site.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Newhall House, 1883, After the Fire
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Newhall House, 1883, After the Fire

The fire killed 71 people but circus star Tom Thumb survived. The catastrophe became a sobering lesson for the city.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Newhall House, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Newhall House, Late 1860s

It was the largest and finest hotel in the West, a sign that Milwaukee was becoming a significant city.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Soldiers Home Fair’s Pavilion
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Soldiers Home Fair’s Pavilion

The centerpiece of fair that raised lots of money for the cause.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: The Mysterious Oracle at the Soldiers Home Fair
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

The Mysterious Oracle at the Soldiers Home Fair

The 15-day festival held in 1865 offered all the wonders and curiosities of the day.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Soldiers Home Raffle, 1865
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Soldiers Home Raffle, 1865

All kinds of donated goods were contributed and sold to provide aid for Wisconsin's returning veterans.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Inside the Soldiers Home Fair, 1865
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Inside the Soldiers Home Fair, 1865

The two-week fair was a major event for a young city with just 55,000 residents.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Soldiers Home Fair, 1865
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Soldiers Home Fair, 1865

Milwaukee joined a national movement to care for Civil War veterans, and this event helped raise money for the cause.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wisconsin St. and Milwaukee St., 1880
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wisconsin St. and Milwaukee St., 1880

Nearly empty in the 1860s, Milwaukee St. was booming by 1880.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Corner of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, 1867-68
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Corner of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, 1867-68

These three buildings had just been constructed and still stand today -- some of the oldest downtown buildings.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Wisconsin Ave. at Milwaukee St., 1862
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Wisconsin Ave. at Milwaukee St., 1862

Back then, much of the city's main street was used for residential homes.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Sherman’s Photographic Gallery, 1867
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Sherman’s Photographic Gallery, 1867

His stereoviews captured early Milwaukee and his studio was located near Wisconsin Ave. on what later became Broadway.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Postcard of Milwaukee, 1900
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Postcard of Milwaukee, 1900

One of the earliest postcards done of the city shows Downtown along the river.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Century Hall, 1915
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Century Hall, 1915

It later became a bar and East Side cultural icon, but Century Hall was originally a place to go bowling.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Stone Quarry in Menomonee Valley, 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Stone Quarry in Menomonee Valley, 1880s

Wisconsin was a leading state for quarries. This one was where Miller Park is now located.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Western Menomonee Valley,1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Western Menomonee Valley,1880s

Before the viaducts arrived, this part of the valley was semi-pastoral, with many stone quarries. Part 3 of series.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Menomonee Valley Rail Industry
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Menomonee Valley Rail Industry

By the early 1880s, railroads and the rail industry were well-established in the valley. Part 2 of a series.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Menomonee Valley, Early 1880s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Menomonee Valley, Early 1880s

Developed well after the Milwaukee River, the Menomonee was still a good place to walk through nature.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Cafe and Pool Hall, 1915
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Cafe and Pool Hall, 1915

The South Side cafe and restaurant stood where La Perla is now located.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Spring Street Bridge, 1867
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Spring Street Bridge, 1867

The street also known as Wisconsin Ave. exemplified the conflict between dueling developers on each side of the river.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Interior of Academy of Music, 1876
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Interior of Academy of Music, 1876

Advertised as the best opera house west of New York, it was indeed an elegant hall.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Academy of Music, 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Academy of Music, 1860s

Built where the new Marriott Hotel now stands, it was the city's most prestigious opera house.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Rail Car Barn at Brady Street, 1870s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Rail Car Barn at Brady Street, 1870s

Rail cars were pulled by horses and this barn stood at Brady and Farwell, in what is now Walgreen's parking lot.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Rock River Canal, 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Rock River Canal, 1860s

The area which is now the Beerline, looking toward the Humboldt Ave. bridge, was once a canal.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Saengerfest and City Hall, 1868
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Saengerfest and City Hall, 1868

The earlier City Hall was a converted market hall, here decorated for an annual German music festival.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Iversen’s Store on Water and Mason Streets
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Iversen’s Store on Water and Mason Streets

A "stereoview" by famed photographer H.H. Bennett captures Water Street in the 1870s or 1880s.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Prentiss Block, Late 1860s
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Prentiss Block, Late 1860s

This building, which still stands on the corner of Mason St. and Water St., may be Downtown's oldest commercial building.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Mason Street at Lakefront, 1868
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Mason Street at Lakefront, 1868

Before the days of Prospect Avenue mansions, the lakefront sported modest frame houses on an eroding, sandy bluff.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Water Street 1858
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Water Street 1858

It’s a very early photo of Milwaukee, but the Iron Block building still survives from that era.

Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Commission Row 1910
Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Commission Row 1910

Our new column will capture scenes of the old city, like this bustling strip of wholesale grocers.