Racine, Wisconsin

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Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196.[4] Racine is the fifth-largest city in Wisconsin, located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Root River, approximately 30 miles (50 km) south of Milwaukee and 60 miles (100 km) north of Chicago, Illinois.[5]



On October 10, 1699, a fleet of eight canoes bearing a party of French explorers entered the mouth of Root River. These were the first Europeans known to visit what is now Racine County. Led by Jonathan Paradise, they founded a trading post in the area that eventually became a small settlement on Lake Michigan near where the Root River empties into Lake Michigan. "Racine" is French for "root".

In 1832, just after the Blackhawk War, the area surrounding Racine was settled by Yankees from upstate New York.

In 1834 Captain Gilbert Knapp, USRM founded the settlement of Port Gilbert at the place where the Root River empties into Lake Michigan. The area was previously called Kipi Kawi and Chippecotton by the indigenous peoples, both names for the Root River. The name "Port Gilbert" was never really accepted, and in 1841 the community was incorporated as the village of Racine. After Wisconsin was admitted to the Union in 1848, the new legislature voted in August to incorporate Racine as a city.

In 1852, Racine College, an Episcopal college, was founded; it closed in 1933.[6]

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