The Growth of Sheboygan’s Jewish Community

Although Sheboygan and Milwaukee are only 55 minutes apart by car today, the two cities on the west coast of Lake Michigan remained largely separate in 1900 when they both competed to become the industrial capital of Wisconsin. Through the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the industrialization process in both cities was shaped by an increase in Jewish immigration to the region. 

The Arpin Settlement of Jewish Farmers

Today the largest Jewish communities in Wisconsin exist in the cities with the highest populations. This, however, was not always the case. Around 1900, there were many new and budding Jewish communities across the state in places like Sheboygan, La Crosse, and Eau Claire. There were also smaller, rural communities emerging like the Arpin Settlement in Wood County. 

“Ringing the Community Belles” – Racine’s Professional Baseball Team

As the United States entered World War II in 1941, the war’s impact on American culture was felt far and wide. Aside from the obvious strains on economic and industrial production, American recreation was temporarily …

Earlene Fuller and the African American Bowling Scene in Milwaukee

Earlene Fuller designed and made bowling outfits for numerous black and white teams in Milwaukee and elsewhere from 1970 through the mid-1990s. She was a member in two African American bowling organizations — the National Bowling Association and the Milwaukee Bowlers Guild, Inc. — and in the 1990s began incorporating kente cloth and other African-inspired fabric patterns into the shirts she made for her own teams.

Pulaski – A Polka Town

Pulaski, like some Wisconsin communities, possesses a disproportionate number of polka bands, and some have boasted that the town of 3000 has more bands per capita than even Nashville. The strongly Polish community located just outside of Green Bay is still a thriving locale for the polka tradition.

Gender Norms and The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League

Philip Wrigley, the gum manufacturer and owner of the Chicago Cubs, conceived of the All-American Girls’ Softball League in 1942 as World War II and its drain on manpower threatened to shut down Major League Baseball. Wrigley’s ideas about gender norms helped shape the league, from its strict rules to its uniform policies.