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Milwaukee City Guide
The city of Milwaukee was named for the Milwaukee River, which in turn takes its name from the Native American word Milloke ("gathering place by the water"). Situated on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, where the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee Rivers come together, Milwaukee is well known for its Midwestern working-class values, its exceptional (and often experimental) city government, and of course, its beer.
Milwaukee actually began as three competing settlements along the Milwaukee River. Juneautown was founded in 1825 by Solomon Juneau, a French Canadian fur trader who moved his business to the eastern bank of the river. George Walker established his own fur trading post, Walker's Point, in 1834. However, the real competition came in 1837, when a land speculator named Byron Kilbourn established Kilbourntown across the river from Juneautown. Eager to sabotage Juneau in any way he could, Kilbourn built oddly-angled bridges to avoid connecting to any of Juneautown's streets, and he distributed maps that omitted Juneautown altogether. Despite Kilbourn's efforts, all three towns grew immensely and eventually converged on each other in the mid-1840s. Juneautown, Kilbourntown, and Walker's Point united together to form the City of Milwaukee, which was incorporated in 1846. The first elected mayor, fittingly enough, was Solomon Juneau.