History Of Green Bay 2018-03-02T12:05:39+00:00

The History Of Green Bay

Green Bay Wisconsin is a football town, quite literally. The community owns the powerhouse Green Bay Packers and has its own greater interest in the outcome of games. They are fanatics about their football team, and about their city.

The Cheeseheads brave wind, snow, frigid temperatures and ice to get through a good deal of their lives, not just on game days. Today’s culture is rich thanks to its early inhabitants and the city’s early history.

The earliest inhabitants residing here were the Winnebago Native Tribe, a group of Sioux. They were known for their hunting and fishing skills as well as their ability to grow a wide variety of vegetation to support their dietary needs. From corn to beans to squash, they were able to enjoy plentitude.

They also grew wild rice and tobacco. Wild rice was long a staple food for the tribe. One aspect of their culture involved subsidizing their own food growing capabilities with the gathering of wild berries, roots, and even naturally growing nuts.

A famous name among explorers was Samuel de Champlain, who had a role as the first governor of Quebec’s New France in the same era. Champlain was the part explorer and part shrewd businessman who sought out money-making opportunities. He had heard of the Sioux Winnebago’s who would trade.

The thought of having access to furs and a vast fertile land for farming and development further attracted Champlain to what would later become Wisconsin. In addition, he and Jean Nicolet, his partner, set off to explore a quicker route to China, so they head out West.

They set off in boats and ended up in Green Bay. Their first interaction with the Native American settlers was beset with a slight misunderstanding as Nicolet dressed in a satin robe because he thought he was to meet with the Chinese.

The Winnebago and the two Western explorers got past the misunderstanding and established commerce, the fur trade. They called to France to claim the territory, which they called the Green Bay, or La Baie Verte, in French.

The two left, Champlain passed and it was not for years until another Western group would come through the area to settle as missionaries. One hundred years later the English pushed out the French influence following the French-Indian War.
For a while, the area went back and forth, with one French settler after another coming through.

Charles de Langlade was the Father of Wisconsin who was both Native on his father’s side, and white. He built the first permanent settlement and a trading post on the Fox River. The many settlers who came to the area were mostly Canadian-French, bringing their culture with them.

The Revolutionary War set the tone going forward. Following the War of 1812, Wisconsin, and Green Bay became fully claimed as American with the building of Fort Howard in the early 1800s.

With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, the area became linked to other Great Lakes communities. The Erie Canal connected New England to the Upper Midwest.

Green Bay’s borough was established shortly thereafter in 1833, establishing the community that set the backdrop for today’s surroundings. Word of fertile soil attracted many settlers from Europe in the mid-1800s.

The town loves its football, but it is not all the city has to offer the world. It has a so much more rich heritage that adds to its landscape, overall cultural heritage, and the characters who call this much-loved town home. Make a visit any time of year, and you will be treated with a distinctive season whether it is the supreme depths of cold in winter or hot and humid in the summer months.