About Waukesha, Wisconsin


Waukesha is a city located in the state of Wisconsin in the Midwest United States. The city is located approximately 16 miles west of Milwaukee, and approximately 60 miles east of Madison, Wisconsin. The city of Waukesha is the seat for Waukesha County, which in 2010 had a population of 389,891 and covered approximately 556 square miles.

The name “Waukesha” is derived from the Potawatomi name Wau-tsha, which was the name of the leader of the local tribe at the time of the first European settlement of the area.  Waukesha was first inhabited in 1834 by a non-American-Indian settler named Morris D. Cutler, who on May 7, 1834 founded “Prairieville”, which was ultimately incorporated as a village in 1846.  The village of Prairieville did not change its name to the city of Waukesha until February 8, 1847, and in 1896 Waukesha was incorporated as the city it is today.



The early buildings in the City of Waukesha are owing to the abundance of limestone which is quarried at many locations throughout the county. The first stone quarry ever worked in Waukesha was opened in the early spring of 1840 by Lyman Goodnow. The land in which the stone was noticed was leased by him from Morris D. Cutler in the village of Waukesha. The first stone harvested from the quarry by Goodnow was used in building the oldest structure of stone in Waukesha County, the old Prairieville Academy building, which still retains its original clear, bluish colorings, and is known today as Carrol University.

Rivers and Creeks

The watershed of Waukesha County is somewhat abundant. Its streams flow into both the Mississippi and St. Lawrence basins, and the sources of most of its rivers and creeks originate principally within its own borders. The total number of rivers and creeks is approximately 9:

Ashippun River
Bark River
Fox River
Menomonee River
Mukwonago River
Muskego Creek
Oconomowoc River
Poplar Creek
Root River

Waukesha County Lakes

Probably one of the most remarkable features of Waukesha County is its wonderful system of lakes. The character and beauty of Waukesha area lakes are derived from the deep bowls formed by the glacial movements of centuries ago and have since been filled by numerous springs.
In total the lakes in Waukesha number 63, with the greater number belonging to the towns of Oconomowoc, Delafield, Summit and Merton.

Ashippun Lake
Bass Bay Lake
Beaver Dam Lake
Beaver Lake
Big Muskego Lake
Bowron Lake
Brown Lake
Buth Lake
Cornell Lake
Cornell Lake
Crooked Lake
Cyrstal Lake
Denoon Lake
Duck Lake
Dutchman Lake
Eagle Spring Lake
Egg Lake
Etter Lake
Five Lake
Florence Lake
Forest Lake
Fowler Lake
Garvin Lake
Genesee Lake
Golden Lake
Henrietta Lake
Hogan Lake
Hunters Lake
Keesus Lake
Kelly Lake
Lac La Belle
Larkin Lake
Laura Lake
Linnie Lac Lake
Little Muskego Lake
Moose Lake
Nagawicka Lake
Nashotah Lake
Nemahbin Lake
North Lake
Oconomowoc Lake
Okauchee Lake
Ottawa Lake
Pewaukee Lake
Phantom Lake
Pine Lake
Pretty Lake
Rainbow Springs Lake
Reagon Lake
Saratoga Lake
Saylesville Millpond
School Section Lake
Silver Lake
Spahn Lake
Spring Lake
Spring Lake
Sybil Lake
Tamarack Lake
Tierney Lake
Utica Lake
Waterville Lake
Willow Spring Lake
Wood Lake

Downtown Waukesha

Downtown Waukesha is rich in history and nostalgia, and features many businesses, shops, and art galleries.  During the summer the city of Waukesha comes alive with events like Freeman Friday Night Live and the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.

The home of Les Paul, in 2012 Waukesha became an official Gibson GuitarTown and the downtown area is adorned with dozens of artfully design 10 foot tall guitars, playable guitars, and most recently wall murals.

Other annual events include the The Waukesha County Fair, Wings Over Waukesha, the Waukesha Old Car Show, and The Wisconsin Highland Games on Labor Day Weekend.

Come and visit Waukesha and experience the fun it holds for everyone!

Note:  This website/blog was developed, and is maintained by Scott A. Ludtke, for the benefit of our great city of Waukesha.