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Waukesha

Trip Planner USA  /  Wisconsin  /  Waukesha
(4.1/5 based on 170+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: parks, wineries, museums
Waukesha is a city in and the county seat of Waukesha County, Wisconsin. It is a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The population was 70,718 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city in the county and the seventh largest city in the state. It is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. The city is adjacent to the Town of Waukesha.HistoryThe area that Waukesha now encompasses was first settled by Europeans in 1834, with Morris D. Cutler as its first settler. When the first settlers arrived, there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie. The settlers laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes.By 1846, the area was incorporated as the village of Prairieville. On February 8, 1847, the village changed its name to, "Waukesha," and in 1896, incorporated as a city. The first appointed mayor of the newly incorporated city of Waukesha was John Brehm, who served from January to April, 1896.Waukesha's nameOver the years, many believed, incorrectly, that the origin of the name of the city was an Algonquian word meaning "fox" or "little foxes," though it is actually an Anglicization of the Ojibwe proper name Waagoshag or the Potawatomi name Wau-tsha. Wau-tsha (sometimes written as Wauk-tsha or Wauke-tsha) was the leader of the local tribe at the time of the first European settlement of the area. This is confirmed by accounts of Increase A. Lapham, an early settler and historian of the region. According to Lapham, the word for "fox" was pishtaka. Cutler also told visitors about Wau-tsha, who was described as "tall and athletic, proud in his bearing, dignified and friendly."
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