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Lesson 1: What Makes a Community?


Introduction:

This lesson focuses on the definition of and requirements for a community – what it needs to survive, and what it needs to be successful. Without an understanding of community students will not be able to understand the importance and effects of urbanization and industrialization. Students will also be introduced to primary sources in the form of historical maps, and see the development of two Wisconsin counties.

Time Required: 1 class period (45 minutes)

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define the following terms: community

  • Students will be able to list the needs of a community

  • Students will be able to use historical maps to understand community development

  • Students will be able to begin to plat a town map

Required Materials:

Altoona 1890

Procedure:

  1. Write the word “Community” on the board. Have students brainstorm individually what this word means. Discuss their ideas as a class, and share the following definition:

  2. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

    com·mu·ni·ty – noun, plural –ties. 1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.

    Synonyms: Community, hamlet, village, town, city are terms for groups of people living in somewhat close association, and usually under common rules. Community is a general term, and town is often loosely applied. A commonly accepted set of connotations envisages hamlet as a small group, village as a somewhat larger one, town still larger, and city as very large. Size is, however, not the true basis of differentiation, but properly sets off only hamlet. Incorporation, or the absence of it, and the type of government determine the classification of the others.

    Discussion could ensue on the differences in these synonyms, depending on what type of community the students live in (a village or city, for example).

  3. Break students into groups of 2-3 and give each group a copy of either Porter’s Mills Layout, Altoona Layout or Alma Layout, without telling them which town they represent. On the back side of the map, have them make a list of all the people, services, buildings, etc. that are important for a community to survive. Once they have their list, have them draw on the map their ideas for where they would locate some of these things. They can draw streets, homes, businesses, parks, etc. This should be a quick representation of what they would like a city with those specific geographical features.

    Examples/ideas: mayor, city clerk, townspeople, fire department, police department, grocery stores, schools, parks and rec., houses, hotels, restaurants, public transportation, factories, doctors, teachers, organizations (Lions Club, Rotary), etc.

  4. Have groups share their answers and maps. Collect these – they will be used again later. Lead discussion using the following questions: Can communities survive without everything listed? Which are most important for a community to be successful? How many of the items are available where they live? Do they think they have a prosperous community? What makes their community different from others? Are communities permanent? How do they change? Do they ever “disappear?” What changes have taken place in their community?


  5. Explain that this unit will look at three different communities in Wisconsin – how and why they developed and how they changed as a result of industrialization and urbanization.


  6. Show on an overhead, online, or hand out copies of “Map of Wisconsin.” (This and all other maps can be found on the Resources for Lesson One page – you have to copy and print them yourself – or a printer-ready version is available here.) Explain that this is a “Sketch of the Public Land Surveys in Wisconsin Territory,” completed in 1845 – three years before Wisconsin becomes a state. What is the first thing they notice about it? (Hopefully, it’s the lack of cities and towns – only Prairie du Chien is listed.)


  7. Hand out the “Map of Wisconsin, close-up” map. This handout has a close-up section of the Chippewa Valley from the 1845 map, along with the corresponding area from “A New Map of Wisconsin” from 1856. What has changed? How many towns have developed in nine years? (There are only three towns on the map – Chippewa Falls, Clearwater [Eau Claire] and Wabashaw [Wabasha]. There are, however, several mill sites that students may believe are towns. Many of these are located where towns are today but have different names.)


  8. Break class into groups. Give each group one map. On a blank piece of paper, have each group list the cities or towns within both Eau Claire and Buffalo Counties. Each group should estimate what year they think their map is from.

    Map 1: 1857 (have students list towns in Chippewa and Buffalo Counties – Eau Claire County does not exist yet)

    Map 2: 1869 Map 3: 1872 Map 4: 1883

    Map 5: 1890 Map 6: 1893 Map 7: 1895

  9. Using the overhead, “Cities and Towns in Eau Claire and Buffalo Counties,” have each group fill in the information from their map. Lead discussion on how these counties have changed. Share with the class the correct years for the maps. Are there names the students recognize?


  10. Assignment: Have students write a paragraph on why they think so many little towns sprang up instead of fewer, larger towns. Also, have them list the types of businesses or industries they think would be important to these small towns during this time period (1850-1900).

Assessment:
Class participation



Lesson 2: Industrialization – A Study in Pictures


Introduction:

This lesson shows how industries affected town development. It introduces students to a variety of industries from the late 19th century. Students will have the opportunity to examine photos from the time and draw conclusions about life in communities based on these industries. They will be introduced to inventions and the development of new natural resources from this time frame, and also learn about the “Company Town” and be able to understand the benefits and drawbacks of it.

Time Required: 1 class period (45 minutes)

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define the following terms: industrialization, slough, grist mill

  • Students will be able to name several important industries in Northwestern Wisconsin

  • Students will be able to explain how the development of these industries impacted towns

  • Students will be able to describe and explain a “Company Town”

Required Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Collect and discuss paragraphs. What are the reasons why they think so many little towns developed? Then, list on the board the types of businesses or industries they listed. What do they think the term, “industrialization” means? At its simplest, “industrialization” is the development of an industry or industries on a large scale. What are some ways we can learn about industries in the past?


  2. Pass out one copy of the Photo Analysis worksheet. Explain to students that one way to understand what these industries were like is to examine photographs of the buildings or people involved in them. Then pass out the “Sample Photo 1” or place on the overhead. (This and all other photos can be found on the Resources for Lesson Two Page, or as a printer-ready file.) As a group, complete the analysis sheet.

    The title of this photo is “Brailing Pockets – Scalers at Work.” It was taken in 1846. A “Scaler” is a person who determines the number of board feet in logs. The lumbermen are working in the Beef Slough near Alma, WI. A “slough” is an area of soft, muddy ground; a swamp or swamplike region. The Beef Slough was a sluggish branch of the Chippewa River that provided an excellent storage pond for the logs floated downstream by numerous logging companies. Here loggers were employed to arrange the mixed-up logs into orderly rafts to be towed by steamboats to sawmills down the Mississippi.

  3. Give each student another “Photo Analysis“ worksheet, along with a new photo of an industry. Have students complete the form individually, then find another student who studied the same photograph. They should compare sheets, making sure they feel they have at least two good questions they want to know about the photo.


  4. Give each group the overhead that matches the photo they analyzed. Have the groups present their photos on the overhead and share what they discovered about them when they did the analysis. Allow other groups to ask questions and discuss each photo. After each group, share the following information about the photos:


    • Photo 1: Lumber Yard in Waupun, WI, around 1885

    • Photo 2: Munger’s Mill and Dam, Wisconsin Dells, 1895

    • Photo 3: Loggers with their tools, Camp Montana, 1906

    • Photo 4: Log jam, Peshtigo River, 1907

    • Photo 5: Flour and Grist Mill built on Green Lake Prairie, later moved to Alto, Wisconsin, 1896. Grist mills are where grain is ground into flour. This mill was about 50 feet tall and 24 feet wide.

    • Photo 6: Several men, some of whom may be railroad workers, posed in front of a Minnesota and St. Paul wood-burning engine at a train crossing at Middleton, WI. The town post office and other structures can be seen behind the train. 1873

    • Photo 7: Two men pose at the Barron Coop Creamery next to the churns full of butter, which is ready to be packed into the small barrels nearby. 1900

    • Photo 8: Employees with a wagon loaded with barrels of beer in front of Hausmann’s Capital Brewery at the corner of State and Gorham Streets. In the 1870s, Capital Brewery was the largest of five German owned and run Madison breweries. 1873

  5. Lead discussion on industries. What types of inventions were needed for these industries to prosper? What natural resources were utilized?

  6. Introduce the idea of “company towns.” These were towns based around one industry, and the business provided many services to its employees. Both Altoona and Porter’s Mills began as company towns. In Altoona, most residents were employees of the railroad, and the railroad built the first housing, hotel and restaurant in town. In Porter’s Mills, the only occupation was working for the lumber company, and the company ran the general store, provided boarding-style housing for its single employees, and helped married employees build their own homes. Lead discussion on benefits and drawbacks of the company town.

    Benefits could include: company provides many services not available immediately to other small towns; job security; real sense of community – work and play together; etc.

    Drawbacks could include: lack of ownership of homes; if company leaves, then what?; store goods and prices determined by company; etc.

  7. Assignment: Read the corresponding section on industrialization in the history textbook. Have each student choose (or assign each student different industries) of the industries (logging, railroads, gristmills, sawmills, or breweries) and write 2-3 paragraphs on how have a town based solely around that industry would impact its development. What would be some benefits to having that industry? What might be some drawbacks?

Assessment:
Completion of assignment
Class participation

Altoona Main Street



Lesson 3: Urbanization – How a City Grows


Introduction:

This lesson helps students developing mapping skills and helps them understand how towns develop. It introduces Sanborn and Bird’s Eye Maps and city planning skills, and gives them the chance to evaluate how three separate towns grew. It shows the results of urbanization because each of the three towns developed differently, and for different reasons.

Time Required: 1 class period (45 minutes)

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define the following terms: Sanborn Map, Bird’s Eye Map

  • Students will be able to understand how geography and industry affects how towns develop

  • Students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of town layouts based on their evaluations

Required Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Collect and discuss assignment. What benefits and drawbacks did students describe for a town based only on one industry? How can an industry affect how towns develop?

  2. Show students the copy of the Sanborn map for Potosi, WI. (This and all other maps can be found on the Resources for Lesson Three Page, or as a printer-ready file.) Explain that these maps were originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States. The maps include detailed information regarding town and building information in approximately 12,000 U.S. towns and cities from 1867 to 1970. Note that they show street names and the location of buildings, parks and other city information.

  3. Show students the Bird’s-Eye View of Eau Claire. (This and all other maps can be found on the Resources for Lesson Three Page, or as a printer-ready file.) Explain that these maps were especially popular in the late 1800s and give a different view than on a Sanborn Map. How is this different from the Sanborn Map? What items are shown in the Bird’s-Eye that are not in the Sanborn? What are some benefits and drawbacks to using one over the other to learn about a town? Why might it be helpful to use a variety of maps when studying a town or area?

  4. Put students back into the same groups they were in for Lesson One, and pass back the maps they drew. Give each group a new copy of the “Town” handout for the same town, (#1, #2, #3) along with the appropriate “Town Information“ sheet. Explain that they will be getting additional information about their “town” and creating new layouts. There is no right or wrong way to design their town, but there are a few things they should keep in mind:

    Try and include as many of the needed buildings as they can in the space they have
    Remember that homes are generally not built right next to industries
    They will need to work with the landforms shown on each map – some trees could be removed, but overall, the town should be designed around what is shown

  5. Information for the teacher:

    • Town #1 is Porter’s Mills. The big brown box is the sawmill and lumberyard. There is a railroad into the town, but it is just a spur from Eau Claire. The main purpose of the tracks was for use by the company. People did take the train into Eau Claire on the weekends, but it was not used for commuting to jobs there. Porter’s Mills was a dry town – the company prohibited the sale of alcohol.

    • Town #2 is Altoona. The dashed lines represent the railroad tracks. These were built about 11 years before the town developed. Because of its proximity to Eau Claire, many of the typical needs of a town did not need to be provided by Altoona. Initially, most residents worked for the railroad, but eventually the city became a bedroom community, where they lived in Altoona but worked in Eau Claire.

    • Town #3 is Alma. The dashed line represents the railroad tracks, and the brown on the right side of the page represents the bluff. The only flat part of the map is the light green area. The trees are on the side of the bluff. Alma developed a variety of industries because they were the only large town in the area. They had a flour mill, brewery, cigar factory, and sawmill. Alma became the county seat and the center of government for the county. The Beef Slough Manufacturing, Booming, Log Driving and Transportation Company had a camp a few miles north of town that housed 600 men during peak logging periods. These men often traveled to Alma for supplies and entertainment.

  6. After students have had time to draw their towns, have all groups with Town 1 get together, all with Town 2 get together, etc. Have them share their maps with each other – what is the same, and what is different? Then, have each group present their maps to the class. After looking at other towns on the same map, what would they change about their own maps? Did having the new information make it easier or more difficult to plan their town? What were some obstacles they felt they needed to address?

  7. Have them go back into the larger groups that did map 1, 2, and 3. Give group 1 a copy of the map of Porter’s Mills and the photo of the sawmill, group 2 the map of Altoona, and group 3 the Bird’s Eye map of Alma and the photo of Alma from 1902. (This and all other maps can be found on the Resources for Lesson Three Page, or as a printer-ready file.) Explain that the maps they drew represent these three towns and the geography each had when their town was developing. How are their maps similar to and different from the actual maps?

  8. Assignment: Have each student write a paragraph on the layout of their town. What do they like about it? What do they think could be changed or improved? They should use the copy of the real map and their ideas from their own creations.

  9. Assessment:

    • Class participation
    • Completion of assignments


Lesson 4: Urbanization – Using the Census


Introduction:

This lesson introduces the study of the US census as a way to learn about communities. The enumeration pages from 1790 – 1930 are available online. (Wisconsin pages are available for the years 1840 – 1930.) They can be searched for individual names, or pages of entire townships or cities can be browsed. Some pages are very hard to read, and the handwriting can be confusing for students initially. Teachers may want to preview some of the pages before utilizing them in the lesson. This lesson looks at Altoona in particular. It gives students a good idea of the types of businesses in Altoona over time, and the importance of the railroad to the town. It also shows population growth in the town between 1900 and 1930.

Time Required: 1 class period (45 minutes)

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define the following terms: urbanization, census, enumeration

  • Students will be able to use census enumeration pages to determine information about a town

  • Students will be able to understand different occupations of town residents

Required Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Collect and discuss assignments. Overall, did they think the cities had been designed well? What improvements did they think were needed?

  2. Explain that another way we can learn about urbanization is to look at the people who lived in the town. Where can this type of information be found? In the census! What different types of information can be found in the census?

    The census includes a variety of information that varies from decade to decade. Some of the standard information it contains are name, age, sex, race, place of birth, place of parents’ birth, naturalization, occupation, education, etc.

  3. Pass out the “Research with Census Enumeration Pages“ sheet. Go over the instructions together, then give each student a Census worksheet. Depending on the number of students you have, and their level of ability, you may give students more than one page to search. At the top of each sheet, the number of images for that ward is listed. For example, in 1900, Ward 1 and Ward 2 both have eight images (for a total of 16 sheets). In 1910, though, Ward 1 has nine and Ward 2 has six (15 sheets). This activity may be scaled back to only look at one decade, if necessary, or to only do question 1-3 on the worksheet, and not search for individuals.

    For this lesson, we will only be looking at Altoona. However, this worksheet can be adapted to look at any town. If you want to use examples from the three mentioned in this unit, these are the locations of the pertinent pages:

    Porter’s Mills:

    • 1870 Eau Claire County, Brunswick (p. 5-7 are Porter’s Mills)

    • 1880 Eau Claire County, Brunswick (p. 2, 5-8 are Porter’s Mills) [these pages are extremely difficult to read]

    • 1900 Eau Claire County, Brunswick (p. 1-2 are Porter’s Mills)

    Alma:

    • 1870 Buffalo County, Alma (p. 1-13 is Village of Alma)

    • 1880 Buffalo County, Alura (p. 1-26 is Village of Alma)

    • 1900 Buffalo County, 1 Wd Alma, 2 Wd Alma, 3Wd Alma

    • 1910 Buffalo County, 1 Wd Alma, 2 Wd Alma, 3Wd Alma

    • 1920 Buffalo County, Cochrane (p. 1-10 is 1 Wd Alma, 11-14 is 2 Wd Alma, 15-22 is 3Wd Alma)

    • 1930 Buffalo County, Alma (p. 1-22 is Alma City)

    Altoona:

    • 1900 Eau Claire County, 1 Wd Altoona, 2 Wd Altoona

    • 1910 Eau Claire County, Town of Washington, p. 7-24

    • 1920 Eau Claire County, 1 Wd Altoona, 2 Wd Altoona

    • 1930 Eau Claire County, 1 Wd Altoona, 2 Wd Altoona

  4. Once students have completed their worksheets, complete the overhead “Altoona Census Research“ together as a class. How has the population of Altoona changed over time? What percentage of the population is employed by the railroad? How does this change over time? What can this tell us about the city of Altoona? How do the other occupations change?

  5. Assignment: Have students write a paragraph explaining how looking at the census enumeration pages can help them learn about a community, family, industry, or time period. Have them brainstorm and list other places they could look to find similar types of information.

Assessment:

Class participation
Completion of worksheet



Lesson 5: Industrialization & Urbanization – How Wisconsin Changed


Introduction:

This lesson is the summary of the unit, and looks at industrialization and urbanization over time using a variety of census data found in the Wisconsin Blue Books. The Blue Books are one-volume reference books about the state, and include a section on history, state government, and statistics. Students are broken into 4 groups for this lesson – two groups look at urbanization and changes in population over time, and two groups look at industrialization and changes over time. Several different skills are used in this lesson, including some math, graphing, and organization of data. Groups will also be expected to present their findings to the class.

Time Required: 1 class period (45 minutes)

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define the following term: aggregate

  • Students will be able to determine percentage increase or decrease in population and show that data on a map

  • Students will be able to compare and contrast changes in industry and farming and explain how these changes affect urbanization

  • Students will be able to chart changes in industry over time

  • Students will be able to present information to the class in a concise manner

Required Materials:

  • Current copy of Wisconsin Blue Book (usually located in school library)

  • Calculators

  • County Map of Wisconsin

  • Colored Pencils

  • Graph Paper

  • The Three Communities PowerPoint

Procedure:

  1. Collect and discuss assignment. Why did students think using the enumeration pages can be helpful? What other places did they come up with to look for more information?

  2. Explain that today we will be looking at aggregate, or combined, census data. There are several places to find aggregate data, including the US Census Bureau. But since we are looking at Wisconsin in particular, the easiest place to find this data is in the Wisconsin Blue Books. Show current copy of Blue Book

  3. Break the class into 4 groups. Each group needs a calculator, and six different colored pencils. Groups 1 and 3 also need a “County Map of Wisconsin.”

  4. Explain to the class that two groups will be looking at census data for the state to see the results of urbanization, and that the other two groups will be looking at manufacturing in Wisconsin to see the results of industrialization. Each group will have time in class to complete the assignment, and then will share their results with the rest of the class.

  5. Information for the teacher:

    • Group 1 – This group will be comparing Wisconsin’s county population changes between 1900 & 1920 and using that data to color a map

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