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Brew City Ghosts: Macabre Milwaukee	 - Photo

Location Marker Milwaukee, WI
Brew City Ghosts: Macabre Milwaukee
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Milwaukee by Junket Photo

Milwaukee by Junket

Did you know Milwaukee is the home of the largest dinosaur head ever found? Or that there is a flame on top of a downtown building that helps predict the weather? Or that there is a hidden lake under the city?

A vibrant and ever-evoloving city today, Milwaukee is rich with tales of the trials and triumphs of hardworking pioneers as well as corruption, greed, and the consequences of power.

Experience the Old World Mystery of Milwaukee

We welcome you to join our Junket Milwaukee Experience to experience more of the historic locations, exciting tales, and local legends that give Milwaukee a wealth of personality just waiting to be explore.

Our friendly guides will introduce you to Milwaukee's most famous landmarks, and hotspots, with some carefully held secrets and little-known locales along the way. Choose from one of our popular tours:

Join us to explore the authentic history, lively atmosphere, and hidden gems of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee History Image

Milwaukee History

A Blend of Tradition and Progression

Hugging the shores of sparkling Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is a rich tapestry of first nations and Old World roots. From its early days as a trading post to its evolution as a major industrial port, Wisconsin's largest city has always had one foot firmly planted in tradition while the other rests in the exploration of new territory.

Gathering Place by the Water

The marshy land where the Milwaukee River joins Lake Michigan was first considered neutral ground shared by several Native American tribes. This was an age when everyone traveled by water, and the natural harbor on the lake's western shore made this area attractive to French missionaries and European fur trders traveling in the region.

In 1795, fur trader Jacques Vieau built a trading post along a bluff of the east side of the river, and before long, explorers and settlers established a rapidly-growing town and called it Milwaukee, which some historians believe originated from the Potawatomi term for "gathering place by the water".

A wave of immigration turned manufacturing into the city's lifeblood.

Milwaukee rose to early prominence as the nation's top shipping port for grain and wheat. The expert industrial skills that accompanied the arrival of German immigrants in the mid-1800s helped Milwaukee developed as a major hub of machinery, foundries, and metal-working.

Beer Capital of the World

As it grew in prosperity, Milwaukee was often praised for its European elegance and refined German culture, which included the brewing and sale of beer. Among these German immigrants who flocked to the city were men whose names would become legendary in the brewing industry: Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst. With access to unlimited wheat and water, as well as abundant ice from Lake Michigan, the city soon became a center for brewing, yeast-making, and grain trading. Within 20 years, over 35 breweries were established in Milwaukee, and the city proclaimed itself "The Beer Capital of the World".

"It is tru, similar things [cultural events and societies] were done in other cities where the Forty-eighters had congregated. But so far as I know, nowhere did their influence so quickly impress itself upon the whole social atmosphere as in 'German Athens of America' as Milwaukee was called at the time."

- Carl Schurz (1854)

When Prohibition became the law of the land, city officials looked the other way as Milwaukee brewing companies managed to stay afloat by providing beer to local speakeasies from secret stills and hidden tunnels. They also converted their plants to making chocolate and cheese in an effort to survive, and the Brew City continued to draw a massive workforce, expanding into an epicenter of industry.

What was once a sleepy town on the edge of Lake Michigan, with a harbor full of German immigrants and their beer, has become an energetic blend of new opportunities and the traditions of those early pioneers.

Milwaukee Today Photo
Milwaukee Today Photo
Milwaukee Today Photo

Milwaukee Today

Old World Traditions, New World Outlook

As one of the largest metropolitan cities in America, Milwaukee attracts visitors from all over the world with its historical architecture, world-class cuisine, and a fascinating and diverse cultural scene. A series of walkable neighborhoods surrounding downtown offer a variety of activities that cater to everyone's amusement- from shopping to outdoor activities to a vibrant nightlife.

"Milwaukee's the kind of city that will inspire you to try new things and experience the world with a fresh perspective."

- Travel + Leisure

What make Milwaukee unique is a special blend of old and new- blue-collar traditions and Old World comforts meet modern innovation and forward-thinking policies. Modern high-rises share the skyline with carefully-restored 19th century buildings while cobblestone streets from Milwaukee's early heritage are appreciated as much as a prized park system with a focus on green space and panoramic views of Lake Michigan. Designated biking trails display picturesque vistas of the Milwaukee River landscape.

The Best of Milwaukee

Noted for its immense lakefront, striking architecture, and undeniable enery. Milwaukee fascinates visitors with an array of big-city attractions, a powerhouse arts scene, and a "locally-sourced" culinary movement. Here are some favorite must0see Milwaukee landmarks and things to do:

  • Harley-Davidson Museum: This 20-acre riverfront museum offers a collection of exhibits showcasing the evolution of the popular motorcycle company.
  • Pabst Mansion: Visit this lavish, century-old estate to learn more about the Pabst family and their iconic brewing legacy.
  • Milwaukee Riverwalk: Get to know vibrant downtown Milwaukee with a stroll along some three miles of boardwalk winding along the Milwaukee River.
  • Safe House Speakeasy: With its trap doors, swinging walls, and a secret exit, half the fun of this spy-themed bar is finding it in the first place.
  • Milwaukee County Zoo: In operation since 1892, this 200-acre venue houses over 3,000 animals as well as numerous rides and attractions.

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