Bubbler Talk

What’s got you scratching your head about Milwaukee and the region? Bubbler Talk is a series that puts your curiosity front and center.

How it works: You ask, we investigate, and together we unveil the answers.

Ask away: What have you always wanted to know about the Milwaukee area's people, places, or culture that you want WUWM to explore?

Participate in the process and submit your question below.


Zoe Smith Munson

One of Milwaukee's favorite treats is the cruller doughnut — or you may know it as a kruller or crawler, but we'll get into that in a bit. After getting a couple of questions from community members about the Milwaukee doughnut staple, we decided to dig into the history of crullers and explore a bakery known for them.

First, a bit of history on doughnuts in general. Food historian Kyle Cherek says doughnuts can be traced back to biblical times.

Mitch Teich

Our Bubbler Talk question this week is one after my own heart. Tim Brever in Oak Creek wrote to Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region: 

Can you provide more context behind the typewriter being invented in Milwaukee?

Tim doesn’t know it but an Olivetti Studio 44 resides in my office. That was the portable typewriter favored by Tennessee Williams. But I digress.

LaToya Dennis

Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region — gets a lot of questions about street numbering and street names. Not too long ago, Mike Zabel submitted a question about Lovers Lane Road on Milwaukee’s far northwest side.

I was wondering why the north part of Highway 100 is called Lovers Lane?

City of Milwaukee

If you’re familiar with downtown Milwaukee, you probably know the Historic Third Ward — the neighborhood with shopping, dining and theaters. It sits just south of Interstate 794. It was precisely the Third Ward that got a community member thinking:

When did Milwaukee change from wards to districts? And why?  

Emily Files

You may have heard of one of the world's fastest-growing refugee crises: the Rohingya exodus out of Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country also known as Burma.

After long waits in countries like Malaysia or Bangladesh, a tiny percentage of the world’s Burmese refugees end up right here in Milwaukee. In fact, they are the top arriving refugee group to Wisconsin.

Susan Bence

Have you ever had a question that just won't go away? Milwaukee-native Ross Kuesel has been dazzled by a Milwaukee home's looming presence his whole life. So, he reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region.

"What's the story behind the house built into the bluff next to the Villa Terrace Art Museum? From Lincoln Memorial Drive it looks 10 stories tall!"

Courtesy of Gilbane Building Company and AECOM

Milwaukee City Hall was completed in 1895. But if you've seen the building over the years, it may seem like it's been under constant construction. So, let's look at the work that's been done on City Hall and what's still in store.

That's what Kim Marggraf wants to know, so she reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate and together we unveil the answers:

"Why has City Hall been under some form of construction or reconstruction, for what seems like decades?"

Teran Powell

When Milwaukeeans hear the name Solomon Juneau it likely rings a few bells. He was a founding father of Milwaukee and the city's first mayor. However, Juneau’s name also belongs to a tugboat docked year-round near the Michigan Street bridge downtown.

This week’s Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region — takes a peek into the history of The Solomon Juneau. Peter from Wauwatosa wants to know:

Audrey Nowakowski

For this week’s Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate and together we unveil the answers — we’re waiting for a sign, or rather reading signs.

Question asker Emily Johnson wants to know:

Who writes the incredibly hilarious and cheesy asphalt and tar-related puns on the Poblocki Paving signs on I-94?

chalabala / Fotolia

Why isn’t there a high-speed rail line connecting Milwaukee with other cities in Wisconsin and the region? This question has been on the minds of many in the area for decades, including one person who wrote to Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask questions about Milwaukee.

The answer is complicated, but simply put: there was a plan for a higher-speed rail line, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was against it.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library

Wisconsin boasts one of the largest German populations in the country, and in the early 1900s, Milwaukee was considered one of the most German cities in America. "Milwaukee was known as the Midwest Munich," Steve Schaffer says. "It was, ya know, a German town."

This week’s Bubbler Talk question comes from listener Bruce Campbell, who wanted to know: How were Germans treated in Milwaukee during World War II?

Maayan Silver

If you’ve driven northbound on Interstate 43 toward Milwaukee’s downtown, chances are, you’ve noticed a gigantic mural. That colorful mural has caught the eye of Tim Brever, of Greendale, since he was a kid. He wanted to learn more about it, so he reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate and together we unveil the answers:

What is the story behind the mural located on the side of a building, coming north into Milwaukee featuring an eagle with a rainbow behind it?

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people in the United States enjoy tailgate parties before football and baseball games. In fact, the parties themselves have become an event, helping to draw people to stadiums, even when teams aren't having the greatest season.

Lauren Sigfusson

For this week’s Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate and together we unveil the answers — we look at church festivals in Milwaukee and why we love them. This all started with a question from curious community member Miguel Rivera.

“Are church festivals (mostly Catholic) only popular in Milwaukee? People from out of state always seem surprised by them.”

Maayan Silver

Walk into the public area of Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, and you’ll see traditional airport sights: monitors for departures, places to grab coffee and food. But you’ll also see a 2,600-square-foot used bookstore, Renaissance Books.

The latest Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask WUWM questions about Milwaukee —  takes us to the bookshop. Question asker Susie Hoglund, of Shorewood: