The Stories of 3 Milwaukees Outside of Wisconsin

There are other Milwaukees.

ZILWAUKEE, MICHIGAN, isn’t the only city with a name similar to ours, which has its own origins in Anishinaabe or Algonquian. Here are three other places whose names are a little on-the-nose:

1. Milwaukie, Oregon

FOUNDED IN 1903

Founder Lot Whitcomb didn’t hide his admiration for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when he incorporated this growing community of settlers in 1903 on Clackamas Indian territory. It’s unclear why the ie spelling stuck here, while other knockoff towns changed their names to have the ee ending. This city of 21,000 also sits on the water, only on the Willamette River instead of Lake Michigan.

 

 

2. Milwaukee, North Carolina

RENAMED IN 1915

This unincorporated community in Northampton County between Raleigh and Norfolk was named for Milwaukee as well, according to a text published in honor of the county’s bicentennial. The town formerly known as Bethany was renamed in 1915 after what was then the 12th-largest city in the U.S.

3. Milwaukee, Pennsylvania

FOUNDED IN 1844

It’s possible that this small, unincorporated community west of Scranton in Lackawanna County was named for the Wisconsin city, too. The area was first called Flickerville after a native bird species, the Northern Flicker, but the founders of an 1844 gristmill in the area renamed it Milwaukee after a nearby road. The spelling was inconsistent – sometimes using the ie and other times using the ee ending – but today the region uses the same spelling we do.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s October issue.

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