Be sure to check out Disco and Shantytown when perusing this interesting new book.
Be sure to check out Disco and Shantytown when perusing this interesting new book.

Delicious Wisconsin place names

For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."

Last year I read Edward Callary’s super interesting book "Place Names of Wisconsin" (published by the University of Wisconsin Press) and I must've been really really hungry when I finished, because the names of some Wisconsin towns and villages just jumped right out at me.


This village in Portage County, was established in 1850 by Methodist Episcopal minister Sheldon Doolittle, who named it in honor not of the nut – at least not directly – but for his native New York town in Allegany County.


Oh, wait, wrong spelling. Never mind.


In Baron County, Angus, was founded in 1906 when a post office was opened by postmaster Matthew B. Uren. One might argue that’s putting the steer before the cart.

Apple River

According to the book, "the town (in Polk County) took its name from Apple River, a translation with shortening of French pomme de terre, literally, ‘apple of the earth,’ itself a translation probably based on Menominee wapeshipen, the name of a white tuber also known as ‘arrowhead’ or ‘duck potato.’"


Sorry, folks, this town in Dane County, isn’t named for fruit, but rather for early settler Berry Haney.

Candy Corners

Mmmmmm, Eau Claire County is sweeeet...


... and Clark County is spicy. Probably named for Chile, the country, by someone whose spelling was a tad wanting.

Cooks Valley and Cooksville

One ought to expect to eat well in these towns in Chippewa and Rock Counties.

Eaton and Eaton

One’s in Brown and one’s in Clark County. You can decide which is which. I’m hungry.

Egg Harbor & Fish Creek

The famous Door County town of Egg Harbor has a number of good breakfast options, including the Egg Harbor Cafe and The Village Cafe. Head to nearby Fish Creek for dinner, though. Especially on a Friday.

Frankfort & Hamburg

These two Marathon County towns were named in honor of German cities (despite some sketchy spelling again). You don’t have to choose, you can visit both. But you might wanna burn off some calories afterward with exercise.

Frenchville & Friesland

These towns in Clark and Columbia Counties, respectively, should be sister cities.


Founded in Clark County in 1895, this town was named not for the quaff but for William Henry Harrison Mead, a local politician. Not especially intoxicating, really.


This Taylor County town formed in 1919 was named for a delicious donut. (Not really)

Rib Falls, Rib Lake and Rib Mountain

Three Rib joints in Marathon and Taylor Counties are named after nearby geological features. The name, which you might think implies great barbecue, comes from the translation of an Ojibwe word for the human back, opikwan.

South Fork & Spooner

One’s in River County and the other in Washburn, but they could work together so well.


For a New York kid raised on chocolate egg creams, the name of this town in Polk County conjures only one thing.


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