Term: Pishtaka River, Racine Co. [origin of place name]
Definition: "Buffalo," the Pottawatomi name for the Fox River. From Increase Lapham's 1844 Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin:
"PISHTAKA RIVER, or "Fox river of the Illinois," is the principal stream in this county running through the western tier of townships from north to south. It rises in the north part of Milwaukee county, and enters the Illinois river at Ottawa. It has been proposed to improve the navigation of this river, by means of dams and locks, so as to create a slack water from its mouth, where it is connected with the Illinois and Michigan canal, as far as the rapids at Prairieville and there is no practical difficulty in the way of accomplishing this important work. From the foot of the rapids at Prairieville, to Elgin, about thirty-five miles south of the State line, there is a descent of ninety-six feet, or nearly one foot per mile, on an average, measuring the course of the river. This would require twelve dams, of eight feet each, and the average length of each pond would be about seven or eight miles. At Elgin, the river is one hundred and fifteen feet above Lake Michigan, requiring that amount of lockage to unite with the Illinois canal."
[Source: Card file at the WHS Library reference desk]