Menomonee Valley, Early 1880s
Developed well after the Milwaukee River, the Menomonee was still a good place to walk through nature.
What is now the Milwaukee harbor is the meeting point of three rivers – the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic. In the early days of this city the Milwaukee was the first to be settled along and developed. It provided build-able land (remarkably scarce in what is now downtown Milwaukee in the earliest years), water power, and boat access to Lake Michigan.
This is one of a series of stereoviews titled “Views in the Menomonee Valley,” from the early 1880s. The photographer is unidentified and very few of these images seem to have been produced. A few young gentlemen appear in the views who have been enjoying a walk in the valley. This is the most idyllic setting they could find, perching on a tree hanging over the river. The next few weeks will offer more views of this most unlikely “nature walk.”
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.