Oshkosh lies in the Fox River
Valley between Lake Winnebago
and Lake Butte des Morts
. Home to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
, the EAA AirVenture Museum
, the annual EAA AirVenture fly-in
, Oshkosh B'Gosh
, as well as some 63,000 residents.
The neighborhood was first inhabited by the Sioux Indians. In the 1600s, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Menominee, Winnebago and other tribes moved in. In 1634, Jean Nicolet first passed through, establishing the first fur trading agreements with the local residents. It wasn't until 1818 that a more permanent settlement was established, when Robert Grignon set up a trading post along the river.
Soon after, most Menominee were relocated to a reservation. In 1836, the Treaty of the Cedars was signed, ceding 4 million acres of Menominee land to the newly formed Wisconsin Territory. One of the negotiators of this treaty was the Head Chief of the Menominee- Chief Oshkosh. When the local residents, almost all fur traders, chose a name for the city, they settled on Oshkosh, which means "claw" or "brave".
Over the next decade, Oshkosh would get its first post office, Winnebago County would be chartered with Oshkosh as the county seat, Wisconsin would become a state and Oshkosh would be incorporated. Soon, the railroad and the lumber trade would move in. By the 1870s, Oshkosh became known as "Sawdust City."
Today, Oshkosh is primarily a manufacturing center. 3 railways, 2 rivers, air service and numerous road freight companies take advantage of Oshkosh's central location. In addition, the Fox Valley is a popular tourist destination. In 2001, the Oshkosh metro area was rated the safest metro area in the nation by Morgan Quitno Press.