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Some of the city's most obscure facts revealed in new book, 'Secret Milwaukee'

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Every Milwaukeean has their favorite fun facts about the city, something no one else seems to know. A new book has gathered dozens of those stories into one collection. Secret Milwaukee by Jim Nelson is full of fun, lesser-known stories about the Cream City.

The book has everything from tales of long-lost treasure to hidden cemeteries and the real-life origin stories of the exorcist that can be traced to Milwaukee. Despite being a Milwaukee native and living here his entire life, Nelson still found himself needing to research these accounts extensively.

As fascinating as the stories are, the real objective for Nelson was ultimately connecting people through the project. "I think that the more we can connect people to places in the community, places they’ve been before, it just helps everyone develop a sense of identity. And when you develop a sense of identity, that is Milwaukee-based, you tend to care more about the city itself as well as the people who inhabit the city," says Nelson.

He continues, "One of my big goals is to try to bring people together. But in the in the meantime, just get out. Get to know each site. Each story is only two pages long. So it's very digestible. It's easy to read; find something that you like and that you didn't know was there. Go visit that too ... this book is an entryway to greater learning."


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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