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Oshkosh, Wisconsin

HistoryEdit Oshkosh on the Fox River Oshkosh was named for Menominee Chief Oshkosh, whose name meant "claw"[5] (cf.Ojibwe oshkanzh, "the claw").[6] Although the fur trade brought the first European settlers to the area as early as 1818, it never became a major player in the fur trade. It was the establishment and growth of the lumber industry in the area that spurred development of Oshkosh. Oshkosh was incorporated as a city in 1853, although it had already been designated the county seat, and had a population of nearly 2,800.[7] The lumber industry became well established as businessmen took advantage of navigable waterways to provide access to both markets and northern pineries. The 1859 arrival of rail transportation expanded the ability to meet the demands of a rapidly growingconstruction market. At one time, Oshkosh was known as the "Sawdust Capital of the World" due to the number of lumber mills in the city, 11 by 1860. By 1874, there were 47sawmills and 15 shingle mills. By 1870, Oshkosh had become the third-largest city inWisconsin with a population of over 12,000. The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern newspaper(now the Oshkosh Northwestern) was founded around this time, as was the Oshkosh State Normal School (now the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh). On April 28, 1875, Oshkosh had a "Great Fire" that consumed homes and businesses along Main Street north of the Fox River. The fire had engulfed 70 stores, 40 factories, and 500 homes costing nearly $2.5 million (or $51.2 million in 2010 money) in damage.[8][9] Around 1900 Oshkosh was home of the Oshkosh Brewing Company, which coined themarketing slogan "By Gosh It's Good." Its Chief Oshkosh became a nationally distributed beer. The Oshkosh All-Stars played in the National Basketball League from 1937-49 before the league and another organization merged to become the NBA of today. Oshkosh reached the NBL's championship finals five times. Historic districtsEdit Houses in the Algoma Historic District The city has a total of 33 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The lumber industry made the fortunes of area entrepreneurs and businessmen, who made significant contributions to the community, politics and philanthropic organizations. Availability of materials and capital, along with devastating downtown fires in the mid-1870s, created a range of well-designed buildings for residential, commercial, civic and religious use. The many structures which make up the city's historic areas are largely a result of the capital and materials generated by the lumber and associated wood manufacturing industries. Oshkosh had six historic districts as of October 2011. They include the Algoma Boulevard, Irving/Church, North Main Street, Oshkosh State Normal School on the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh campus, Paine Lumber Company and Washington Avenue historic districts. The city had 27 historic buildings as of October 2011. Eleven are houses, four are churches, and the remainder include schools, colleges, a bank, a fire house, an observatory, the county courthouse, and a cemetery where many of the entrepreneurs are buried.

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