Hubbard Park was once an outdoor beer garden and amusement park

Posted on Updated on

” … Ravenna Park was a private amusement emporium and was the last in a series of predecessors to Hubbard Park, a retreat on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in Shorewood. It started when F.A. Lueddemann opened his farm to the public in 1872. Otto Zwietusch, a soda-water maker and inventor, bought Lueddemann’s-on-the-River the next year fir $9,000 and turned it into his Mineral Springs Park. In 1900 it was sold again, to become Coney Island, an amusement park complete with a roller coaster. But Coney Island lasted only three years. It was revived in 1905 as Wonderland, and its owners added a Ferris wheel and a tower covered with electric lights. In 1909, R.W. Hopkins changed Wonderland into Ravenna, adding movies, a miniature railroad and a “laughing gallery.” Milwaukeeans reached the amusement park via the suburban railroad and later on streetcars. In 1916 it was divided into three parts: today’s Hubbard Park, a residential neighborhood adjacent to it and Electric Co. streetcar yards off Edgewood and Oakland Aves., which now is the site of an apartment complex for the elderly.” – Milwaukee Public Library Digital Collections –



To view this Sanborn map in more detail at the UWM Libraries Digital Collections.


Here are some postcards from the UWM Archives Digital Collections that depict the amusement park as it was …


Bump the bumps, 'Wonderland,' Milwaukee
Bump the bumps, ‘Wonderland,’ Milwaukee


Panoramic view, 'Wonderland on the River, Milwaukee'
Panoramic view, ‘Wonderland on the River, Milwaukee’


Wonderland, Free Vaudeville Act, Milwaukee, Wis.
Wonderland, Free Vaudeville Act, Milwaukee, Wis.




Native American Mapping of the Belcher Islands

Posted on Updated on


This map is the central object in the story of how geographical knowledge was passed from an Inuk man named Wetalltok to a non-native explorer. In an article in the Geographical Review in 1918, Robert J. Flaherty (1884–1951) recounted the story of how, while he was searching for iron ore deposits on the east coast of Hudson Bay, Canada, Wetallok explained the intricacies of the bay’s island system and shared with him this remarkably accurate Eskimo map, which Flaherty reproduced in the article.


Flaherty later became a director and producer whose first film, Nanook of the North (1922), was one of the best known documentaries of the silent-era. Flaherty also told the story of his encounter with Wetallok in his 1924 book, My Eskimo Friends: “Nanook of the North.” Recent historians of cartography, notably G. Malcolm Lewis in Cartographic Encounters: Perspectives on Native American Mapmaking and Map Use, and Lewis and David Woodward in History of Cartography, also have used the map as an example of indigenous cartography.

The map is drawn with pencil on the back of a missionary lithograph. Notations are in English and Inuktitut syllabics. Flaherty’s annotations include “Little Whale River” [with arrow], “Whale River” [with arrow], and “3 days = dogs = app. 70 miles.”

Missionary lithograph that Wetallok’s map was drawn on.


Click here to view the map in the AGS Library Digital Map Collection

Creating a school wall map in 1913

Posted on Updated on

This print shows three building views of Justus Perthes’ Geographische Anstalt in Gotha, Germany. The illustrations show the process used in the creation and printing of Justus Perthes school wall maps in 1913.

View this item in the AGS Library Digital Map Collection


Points identified in red are indexed in: Wie eine Schulwandkarte entsteht : eine Führung durch die lithographischen Werkstätten von Justus Perthes’ Geographischer Anstalt / von Hermann Haack, 1913 (viewable here: )

WWII Road Map Censorship in the United States

Posted on Updated on

by Angie Cope

The LegendI enjoyed reading David Smollar’s article on road map censorship during World War II in the latest issue of “The Legend,” the newsletter of the Road Map Collectors Association.  Map makers H.M. Gousha, General Drafting Company and Rand McNally worked with the U.S. Government to eliminate features of strategic importance from their maps.

Called “wartime masking,” the removal of features such as airports, military and war-related industrial targets occurred on maps from 1942 and 1943.

Whenever I read articles that point out interesting features of maps, I’m always curious to see them for myself. It seems the American Geographical Society Library doesn’t have many road maps by these three publishers for the years 1942 or 1943. I did find a Los Angeles map by Gousha and was able to compare the 1940 with the 1942.

H.M. Gousha map of Los Angeles. 1940 on the left and 1942 at the right showing wartime masking.
H.M. Gousha map of Los Angeles. 1940 on the left and 1942 at the right showing wartime masking

Airports were shown in purple on the 1940 map and masked on the 1942 map. Long Beach Municipal Airport (Daugherty Field) is shown in the top pink circles and Ardis Airport is shown in the pink circles at the bottom on the 1940 map (at the left). Even the map key is edited or masked, removing the purple symbol for the airport on the 1942 map.

Soller’s article is a very interesting read citing extensive research at the Newberry Library, the National Archives and the Library of Congress. I highly recommend reading the Summer 2015 issue of “The Legend.” Information about the Road Map Collectors Association can be found here:

Chinese Propaganda Posters

Posted on

by Sean Yan

Chinese propaganda posters were a product of the Chinese Communist Party in the twentieth-century, created to glorify the efforts of the party. The posters were also intended to reinforce harmony between citizens and the government. They can usually be found in newspapers, calendars and textbooks. Artists today are inspired by these posters to capture this period in history and at the same time, to show criticism. There is a growing popularity of the propaganda poster style among designers of home decor and apparel, and this style is especially popular with the younger generations in China.

It has been more than a year since I first came to the U.S. from China. Although I was born and raised much later than when the propaganda posters were most popular, there were still many propaganda poster elements in Chinese society in the 1990s. One of the first projects I worked on after being hired at the AGS Library was the scanning of about 21 of these propaganda posters. I was surprised to see these posters, which haven’t been seen for years in China, here in Milwaukee. It feels different to see this collection in the U.S because most of what I had seen was in elementary school textbooks.

The AGS Library has 21 posters in total and here are a few examples:

Left: “The Great Leader Chairman Mao Ten Thousand Years” and right: “The Great China Communist Party Ten Thousand Years”
Text on the left: “The Great Leader Chairman Mao Ten Thousand Years” and text on the right: “The Great China Communist Party Ten Thousand Years”

*Note: “Ten thousand years” is a phrase which expresses people’s worship of an emperor in ancient China, but it also can be used as a feeling of triumph. (There is a little bit of both in my personal view, the same for the other posters shown)


 “The Victory of the Revolutionary Literature and Art Direction Under the leadership of Chairman Mao Ten Thousand Years”
Text reads: “The Victory of the Revolutionary Literature and Art Direction Under the leadership of Chairman Mao Ten Thousand Years”

The poster above shows a character in contemporary ballet called “Red Detachment of Women (红色娘子军)” which is regarded as a masterpiece in modern China.


“The Unity of All Ethnicities Over the Nation Ten Thousand Years”
Text reads: “The Unity of All Ethnicities Over the Nation Ten Thousand Years”

People in the poster above are standing in front of Tian’an Men, which is a national symbol of China. The poster stands for the unity of the 56 ethnicities of the entire nation. This is a very common image that you find in offices, homes and even some local government buildings.


“Every Revolutionary Soldiers Should Always Remember Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention by Heart”
Text: “Every Revolutionary Soldier Should Always Remember Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention by Heart”

This poster reminds people of the “Military doctrine for the Chinese Red Army.”

The three rules are: 1. prompt obedience to orders; 2. no confiscation of people’s property; 3. turn in everything captured.

The eight points for attention are: 1. be polite when speaking; 2. be honest when buying and selling; 3. return all borrowed articles; 4. pay compensation for everything damaged; 5. do not hit or swear at others; 6. do not damage crops; 7. do not harass females; 8. do not mistreat prisoners.


“Thoroughly Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius (批林批孔), rapidly enhance industrial productivity”
Text reads: “Thoroughly Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius (批林批孔), rapidly enhance industrial productivity”

This poster is very representative of the great Cultural Revolution, started in 1966 and ended by 1976, which meant to reinforce Mao’s Communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society. “Lin” refers to Lin Biao who was the vice president of People’s Republic of China and “Kong (孔)” refers to Confucius. Due to Mao’s political theory, he encouraged the public to criticize Confucius, Confucianism and Lin who was officially condemned as a traitor by the Communist Party after a failed coup attempt against Mao.


“Mao’s meeting with comrade Dr. Norman Bethune”
Text reads: “Mao’s meeting with comrade Dr. Norman Bethune”

As a surgeon, Bethune greatly helped Eighth Route Army soldiers who had been wounded on the front line during the Second Sino-Japanese War that would earn him enduring acclaim.  Dr. Bethune was greatly praised by Mao and has been included in school textbooks ever since.

You are more than welcome to leave any comments below in regards to Chinese propaganda posters or anything about China. Feel free to stop in and check out the rest of the posters and our collections at AGS Library 3rd floor, east wing of UWM Libraries.


Documents from Formosa

Posted on Updated on

by Bob Jaeger

Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was under Dutch colonial rule from 1624-1662, primarily to trade with China and Japan. The Dutch missionaries also had other motives, such as attempting to convert the aborigines to Christianity. But at the same time, they also taught them reading and writing, using romanization schemes for the different Formosan languages.

After the Dutch were expelled by China, some of the aborigines retained this system of writing, which they continued to use for roughly the next hundred years.

The American Geographical Society of New York Archives contains three documents by the aborigines written during this period of post-colonization. They are all land contracts with China.


Pre-nineteenth Century document in the Romaniezed aboriginal Pepowhan (Siraya) language
Pre-nineteenth Century document in the Romaniezed aboriginal Pepowhan (Siraya) language

The AGS acquired these documents from Joseph B. Steere in 1874. A professor of zoology at the University of Michigan, Steere visited Formosa for six months from 1873-1874. He collected various types of biological and anthropological data from the island and its people. The documents date from 1723-1776 and vary in size and handwriting.

These particular documents are written in the Pepowhan (Siraya) language, which was spoken in the southwestern plain of Taiwan. The language became extinct in the first half of the 19th century, but can still be translated by scholars who specialize in the aboriginal people of Formosa. This artifact is held at the AGS Library, UW Milwaukee as part of the American Geographical Society of New York Archives.


Open Milwaukee County Topographic and Planimetric Data

Posted on Updated on

By Stephen Appel


Open data in Milwaukee has made a huge leap forward this year with the new download capabilities from the Milwaukee County Automated Mapping and Land Information Service (MCAMLIS) out of the Milwaukee County Land Information Office (MCLIO).  The MCAMLIS viewer is a feature-full web mapping application that can be found at  The current web viewer is in its second generation and we expect a third generation web map soon!

Second generation MACAMLIS data viewer

In the past, the American Geographical Society Library has entered into a license agreement with the MCLIO which allowed us to distribute the raw data from the MCAMLIS system to UWM users for classroom use only.  The data has been available in geodatabase, AutoCAD, and Microstation formats and has been most popular with Urban Planning, Geography, and Architecture students and researchers.  Library patrons requesting the data had been required to sign a special MCAMLIS request form and agree to the conditions of the license.  The library was also restricted from providing the full county dataset and instead distributed tiles to cover a patron’s area of interest.

As of this year, the MCLIO has made MCAMLIS base map data available for download from their website:  They have also implemented a data download application which is especially helpful if you are only interested in a limited area of the county.  The application allows for download of Geodatabase and AutoCAD Drawing formats.  The data download application can be found in the online application gallery:

The MCAMLIS topo/planimetric dataset is one of the best collections of high resolution planning data available for Milwaukee County.  The features include environmental, hydrologic, park, planimetric, survey control, topographic, transportation, and utility objects.  Within each of these categories, there are three feature classes representing 1) text annotations, 2) point features, and 3) line features.  In the new File Geodatabase, some of the line features are also available as polygons.

Some of the more useful features that can be extracted from the geodatabase include utility poles, elevation bench marks, topographic contours, tree points, paved roads, driveways, trails, sidewalks, railroads, airport runways, water bodies, structures (buildings), dams, bridges, walls, and text annotation features.

An example of the level of detail available in MCAMLIS data shown here in ArcGIS Desktop 10.2

If you think that the MCAMLIS topographic and planimetric features would be useful for your project, but you’re unsure about the data, the AGS library GIS services staff can help.  We have been users and distributers of this dataset for almost two decades and have extensive metadata and feature description information that are not included with the download from the MCLIO website.  We also have a guide available for extracting individual features from the larger dataset.  Contact or visit our GIS staff at the AGS library if you would like more information about the MCAMLIS datasets.