Man on Rails

by Gay Spencer 9. April 2012 20:04
Merrill Park Green

I've acknowledged the importance of Lake Michigan, of the traders and trappers who were founders (Juneau, Kilbourne, and Walker), of Father Marquette who was as much an explorer as missionary, and of the three rivers that converge in Milwaukee (the Milwaukee, Kinnikinic, and Menomonee). But as Milwaukee was getting its roots planted, it was the era when the railroads ruled.

Originally from Alexandria, New Hampshire (born in 1818), Sherburn Sanborn Merrill bought a half-mile square of land on the west side of early Milwaukee, and built an housing area called Merrill Park, centered around his railroad shop. It was a big deal. By the early 1880s, the railroad company employed over 2500 workers.

Merrill Park Sign

It's now back to being a park in the grass and trees and baseball diamonds sense. The grass is growing, the leaves are showing, the dandelions are blooming and when standing in one spot to take the picture, I saw five robins. It must be Spring.

Merrill Park Rock

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