Appleton, Wisconsin

Appleton Wisconsin is a great little city with big town feel to it. Its population is only about 78,000, but the small town feel is balanced beautifully by the fact that all of the amenities of a larger city are nearby. Keep in mind that this is a town that had electric lights before most of the country outside of New England did. Appleton's culture is unique and people are determined to try something new and make it work anybody everybody else does.

Appleton has several shopping malls in it, including the Fox River Mall, which is the third largest mall in the entire state of Wisconsin. With so many places to hang out and take in the local culture, one can forget that this is still Wisconsin. Not only is there plenty of cheese which attracts numerous people here, but the midwestern foliage and Great Lakes scenery are definite jaw-droppers. Another thing one needs to see when in Appleton is the Hearthstone House, which was built in 1881 as a four-story mansion powered by hydroelectricity. The place is absolutely gorgeous, and embodies all of the best things about how people built their homes when they had money back in the old days.

Appleton is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Appleton History

Appleton, Wisconsin saw its first permanent settlers in 1847, but it was not actually incorporated as a village until 1853. The town was named after a very generous man named Samual Appleton, who lived in Boston and donated $10,000 to the Lawrence Institute's college library in 1847. The city of Appleton did not actually become a city until 1857, and Amos Storey was the first mayor of this newly-minted city. The city took on several very interesting projects throughout the remainder of the 19th century, which made it very distinctive among Wisconsin and other midwestern cities.

Appleton is the home of Lawrence University, which began with financial backing from Samual Appleton's son-in-law Amos Adams Lawrence. The school and the town have always grown harmoniously with one another. However, the college is not the only thing in Appleton which has left a powerful footprint in the area's history.

The paper industry has always been a big deal in Appleton. Obviously, paper is crucial to running a society where detailed records are kept and may be edited frequently. Any business that creates jobs is welcome in most towns, and Appleton is no different. The first paper mill was first built in 1853, and from then on it began to have a significant effect on the way the city formed up. For example, just to power the mill itself, the city decided to build the first centralized hydro-electric power station on the Fox River. This hydroelectric plant, known as the Vulcan Street Plant, ended up doing more than just powering the local paper mills. The plant was the national firsts to provide power to the city.

While most electric streetcar operations have been financial flops, the city of Appleton was the first to craft one that turned out to be a financial success. However, running an entire industry and powering a nationwide first was still not enough innovation for this little burg. Appleton got its first telephone, which was coincidentally the first phone in Wisconsin, in 1912. That was also the year that the first round of electric lights replaced the gas ones on some streets. Some of these lights were incandescent, which had otherwise never made it out of the east coast prior to that point.

Appleton's love of doing new things did not stop once the 20th century got off the ground. Another innovative, if not totally unique, thing Appleton did was to build the Valley Fair Shopping Center. In 1954 the entire notion of a completely enclosed mall was something very special, at least in the United States. While it wasn't the first in the country, it was definitely ahead of its time. Since then, Appleton has continued to work on finding new ways to be the most innovative small city in Wisconsin.

About Appleton, Wisconsin

Appleton Wisconsin is a city of about 78,000 people. The city spans through the Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties. The community itself has a lot to boast about regarding its early successes, including having the first telephone in Wisconsin, the first incandescent light in the country outside of the east coast, and the first financially successful streetcar company during the 19th century. The city of Appleton even built one of the country's first fully enclosed malls back in the 1950s. Another great accomplishment one can see in this city is the Hearthstone House, which is the first home on Earth to be powered by an Edison system and a centrally located hydroelectric station.

Hearthstone House is a thing of beauty, built in 1881, this jewel of Appleton is four stories tall and has been a high tech marvel from the day it was finished. While having an electric home is no major accomplishment today, in the 1880s most people in Wisconsin had little to no electricity. Among those who did, it was often powered by the same types of coal plants that are still common today. However, Appleton's use of a hydroelectric station, the Vulcan Street Plant, provided a safe and constant source of power that most cities can only dream of having. The fact that it's about as environmentally friendly as one can get is just a bonus people began to think about later on.

The Vulcan Street Plant was built on the Fox River, and began to operate and power Appleton in late September of 1882. The original purpose for constructing the plant was to power the paper industry, which has been at the forefront of Appleton's economic and other development since the beginning. However, there were other side benefits, including the plant's ability to power the electric streetcars that traversed the city profitably. While the streetcars have not operated in a long time, the city is still crisscrossed with railroad tracks that speak of its extremely mobile past.

This city of Appleton was named for a man called Samuel Appleton, who was a Bostonian whose son founded Lawrence University. While Appleton only began in 1847, the incredible strides it made during the 19th century were definitely worth writing home about. However, these strides didn't stop in the 20th century, as the Valley Fair Shopping Center's 1954 opening heralded a whole new era in enclosed shopping centers. Today, much of that mall has been dozed, but the spirit to try new and different things is still integral to the character of Appleton.

About Outagamie County, Wisconsin

The city of Appleton Wisconsin straddles three counties: Outagamie County, Calumet County and Winnebago County. Appleton is also the county seat of Outagamie County.

Outagamie County was formed in 1850, and its name comes from an Anishinaabe term denoting the Meskwaki Native American tribe. Translated directly, it means "dwellers of the other shore" or "dwellers on the other side of the stream." The entire county has an area of 644 square miles, and 640 square miles of that is land, while 4 square miles are water. The 2000 Census claimed that this county held nearly 161,000 people within its borders. The average household size was 2.61 people, while the average family had 3.14 people within it. The typical age among this entire county was 34 years old.

Calumet County was formed in 1836 and officially recognized in 1850. The county's seat is in the city of Chilton. A calumet was originally a ceremonial pipe which Native Americans used during their councils on the eastern shores of Lake Winnebago. Many of Calumet County's earliest residents were immigrants from the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany who crossed the Atlantic in the 1830s and 1840s. Calumet County has a total area of 397 square miles, of which 320 of those miles are land and 77 are water. According to the 2000 Census, there were roughly 40,600 people living in Calumet County at the time. The average household contained 2.70 people, while the typical family living in the county had 3.15 people living there. The average age among all these people was 35.

Winnebago County was originally formed in 1840, but was also incorporated formally in 1850. The county seat is Oshkosh. Winnebago County gets its name from the nearby Lake Winnebago. Winnebago County is composed of 140 square miles of water and 439 square miles of land, for a total area of 579 square miles. As of the Census report of 2000, there were just shy of 157,000 people living in Winnebago County. The Census reported that the typical family in Winnebago County contained 2.43 people, while the average family size was 2.99 people. The average age of these people was 35 years old.