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definition - Wausau,_Wisconsin

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Wausau, Wisconsin

                   
Wausau, Wisconsin
Downtown Wausau from Rib Mountain
Location in Wisconsin
Coordinates: 44°57′N 89°38′W / 44.95°N 89.633°W / 44.95; -89.633
County Marathon
Government
 • Mayor Jim Tipple
Area
 • City 17.8 sq mi (46.0 km2)
 • Land 16.5 sq mi (42.7 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)  7.15%
Elevation 1,207 ft (368 m)
Population (2004)
 • City 38,426
 • Density 2,330.7/sq mi (899.7/km2)
 • Metro 127,733
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 715 & 534
Website http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/

Wausau /ˈwɔːsɔː/[1] is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.

According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people. It is the core city of the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Marathon County and had a population of 125,834 at the 2000 census. It is the 297th largest MSA in the United States.[2] Besides Wausau, other significant communities in the metropolitan area include Mosinee, Schofield, Rothschild, Weston, Kronenwetter, Brokaw, and the town of Rib Mountain.

Contents

  History

  Original Milwaukee Road train station that was used as a logo for Wausau Insurance companies starting in 1954; the logo used this angle.
  Frank Lloyd Wright designed house (one of two) in the Andrew Warren Historic District. Several Prairie School houses are located in Wausau.

  Founding

The Wisconsin River is what first drew settlers to the area during the mid-19th century, which was known as "Big Bull Flats" or "Big Bull Falls" by the original French explorers.[3] The long rapids created many bubbles (bulle, in French). A treaty with the Chippewa Indians in 1836 transferred the land in the area to federal ownership. Wausau means "a faraway place" or "a place which can be seen from far away" in the Ojibwe language.[3]

George Stevens, who lent his name to Stevens Point, a city south of Wausau, began processing the pine forests into lumber in 1840. Subsequently, other sawmills along the Wisconsin River began to spring up as well.[3] By 1846, Walter McIndoe arrived and took the lead in the local business and community. His efforts helped, in part, to establish Marathon County in 1850.[3]

  Early settlers

By 1852, Wausau had been established as a town and continued to grow and mature. German immigration into the area brought more people, and by 1861, the settlement was incorporated as a village.[3]

Churches, schools, industry and social organizations began to flourish with the state granting the city a charter in 1872, and with elections held the first Tuesday in April.[3]

The residents elected August Kickbusch, Sr., as their first mayor in 1874.[3] Five years earlier, Kickbusch had returned to his homeland of Germany and brought back to America with him 702 people, all of whom are believed to have settled in the Wausau Area. Kickbusch founded the A. Kickbusch Wholesale Grocery Company, a family business carried on by his grandson, August Kickbusch II. In 1917, August Kickbusch II purchased a modest four-square style house at 513 Grant Street[4] and undertook massive renovations, adding two sun rooms, arcaded windows and a tiled porch in the Mediterranean style, a formal classical entrance, and ornate custom-designed chimney crowns. The home is on the national register of historic places as part of the Andrew Warren Historic District.

When the railroad arrived in 1874, Wausau was even more accessible to settlers and industry, which was still mostly focused on lumber. This allowed the city to continue to grow and flourish, even as other villages and towns in the area were forced to close because of the rapidly vanishing forests and closing of the lumber mills.

  Twentieth century

  The Grand Theater, built in 1927, replaced the Grand Opera House (1899).

Wausau's favorable location on the Wisconsin River was partly responsible for the city's survival. Further, the economy was reformed and diversified in the early 20th century by an insurance group called Employers Insurance of Wausau, who were later known as the Wausau Group or Wausau Insurance Companies. Its logo, first introduced in 1954, was the downtown Milwaukee Road railroad depot, which was set against the backdrop of the community's skyline. This company put Wausau in the minds of people across the country. The original depot still stands, and is still in use, although not as a railroad depot, and a replica was built on the west side of Wausau, near the former corporate headquarters. The Wausau Insurance Company is now a part of Liberty Mutual after being purchased by Liberty Mutual. Also during the early 20th century, Wausau and Marathon County were among the upstate areas most inclined to support the Social-Democratic Party. The Socialist electoral victories included a State Senator during World War I.

As with the arrival of the railroad, the arrival of the automobile helped improve roads in the area.[3]

The stock market crash in 1929 had a major effect on the Wausau area. Many industries were forced to cut back by laying off and dismissing workers or by closing all together.[3] After decades of positive growth, the city virtually ground to a halt. However, under the New Deal, Wausau was significantly modernized. And after World War II, the city once again continued to grow in industry, education, recreation, and retail, more so than in population.

In 1983, the Wausau Center shopping mall opened and still exists today. By the mid-to-late-1990s, the city of Wausau began to purchase and develop more of the West Industrial Park to meet the needs of the expanding economy and companies.

  The 400 Block in downtown Wausau

In the late 1990s, the city tore down a number of aging buildings on a square in the center of downtown, creating what is known locally at the 400 Block, an open, grassy block with paved sidewalks crossing it. The square is a focal point for summer festivals.[5]

  The new millennium

By the end of the 20th century, the Wausau City Council had begun to implement the Redevelopment Plan, or the Wausau Central Business District Master Plan.[6] This included redevelopment and economic structuring of downtown Wausau. Significant school construction in recent years has occurred in response to changing demographics.[7]

  Geography and climate

  Rib Mountain from downtown Wausau

  Geography

Wausau is located at 44°57′N 89°38′W / 44.95°N 89.633°W / 44.95; -89.633Coordinates: 44°57′N 89°38′W / 44.95°N 89.633°W / 44.95; -89.633.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.8 square miles (46.0 km²), of which, 16.5 square miles (42.7 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²) of it (7.15%) is water. The city is located at an altitude of 364.2 meters (1,195 ft). Wausau is close the center of the northern half of the western hemisphere. Just west of Wausau, 45 degrees north latitude meets 90 degrees west longitude (45°N 90°W / 45°N 90°W / 45; -90), which is exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole and a quarter of the way around the world from the prime meridian.

  Climate

Wausau's climate is classified as halfway between temperate and subarctic (boreal and hemiboreal). Wausau is built on or around a hemiboreal forest which has some of the characteristics of a boreal forest. They also share some of the features of the temperate zone forests to the south. Coniferous trees predominate in the hemiboreal zone, but a significant number of deciduous species are found there as well.

The area has four distinct seasons.

  • Average annual precipitation: 31.6 inches (80.3 centimeters).
  • Average daily high temperatures:
    • January: 20.8 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius)
    • July: 84.3 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius)

  Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 1,349
1880 4,277 217.0%
1890 9,253 116.3%
1900 12,354 33.5%
1910 16,560 34.0%
1920 18,951 14.4%
1930 23,758 25.4%
1940 27,268 14.8%
1950 30,386 11.4%
1960 31,943 5.1%
1970 32,806 2.7%
1980 32,426 −1.2%
1990 37,060 14.3%
2000 38,426 3.7%
  Location of the Wausau-Merrill CSA and its components:
  Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area
  Merrill Micropolitan Statistical Area

Wausau is the larger principal city of the Wausau-Merrill CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Wausau metropolitan area (Marathon County) and the Merrill micropolitan area (Lincoln County),[9][10] which had a combined population of 155,475 at the 2000 census.[11]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 38,426 people, 15,678 households, and 9,328 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,330.7 people per square mile (899.7/km²). There were 16,668 housing units at an average density of 1,011.0 per square mile (390.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.91% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 11.41% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,678 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,831, and the median income for a family was $47,065. Males had a median income of $33,076 versus $24,303 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,227. About 7.2% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

In 1996 a U.S. census estimate found that the Hmong people were the largest ethnic minority group in Wausau, with about 11% of the population.[12]

  Government and politics

  City hall

Wausau has a mayor–council form of government. Twelve elected alderpersons comprise the city council, each representing one district of the city. The City Council manages eight standing committees, including Parks & Recreation, Parking & Traffic, Finance, Human Resources, Public Health & Safety, Economic Development, Coordinating, and Capital Improvement & Street Maintenance.[13]

  Economy

Nearly one third of the Marathon County economy is based in manufacturing, and the balance of service and industry provides a stable and productive work force.[14] Prominent industries include paper manufacturing, insurance, home manufacturing, and tourism. The Wausau region has a consistently lower than average unemployment rate and continues a steady growth in job creation and economic viability among manufacturers and service providers alike.[14] Wausau has 12 banks with 41 branch locations, three trust companies and three holding companies in the metropolitan area. There are also 13 open membership credit unions with 18 branch locations.[14]

The Wausau area is a center for cultivation of American ginseng.[15] Wausau is also known for its red granite, which is mined nearby.[16]

  Education

  Colleges and universities

Wausau is home to Northcentral Technical College and the University of Wisconsin–Marathon County, both two-year colleges. Wausau is also home to a number of satellite campuses of other colleges, including University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, Upper Iowa University, Lakeland College, Concordia University Wisconsin, Rasmussen College, and Globe University.

  Public schools

Public schools are part of the Wausau School District. The Wausau School District has 14 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The two high school mascots are the Wausau East High School Lumberjacks and the Wausau West High School Warriors.

In addition to the Wausau School District, D.C. Everest Area School District also serves a large area of the Wausau Area. The D.C. Everest School District has 6 elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high and one senior high. The school district has only one mascot which is the D.C. Everest Evergreen.

  Charter school

Wausau Area Montessori Charter School serves grades 1-6 and is housed at Horace Mann Middle School. Two kindergarten classes are available at the Montessori Children's Village and Rib Mountain Montessori.

Wausau Engineering and Global Leadership (EGL) Academy is a charter school housed in Wausau East High School. This 9-12 high school emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.

The IDEA Charter School, part of the D.C. Everest School District, had its first year in operation in the 2011-2012 school year. The charter school serves grades 6-12.

  Private schools

The city's Roman Catholic parochial schools are known as the Newman Catholic Schools. These include Newman Elementary Schools at St. Anne, St. Michael and St. Mark, Newman Middle School (formerly at St. Matthew's but consolidated with the high school), and Newman Catholic High School. Newman High's sport teams are the Fighting Cardinals. Trinity Lutheran is a Missouri Synod Lutheran grade school.

  Public libraries

  The Marathon Co. Public Library (MCPL) - Wausau Headquarters

The Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) - Wausau Headquarters, located downtown, near the Wausau Center Mall is the largest library in the Wausau area. The MCPL - Wausau Headquarters was formed when the County and City libraries merged in 1974; it serves as the headquarters for the Marathon County Public Library system, which encompasses all public libraries in Marathon County, including eight branch libraries.[17] The Marathon County Historical Museum also maintains a library.

  The Marathon County Historical Society maintains a library at its headquarters in a building designed by Prairie School architect George W. Maher.

  Parks

There are thirty-seven city parks, totaling 337 acres.[18] The parks are maintained by the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. This department also maintains the 18 county parks in Marathon County. The county parks have a total of 3,406 acres.[19]

Oak Island Community Park and Fern Island Community Park are located right next to one another on the Wisconsin River. Oak Island has wide range of activities: tennis courts, two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, one enclosed shelter with a kitchen, two open shelters, and a walking bridge to Fern Island. Fern Island Park hosts the annual Big Bull Falls Blues Festival in August.[20]

Athletic Park is a baseball stadium on the east-side of Wausau. The stadium is home to the Wisconsin Woodchucks baseball team.

White Water Park is a city park along the Wisconsin River with bleachers facing white water rapids where whitewater kayaking and canoeing take place.[21]

Sylvan Hills is a county park within the Wausau city limits. During the winter tubing takes place on a hills has a vertical drops of up to 133 feet.[22]

Marathon Park is another county park residing within the city of Wausau. Marathon Park is the location of the Wisconsin Valley Fair. The park includes camping grounds, two hockey rinks, a curling barn, playgrounds, an obstacle course, an amphitheater, a bandstand, a grandstand, multiple exhibition buildings, and a concessions building. The Little Red School House is also housed within the park. Marathon Park also contains the furthest south remaining section of old growth forest in Wisconsin.[23]

  Transportation

  The Marathon County fairgrounds is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  Airports

  Mass transit system

  Roads and Highways

US 51.svg
U.S. 51 Northbound US 51 to Woodruff, Wisconsin. Southbound, US 51 routes to Stevens Point.
WIS 52.svg
WIS 52 travels east to Antigo.
WIS 29.svg
WIS 29 travels east to Green Bay, and west to Abbotsford and Chippewa Falls.

  Sports

The Wisconsin Woodchucks baseball team of the Northwoods League, an NCAA summer baseball league, plays home games at the Athletic Park in Wausau. The Wisconsin Woodchucks were formerly known as the Wausau Woodchucks. Woody Woodchuck is the mascot of the Woodchucks.

The Wausau River Hawks baseball team of the Dairyland League, a Wisconsin Baseball Association summer baseball league, plays home games at Athletic Park in Wausau. The Wausau River Hawks were formally known as Wausau Precision.

Granite Peak Ski Area offers downhill skiing at nearby Rib Mountain. The 700-foot (210 m) mountain is the highest skiable mountain in the state and one of the highest vertical drops in the Midwest.[24] It first became a ski area in 1937, when Wausau residents cleared six runs by hand, installed the nation’s longest ski lift and built a chalet with stone quarried nearby. Granite Peak has 74 runs and 7 ski lifts.[25] Granite Peak earned Ski Magazine’s #1 ranking in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Minnesota.[citation needed]

Wausau is also home to a kayak course which has hosted numerous regional, national, and world competitions over the last two decades. It is also home to the Wausau Curling Club with a 5 sheet ice surface.

  Media and entertainment

See also: List of radio stations in Wausau and Central Wisconsin, List of television stations in Wausau-Rhinelander and area

The only local daily newspaper is the Wausau Daily Herald, with a daily circulation of 21,400 during the week and 27,500 on Sunday.[citation needed] City Pages is a free weekly newspaper. Le Dernier Cri is a monthly newspaper that reports on local business.

  Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Wausau is home to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, which houses as "Birds in Art" collection as well as Leigh Yawkey Woodson's collection of decorative glass.

  Notable natives and residents

  Exact replica of the downtown Milwaukee Road station on the former campus of Wausau Insurance on a hill above the city

  References

  1. ^ US dict: wô′·sô
  2. ^ "Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United States and Puerto Rico: 1990 and 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t29.html. Retrieved 2006-09-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i History- The Wasau Story
  4. ^ Kickbusch house
  5. ^ Wausau's summer events season kicks off. In recent years Wausau has redone the 400 Block,adding a permanent stage and other renovations that in total cost 2 million dollars.
  6. ^ Wausau Central Business District Master Plan
  7. ^ school construction
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  10. ^ Combined Statistical Areas and Component Core Based Statistical Areas, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  11. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Timeline of Hmong History." D.C. Everest Area School District. Retrieved on September 15, 2010.
  13. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Departments/CityCouncil/StandingCommittees.aspx, accessed November 7, 2010
  14. ^ a b c General Information
  15. ^ http://www.ginsengboard.com/
  16. ^ Anderson Bros. & Johnson
  17. ^ Marathon County Public Library (MCPL): About Our Library
  18. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Home/AboutWausau/GeneralInformation.aspx, accessed November 8, 2010
  19. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Home/AboutWausau/GeneralInformation.aspx, accessed November 8, 2010
  20. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Departments/Parks/ParksandFacilities/WausauCommunityParks.aspx, accessed November 8, 2010
  21. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Home/AboutWausau/SportsOutdoors.aspx, accessed November 8, 2010
  22. ^ http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Departments/Parks/WinterRecreation/SylvanTubingHill.aspx, accessed November 8, 2010
  23. ^ http://www.co.marathon.wi.us/infosubcon.asp?dep=25&sid=22, accessed November 8, 2010
  24. ^ Peak surprise
  25. ^ http://www.skigranitepeak.com/planAndBuy/index.cfm?sub=compare
  26. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/D/DellJe20.htm
  27. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/fischbi01.shtml
  28. ^ "What Ever Happened to Buster Keyes?". TIME. October 1, 1965. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,834448,00.html?promoid=googlep. Retrieved 2008-12- 02. 
  29. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LiteGr20.htm

  External links

   
               

 

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