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

Why is it called Big Bull Falls?

 
 
Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
1. Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker
Inscription. If you were a french voyageur in the 1600s or arrived with George Stevens in 1838, you would have heard and seen large rapids churning and bubbling here in front of you. Without dams, the river was much shallower than it is now. It swirled and crashed over large rocks.

Voyageurs may have called it "Grand Bulle Chute," which in English is "Big Bubbling Falls." Possibly, "bulle" stuck in the English translation, thus "Big Bull Falls."

[photo captions]
← Earliest know photograph of Big Bull Falls, circa 1856.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

How did Big Bull Falls become Wausau?
Native people living here were probably the very first to call this place "Wausau." In several native languages, "wau-sau" means "far away place" or "place from which one can see far away." Also, a similar Cree word means "thundering sound."

Walter McIndoe, one of the most influential settlers here, is believed to have made the name "Wausau" official in 1850.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

Big Bull Falls was tribal territory until the 1830s.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

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Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
2. Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker
of] River Edge Parkway Welcome Home Wausau

 
Erected by River Edge Parkway, Welcome Home Wausau.
 
Location. 44° 57.673′ N, 89° 38.037′ W. Marker is in Wausau, Wisconsin, in Marathon County. Marker can be reached from Scott Street (State Highway 52) near Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in Big Bull Falls Historic Park. A small parking area inside the park can be reached from eastbound Washington Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 West Scott Street, Wausau WI 54403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Big Bull Falls Birthplace of Wausau (a few steps from this marker); Big Bull Falls (a few steps from this marker); Business Boomed at Big Bull Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Wausau Water Works (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Federal Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pioneer Rehabilitation Center (approx. 0.3 miles away); Third Marathon County Courthouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Workers' Compensation Law (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wausau.
 
Also see . . .  History - The Wausau Story. (Submitted on July 8, 2011.)
 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
3. Why is it called Big Bull Falls Marker
[foreground]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 8, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 690 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 8, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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