Watertown Plank Road | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Watertown Plank Road

Watertown Plank Road | Wisconsin Historical Society

Brewing Co., N. 40th and W. State Streets, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County 

Started in 1848 and completed in 1853, extended 58 miles west from Milwaukee on a course roughly paralleling State Street past the Frederick Miller Plank Road Brewery through Wauwatosa, Pewaukee, and Oconomowoc to Watertown. The $100,000 road of white-oak planks provided a route for farm products, wood, lime, and passenger vehicles. It cut round-trip travel time to three days, all at a toll of about one cent a mile.

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[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]