- Wausau, Wisconsin
official_name = Wausau, Wisconsin
image_caption = Downtown Wausau from Rib Mountain
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in
subdivision_type = County
subdivision_name = Marathon
leader_name = Jim Tipple
area_total_km2 = 46.0
area_total_sq_mi = 17.8
area_land_km2 = 42.7
area_land_sq_mi = 16.5
area_water_km2 = 3.3
area_water_sq_mi = 1.3
area_water_percent = 7.15
population_as_of = 2004
population_total = 38426
population_metro = 127733
population_density_km2 = 899.7
population_density_sq_mi = 2330.7
timezone = Central
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = Central
utc_offset_DST = -5
latd=44 |latm=57 |lats= |latNS= N
longd=89 |longm=38 |longs= |longEW= W
elevation_ft = 1207
website = http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/
Wausau (pronounced /wô'sô/) is a city in and the
county seatof Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located at an altitude of 364.2 meters (1,195 ft). The Wisconsin Riverdivides the city. Wausau is convert|180|mi|km east of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The city is located adjacent to and partially surrounded by the town of Wausau. According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people.
Wausau is the
core cityof the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area(MSA), which includes all of Marathon County and had a population of 125,834 at the 2000 census. Besides Wausau, other significant communities in the metropolitan area include Schofield, Rothschild, Weston, Kronenwetter, and the town of Rib Mountain. It is the 297th largest MSA in the United States.
Wisconsin Riveris what first drew settlers to the area during the mid-1800s. Known as Big Bull Flats or Big Bull Falls by the original French explorers. The long rapids created many bubbles (bulle, in French). A treaty was formed with the ChippewaIndians in 1836 that transferred land to federal ownership. The current name of the city is Wausau, pronounced "Waasaa", meaning "a faraway place" or "a place which can be seen from far away" in the Ojibwe language.
George Stevens, who lent his name to Stevens Point about half an hour's drive south of Wausau, in 1840 began processing the pine forests into
lumber. Subsequently, other sawmills along the Wisconsin River began to spring up as well.
Walter McIndoearrived and took the lead in the local business and community. His efforts helped, in part, to establish Marathon County in 1850.
By 1852, Wausau had been established as a town and continued to grow and mature. German immigration into the area brought more people, and by 1861, the town was incorporated as a
Churches, schools, industry and social organizations began to flourish with the State of Wisconsin granting the now
citya charter in 1872, with elections to be held the first Tuesday in April. The residents elected August Kickbusch as their first mayor.
railroadarrived in 1874, Wausau was even more accessible to people and industry, still mostly focused on lumber production. This technology allowed the city to continue to grow and flourish, even as other villages and towns in the area were forced to close due to the rapidly vanishing forests and closing of the lumber mills.
Wausau's favorable location on the Wisconsin River was partly responsible for the city's survival. Furthermore, the economy was being reformed and diversified in the early 1900s by an insurance group who would later be known as the
Wausau Groupor Wausau Insurance Companies. Its logo, first introduced in 1954, was the downtown Milwaukee Road railroad depot, which was set against the backdrop of the community's skyline. This company put Wausau in the minds of people across the country.
As with the arrival of the railroad, the arrival of the
automobilehelped improve roads in the area.
stock market crashin 1929 had a major effect on the Wausau area. Many industries were forced to cut back by laying off and dismissing workers or by closing all together. After decades of positive growth, the city had virtually ground to a halt. However, under the New Deal, Wausau was heavily modernized. And after World War II, the city once again continued to grow, in industry, education, recreation, and retail more so than population.
In 1983, the
Wausau Center shopping mallopened and still exists today.
By the middle and late 1990s, the city of Wausau began to purchase and develop more of the
West Industrial Parkto meet the needs of the expanding economy and companies.
In the late 1990s, the city tore down a number of aging buildings on a square in the center of downtown and created what is known locally at the 400 Block, an open, grassy block with paved sidewalks criss-crossing it. The square is a focal point for summer festivals and lends a certain charm to the city's quaint downtown district.
The new millennium
By the end of the 20th century, the [http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/infosubcon.asp?dep=3&tid=9&sid=59| Wausau City Council] had begun to implement the Redevelopment Plan, or the [http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/is/wpl/pdf/masterplan.pdf Wausau Central Business District Master Plan] . This included redevelopment and economic structuring of downtown Wausau. Significant [http://www.numbersusa.com/interests/ordeal.html school construction] in recent years has occurred in response to changing demographics.
Geography and climate
Wausau is located at coord|44|57|N|89|38|W|region:US_type:city|display=inline,title.GR|1
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.8 square miles (46.0 km²), of which, 16.5 square miles (42.7 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²) of it (7.15%) is water. Interesting to note is that Wausau is very close to being at the very center of the northern half of the western hemisphere. Just west of Wausau, 45 degrees latitude meets 90 degrees longitude, which is exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole and a quarter of the way around the world from the Prime Meridian.
Wausau's climate is classified as being halfway between temperate and subarctic (
borealand hemiboreal). Wausau is built on or around a hemiboreal forest which has some of the characteristics of a boreal forest. Furthermore, they also share some of the features of the temperate-zone forests to the south. Coniferous trees predominate in the hemiboreal zone, but a significant number of deciduous species will be found there as well.
The area has four distinct seasons.
*Average annual precipitation: 31.6 inches (80.3 centimeters).
*Average daily high temperatures:
** January: 20.8 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius)
** July: 84.3 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius)
Government and Politics
Wausau has a mayor-council form of government. Twelve elected alderpersons compose the city council, each representing one district of the city.
Nearly one third of the Marathon County economy is manufacturing-based and the balance of service and industry provides a stable and productive
workforce. Furthermore, the Wausau region has a consistently lower than average unemployment rate and continues a steady growth in job creation and economic viability among manufacturers and service providers alike. Wausau has twelve banks with 41 different branch locations, three trust companies and three holding companies located in metropolitan area. Furthermore, there are thirteen open membership credit unions with eighteen branch locations. Prominent industries of Wausau include paper manufacturing, insurance, home manufacturing, and tourism.
The Wausau area is also a center for cultivation of
Wausau is also known for its red granite, which is mined nearby.
Wausau is also home to America's largest producer of decorative concrete supplies, County Materials.
Wausau used to be the headquarters of Wausau Insurance, which is now Liberty Mutual. They have a regional office in Wausau. For several years, Wausau had TV ads stressing the confusion between Warsaw and Wausau.
thumb|left|200px|Location of the Wausau-Merrill CSA and its components:
Wausau is the larger principal city of the Wausau-Merrill CSA, a
Combined Statistical Areathat includes the Wausau metropolitan area (Marathon County) and the Merrill micropolitan area (Lincoln County), [ [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2006/List4.txt METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS] , Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.] [ [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2006/List5.txt MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS] , Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.] [ [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2006/List6.txt COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS] , Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.] which had a combined population of 155,475 at the 2000 census.GR|2
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 38,426 people, 15,678 households, and 9,328 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 2,330.7 people per square mile (899.7/km²). There were 16,668 housing units at an average density of 1,011.0/sq mi (390.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.91% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 11.41% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population.
There were 15,678 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,831, and the median income for a family was $47,065. Males had a median income of $33,076 versus $24,303 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $20,227. About 7.2% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
Colleges and universities
Wausau is home to the
Northcentral Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County, a 2-year college which feeds the University of Wisconsin system. A major 4-year college is located in Stevens Point, about convert|30|mi|km south of Wausau.
Public schools and libraries
Public schools located in the city are part of the
Wausau School District. The main dividing line used to place students is the Wisconsin River which runs north to south through the city. The Wausau School District has fourteen elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The Wausau East High Schoolsports teams are the Lumberjacks and the Wausau West High School[http://www.wausau.k12.wi.us/west/] sports teams are the Warriors.
[http://www.wausau.k12.wi.us/montessori/index.htm Wausau Area Montessori Charter School] comprises grades 1-6 and is housed at Horace Mann Middle School. Enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year finds WAMCS increasing from 50 students in 2006-2007 to 80 students this year. Two kindergarten classes are available at the [http://www.wimontessori.com/ Montessori Children's Village & Rib Mountain Montessori] . Additionally, there is a [http://www.wausaumontessori.com/ The Montessori Parent/Teacher communication page] .
The Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) - Wausau Headquarters (online at [http://www.mcpl.us/ www.mcpl.us] ) is the largest library in the Wausau area and is located downtown, near the
Wausau Center Mall, at 300 North First Street. The MCPL - Wausau Headquarters was formed when the County and City libraries merged in 1974, and it serves as the headquarters for the Marathon County Public Librarysystem, which encompasses all public libraries in Marathon County, including eight branch libraries located in Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer, and Stratford.
The MCPL - Wausau Headquarters is open seven days a week (six days a week between Memorial and Labor Day) and serves a population of 126,031. Free Internet access is available, including wireless access (
Wi-Fi). Many of the Library's extensive electronic resources, including its online library catalog ( [http://vcat.wvls.lib.wi.us/ V-Cat] ), are available online at [http://www.mcpl.us/ www.mcpl.us] .
Roman Catholicparochial schools are known as the Newman Catholic Schools. These include Newman Elementary Schoolsat St. Anne, St. Michael and St. Mark, Newman Middle Schoolat St. Matthew's, and Newman Catholic High School. Newman High's sport teams are the Cardinals. Trinity Lutheran is a Missouri-synod-Lutheran grade school.
Central Wisconsin Airport
Wausau Downtown Airport
Mass transit system
Granite Peak Ski Areaoffers downhill skiing in nearby Rib Mountain. The convert|700|ft|m|sing=on mountain is the highest skiable mountain in the state and offers the second highest vertical drop in the Midwest. It first became a ski area in 1937, when Wausau residents cleared six runs by hand, installed the nation’s longest ski lift and built the chalet with stone quarried nearby. The newly remodeled historical chalet includes an upstairs lounge with views of the mountain and features live music every Saturday night. Today, Granite Peak has 74 runs and 7 ski lifts. Granite Peak earned Ski Magazine’s #1 ranking in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Minnesota.
Wausau is also home to a world-class
kayakcourse, having hosted numerous regional, national, and world competitions over the last two decades.
In 2009, a
United States Hockey Leagueteam will begin playing at Cedar Creek Ice & Expo Center.
Media and entertainment
:"See also: List of radio stations in Wausau and Central Wisconsin, List of television stations in Wausau-Rhinelander and area"
The only main local daily newspaper is the "
Wausau Daily Herald" [http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/] , with a daily circulation of 21,400 during the week and a circulation rate of 27,500 for the Sunday paper. "City Pages" is a smaller freely distributed weekly newspaper. " Le Dernier Cri" is a monthly newspaper that reports on local business.
Wausau is home to the
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, famous for its "Birds in Art" collection as well as Leigh Yawkey Woodson's heirloom collection of decorative glass.
Chris Bangle, Chief of Design at BMWAuto Group (grew up in Wausau)
Warren Bernhardt, jazz, pop, and classical pianist
Win Brockmeyer, American footballcoach
Gloria Coates, musical composer
Rod Grams, former member of the United States House of Representativesand Senator for Minnesota(as a local news anchor in the late 1970s)
Benjamin W. Heineman, Former CEO of Chicago and North Western Railway, Founder and CEO of Northwest Industries
Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, American footballplayer, NFL Hall of Fame, University of Wisconsin-MadisonAthletic Director 1969-1987
Justin L. Johnson, member of the United States House of Representativesfrom California(1943 - 1957)
Dave Krieg, American footballplayer
Jim Otto, American footballplayer, NFL Hall of Fame
Tony Kubek, baseballplayer and television broadcaster (lived in Wausau in the 1970s and early 1980s)
Liberace, pianist/entertainer (lived/worked in Wausau in the 1950s)
Barbara K. MacDonald, musician, one-half of the duo Timbuk 3
Dave Marcis, retired NASCARdriver
Marissa Mayer, Vice President
John McCutcheon, folk musicsinger
Gerald Morris, author
Johnny Schmitz, baseballplayer
Leann Slaby, actress, contestant
Brad Soderberg, basketballcoach
Michael Stackpole, science fiction author
*Alexander Stewart, member of the
United States House of Representativesand lumber baron
Ray Szmanda, radio and television personality/spokesperson
Scott Wimmer, NASCAR driver
Chris Wimmer, NASCAR driver
*Dean Witter, U.S. businessman and founder of Dean Witter & Company investment house
* cite web
title = Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United States and Puerto Rico: 1990 and 2000
publisher = U.S. Census Bureau
url = http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t29.html
accessdate = 2006-09-19
* [http://www.wausaudevelopment.com/ Wausau Community & Economic Development]
* [http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/ City of Wausau]
* [http://www.wausaucvb.com/ Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.mcpl.lib.wi.us/ Marathon County Public Library]
* [http://www.wausaubusinessdirectory.com/ Wausau Business Directory]
* [http://www.wausauchamber.com/ The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://citizenwausau.com/ Citizen Wausau] Citizen-based journalism and social network for residents of the Wausau area
* [http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/ Wausau Daily Herald]
* [http://thecitypages.com/ The City Pages]
* [http://www.wausau.k12.wi.us/ Wausau School District]
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