Analysis Of The Bridge War Of 1845

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The Bridge War of 1845
The first bridge the east side built spanned over into the west side of Chestnut Street; Kilbourntown would not take any part to help finance the construction of the bridge. The disgruntled east-siders felt that the best way to retaliate against Kilbourntown’s lack of funding was to produce the cheapest bridge possible. Yet, over the next few years, the bridge turned out to be exactly what they paid for. This led to a village meeting on May 7, 1845, where the two towns tried to agree on what to do with the bridge. Juneautown felt that everyone should fund another bridge to be built; Kilbourntown felt that they should just tear down the west end of the bridge. Needless to say, they were unable to come to a resolution.
The next morning, the villagers from Kilbourntown went out to the west end of the Chestnut Bridge and proceeded to knock it down. Church-going residents of Juneautown saw what was happening and rang the church bells to warn the town. However, by the time Juneautown residents realized what was happening, it was too late; the west
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After many attacks on each other’s towns, the destruction of necessary bridges, and altercations that left people injured, Juneau and Kilbourn were finally able to put their differences aside and unite. In the aftermath, they realized that there was no money to be made from fighting—no one would want to come to a place filled with people disputing over which town is better. They also came to the conclusion that without bridges, living was impossible; it was ultimately better to be united and have bridges. Had there never been a “bridge war,” the city of Milwaukee would likely not exist. It took extreme measures for these two stubborn founders to realize they needed to put their differences aside. As for Walker, he eventually regained control of Walker’s Point, but he was never truly involved in the ongoing quarrel between Juneau and

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