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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Red Lights on the River

 
 
Red Lights on the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, 2019
1. Red Lights on the River Marker
Inscription.  Cultural treasures, like the Pabst Theater (7 above) and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (3 above) thrive in a neighborhood once known for an abundance of brothels, saloons, cheap hotels, gambling dens and dance halls.

During the late 1800s, the center of Milwaukee's red-light district was one block west of Water Street on River Street, now called Edison Street. The district's other boundaries were Wells Street, Juneau Avenue and Market Street, placing Milwaukee's seediest enterprises squarely in the shadow of City Hall (6 above).

Vice flourished and convention business boomed under the flamboyant and notoriously corrupt Mayor David Rose, first elected in 1898. "All the Time Rosy," as he was known, refused to enforce anti-prostitution laws and supported gambling houses and all-night saloons, so long as their business didn't spill out of the River Street District.

Rose survived a decade in the mayor's office, even after 83 cronies were indicted. Milwaukeeans finally got fed up, electing the first majority Socialist government in a major American city in 1910. Soon after, Milwaukeeans sent the nation's first Socialist

Red Lights on the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, 2019
2. Red Lights on the River Marker
congressional representative to Washington. By 1912, the River Street District was effectively shut down.
 
Location. 43° 2.538′ N, 87° 54.732′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. The marker is along the Milwaukee RiverWalk on the east side of the Milwaukee River behind the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The marker is between E. Kilbourn Ave. and E. State St. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Milwaukee WI 53202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Milwaukee River at Play (here, next to this marker); An Outdoor Gallery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A German Heritage (about 300 feet away); Father Marquette's Camp - 1674 (about 500 feet away); Pere Jacques Marquette, S.J. (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Pere Jacques Marquette, S.J. (about 500 feet away); Pere Marquette Historic Site (about 600 feet away); National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
 
Additional keywords. Milwaukee RiverWalk prostitution
 
Categories. EntertainmentGovernment & PoliticsIndustry & Commerce
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2019, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2019, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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