Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad; the company went through several official names and faced bankruptcy on multiple occasions throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980, it abandoned its Pacific Extension as a cost-cutting measure following a 1977 bankruptcy. What remained of the system operated for another six years until it merged into the Soo Line Railroad, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railway, on January 1, 1986. Although the "Milwaukee Road" as such ceased to exist, much of its trackage continues to be used by multiple railroads, it is commemorated in buildings like the historic Milwaukee Road Depot in Minneapolis and in railroad hardware still maintained by rail fans, such as the Milwaukee Road 261 steam locomotive. The railroad that became the Milwaukee Road began as the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad in Wisconsin, whose goal was to link the developing Lake Michigan port city of Milwaukee with the Mississippi River; the company incorporated in 1847, but changed its name to the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad in 1850 before construction began.
Its first line, all of 5 miles, opened between Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, on November 20, 1850. Extensions followed to Waukesha in February 1851, the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien in 1857; as a result of the financial panic of 1857, the M&M went into receivership in 1859, was purchased by the Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien in 1861. In 1867, Alexander Mitchell combined the M&PdC with the Milwaukee and St. Paul under the name Milwaukee and St. Paul. Critical to the development and financing of the railroad was the acquisition of significant land grants. Prominent individual investors in the line included Alexander Mitchell, Russell Sage, Jeremiah Milbank and William Rockefeller. In 1874, the name was changed to Chicago, St. Paul after absorbing the Chicago & Pacific Railroad Company, the railroad that built the Bloomingdale Line as part of the 36-mile Elgin Subdivision from Halsted Street to the suburb of Elgin, Illinois. By 1887, the railroad had lines running through Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The corporate headquarters were moved from Milwaukee to the Rand McNally Building in Chicago, America's first all-steel framed skyscraper, in 1889 and 1890, with the car and locomotive shops staying in Milwaukee. The company General Offices were located in Chicago's Railway Exchange building until 1924, at which time they moved to Chicago Union Station. In the 1890s the Milwaukee's directors felt they had to extend the railroad to the Pacific in order to remain competitive with other roads. A survey in 1901 estimated costs to build to the Pacific Northwest as $45 million. In 1905 the board approved the Pacific Extension, now estimated at $60 million, equal to $1.67 billion today. The contract for the western part of the route was awarded to Horace Chapin Henry of Seattle. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1909; the route chosen was 18 miles shorter than the next shortest competitor's, as well as better grades than some, but it was an expensive route, since the Milwaukee received few land grants and had to buy most of the land or acquire smaller railroads.
The two main mountain ranges that had to be crossed required major civil engineering works and additional locomotive power. The completion of 2,300 miles of railroad through some of the most varied topography in the nation in only three years was a major feat; some historians question the choice of route, since it bypassed some population centers and passed through areas with limited local traffic potential. Much of the line paralleled the Northern Pacific Railway. Trains magazine called the building of the extension a long-haul route, "egregious" and a "disaster." George H. Drury listed the Pacific Extension as one of several "wrong decisions" made by the Milwaukee's management which contributed to the company's eventual failure. Beginning in 1909, several smaller railroads were acquired and expanded to form branch lines along the Pacific Extension; the Montana Railroad formed the mainline route through Sixteenmile Canyon as well as the North Montana Line which extended North from Harlowton to Lewistown.
This branch led to the settlement of the Judith Basin and, by the 1970s, accounted for 30% of the Milwaukee Road's total traffic. The Gallatin Valley Electric Railway built as an interurban line, was extended from Bozeman to the mainline at Three Forks. In 1927 the railroad built the Gallatin Gateway Inn, where passengers travelling to Yellowstone National Park transferred to buses for the remainder of their journey; the White Sulphur Springs & Yellowstone Park Railway built by Lew Penwell and John Ringling carried lumber and agricultural products. Operating conditions in the mountain regions of the Pacific Extension proved difficult. Winter temperatures of −40 °F in Montana made it challenging for steam locomotives to generate sufficient steam; the line snaked through mountainous areas, resulting in "long steep grades and sharp curves." Elect
Chicago and North Western Transportation Company
The Chicago and North Western Transportation Company was a Class I railroad in the Midwestern United States. It was known as the North Western; the railroad operated more than 5,000 miles of track as of the turn of the 20th century, over 12,000 miles of track in seven states before retrenchment in the late 1970s. Until 1972, when the employees purchased the company, it was named the Chicago and North Western Railway; the C&NW became one of the longest railroads in the United States as a result of mergers with other railroads, such as the Chicago Great Western Railway, Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway and others. By 1995, track sales and abandonment had reduced the total mileage to about 5,000; the majority of the abandoned and sold lines were trafficked branches in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Large line sales, such as those that resulted in the Dakota and Eastern Railroad, further helped reduce the railroad to a mainline core with several regional feeders and branches. Union Pacific integrated it with its own operation.
The Chicago and North Western Railway was chartered on June 7, 1859, five days after it purchased the assets of the bankrupt Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad. On February 15, 1865, it merged with the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, chartered on January 16, 1836. Since the Galena & Chicago Union started operating in December 1848, the Fond du Lac railroad started in March 1855, the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad is considered to be the origin of the North Western railroad system; the Winona and St. Peter Railroad was added to the network in 1867. After nine years in bankruptcy, the C. & N. W. was reorganized in 1944. It had turned to diesel power, established a huge diesel shop in Chicago, its Proviso Freight Yard, 12 miles west of the city center in suburban Cook County was constructed between 1926 and 1929 and remained the largest such in the world, with 224 miles of trackage and a capacity of more than 20,000 cars. Potatoes from the west were a main crop loading of the C. & N. W. and its potato sheds in Chicago were the nation's largest.
It carried western sugar beets and huge amounts of corn and wheat. This road, like other lines depending on crop movements, was adversely affected by government agricultural credit policies which sealed a lot of products on the farms where they were produced. Although it stood sixteenth in operating revenue in 1938, it was eighth in passenger revenue among American railroads, it served Chicago commuters. The North Western had owned a majority of the stock of the Chicago, St. Paul and Omaha Railway since 1882. On January 1, 1957, it leased the company, merged it into the North Western in 1972; the Omaha Road's main line extended from an interchange with the North Western at Elroy, Wisconsin, to the Twin Cities, south to Sioux City and finally to Omaha, Nebraska. The North Western acquired several important short railroads during its years, it finalized acquisition of the Litchfield and Madison Railway on January 1, 1958. The Litchfield and Madison railroad was a 44-mile bridge road from East St. Louis to Litchfield, Illinois.
On July 30, 1968, the North Western acquired two former interurbans — the 36-mile Des Moines and Central Iowa Railway, the 110-mile Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railway. The DM&CI gave access to the Firestone plant in Des Moines and the FDDM&S provided access to gypsum mills in Fort Dodge, Iowa. On November 1, 1960, the North Western acquired the rail properties of the 1,500-mile Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway. In spite of its name, it ran only from Minnesota, to Peoria, Illinois; this acquisition provided traffic and modern rolling stock, eliminated competition. On July 1, 1968, the 1,500 mi Chicago Great Western Railway merged with the North Western; this railroad extended between Oelwein, Iowa. From there lines went to the Twin Cities, Omaha and Kansas City, Missouri. A connection from Hayfield, Minnesota, to Clarion, provided a Twin Cities to Omaha main line; the Chicago Great Western duplicated the North Western's routes from Chicago to the Twin Cities and Omaha, but went the long way.
This merger further eliminated competition. After abandoning a plan to merge with the Milwaukee Road in 1970, Benjamin W. Heineman, who headed the CNW and parent Northwest Industries since 1956, arranged the sale of the railroad to its employees in 1972; the words "Employee Owned" were part of the company logo in the ensuing period. The railroad was renamed from Chicago and North Western Railway to Chicago and North Western Transportation Company; the railroad's reporting marks remained the same. After the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad ceased operating on March 31, 1980, the North Western won a bidding war with the Soo Line Railroad to purchase the 600-mile "Spine Line" between the Twin Cities and Kansas City, via Des Moines, Iowa; the Interstate Commerce Commission approved North Western's bid of $93 million on June 20, 1983. The line was well-engineered, but because of deferred maintenance on the part of the bankrupt Rock Island, it required a major rehabilitation in 1984; the company began to abandon the Oelwein to Kansas City section of its former Chicago
On a steam locomotive, a trailing wheel or trailing axle is an unpowered wheel or axle located behind the driving wheels. The axle of the trailing wheels is located in a trailing truck. On some large locomotives, a booster engine was mounted on the trailing truck to provide extra tractive effort when starting a heavy train and at low speeds on gradients. Trailing wheels were used in some early locomotives but fell out of favor for a time during the latter 19th century; as demand for more powerful locomotives increased, trailing wheels began to be used to support the crew cab and rear firebox area. Trailing wheels first appeared on American locomotives between 1890 and 1895, but their axle worked in rigid pedestals, it enabled boilers to be lowered, since the top of the main frames was dropped down behind the driving wheels and under the firebox. The firebox could be longer and wider, increasing the heating surface area and steam generation capacity of the boiler, therefore its power; the concept was soon improved to provide radial lateral movement by placing the pair of trailing wheels and their axle in a fabricated sub-frame or truck with outside bearings as they gave the best lateral riding stability.
One-piece cast-steel trailer trucks were developed about 1915, to provide the additional strength for a booster engine to be fitted to the trailing axle. About 1921 the Delta trailing truck was developed with an inverted-rocker centering device at the rear ends of the truck frame. Delta trucks were soon enlarged to carry four trailing wheels, six. In the Whyte notation, trailing wheels are designated by the last numbers in the series. For example, the 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotive had two leading wheels, eight driving wheels, two trailing wheels; some locomotives such as the 4-4-0 American type had no trailing wheels and were designated with a zero in the final place. In the Whyte notation the number designates the number of wheels rather than the number of axles, thus the final 2 in the Mikado's 2-8-2 refers to two wheels while the Northern type's 4-8-4 designation refers to four wheels; the highest number of trailing wheels on a single locomotive is six as seen on 2-6-6-6 Allegheny type and the Pennsylvania Railroad's 6-8-6 steam turbine and 6-4-4-6 duplex locomotives, as well as numerous Mason Bogie locomotives.
In the UIC classification system, the number of axles rather than the number of wheels is counted. AAR wheel arrangement Steam locomotive nomenclature UIC classification Whyte notation
On a steam locomotive, a driving wheel is a powered wheel, driven by the locomotive's pistons. On a conventional, non-articulated locomotive, the driving wheels are all coupled together with side rods. On diesel and electric locomotives, the driving wheels may be directly driven by the traction motors. Coupling rods are not used, it is quite common for each axle to have its own motor. Jackshaft drive and coupling rods were used in the past but their use is now confined to shunting locomotives. On an articulated locomotive or a duplex locomotive, driving wheels are grouped into sets which are linked together within the set. Driving wheels are larger than leading or trailing wheels. Since a conventional steam locomotive is directly driven, one of the few ways to'gear' a locomotive for a particular performance goal is to size the driving wheels appropriately. Freight locomotives had driving wheels between 40 and 60 inches in diameter; some long wheelbase locomotives were equipped with blind drivers.
These were driving wheels without the usual flanges, which allowed them to negotiate tighter curves without binding. The driving wheels on express passenger locomotives have come down in diameter over the years, e.g. from 8 ft 1 in on the GNR Stirling 4-2-2 of 1870 to 6 ft 2 in on the SR Merchant Navy Class of 1941. This is. On locomotives with side rods, including most steam and jackshaft locomotives, the driving wheels have weights to balance the weight of the coupling and connecting rods; the crescent-shaped balance weight is visible in the picture on the right. In the Whyte notation, driving wheels are designated by numbers in the set; the UIC classification system counts the number of axles rather than the number of wheels and driving wheels are designated by letters rather than numbers. The suffix'o' is used to indicate independently powered axles; the number of driving wheels on locomotives varied quite a bit. Some early locomotives had as few as two driving wheels; the largest number of total driving wheels was 24 on the 2-8-8-8-4 locomotives.
The largest number of coupled driving wheels was 14 on the ill-fated AA20 4-14-4 locomotive. The term driving wheel is sometimes used to denote the drive sprocket which moves the track on tracked vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers. Many American roots artists, such as The Byrds, Tom Rush, The Black Crowes and the Canadian band Cowboy Junkies have performed a song written by David Wiffen called "Driving Wheel", with the lyrics "I feel like some old engine/ That's lost my driving wheel."These lyrics are a reference to the traditional blues song "Broke Down Engine Blues" by Blind Willie McTell, 1931. It was directly covered by Bob Dylan and Johnny Winter. Many versions of the American folk song "In the Pines" performed by artists such as Leadbelly, Mark Lanegan, Nirvana reference a decapitated man's head found in a driving wheel. In addition, it is that Chuck Berry references the locomotive driving wheel in "Johnny B. Goode" when he sings, "the engineers would see him sitting in the shade / Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made."
Chicago the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450, it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area referred to as Chicagoland, the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States; the metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area. Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild; the construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, by 1900 Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, the steel-framed skyscraper. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, transportation, it is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market gobally, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, the region has the largest number of U. S. highways and greatest amount of railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index; the Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, generating $680 billion in 2017. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, not being dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018, made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, film, comedy and music jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams; the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more as ramps.
The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687:...when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders, which refers to the city's numerous skyscrapers and high-rises. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples; the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable arrived in the 1780s, he is known as the "Founder of Chicago".
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area, to be part of Chicago was turned over to the United States for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn and rebuilt; the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis; the Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. Receiver of Public Monies; the City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837, for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city. As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.
Chicago's first railway and Chicago Union Railroad, the Illi
Scrap consists of recyclable materials left over from product manufacturing and consumption, such as parts of vehicles, building supplies, surplus materials. Unlike waste, scrap has monetary value recovered metals, non-metallic materials are recovered for recycling. Scrap metal originates both in business and residential environments. A "scrapper" will advertise their services to conveniently remove scrap metal for people who don't need it. Scrap is taken to a wrecking yard, where it is processed for melting into new products. A wrecking yard, depending on its location, may allow customers to browse their lot and purchase items before they are sent to the smelters, although many scrap yards that deal in large quantities of scrap do not selling entire units such as engines or machinery by weight with no regard to their functional status. Customers are required to supply all of their own tools and labor to extract parts, some scrapyards may first require waiving liability for personal injury before entering.
Many scrapyards sell bulk metals by weight at prices below the retail purchasing costs of similar pieces. A scrap metal shredder is used to recycle items containing a variety of other materials in combination with steel. Examples are automobiles and white goods such as refrigerators, clothes washers, etc; these items are labor-intensive to manually sort things like plastic, copper and brass. By shredding into small pieces, the steel can be separated out magnetically; the non-ferrous waste stream requires other techniques to sort. In contrast to wrecking yards, scrapyards sell everything by weight, instead of by item. To the scrapyard, the primary value of the scrap is what the smelter will give them for it, rather than the value of whatever shape the metal may be in. An auto wrecker, on the other hand, would price the same scrap based on what the item does, regardless of what it weighs. If a wrecker cannot sell something above the value of the metal in it, they would take it to the scrapyard and sell it by weight.
Equipment containing parts of various metals can be purchased at a price below that of either of the metals, due to saving the scrapyard the labor of separating the metals before shipping them to be recycled. Scrap prices may vary markedly over time and in different locations. Prices are negotiated among buyers and sellers directly or indirectly over the Internet. Prices displayed. Other prices are not updated frequently; some scrap yards' websites have updated scrap prices. In the US, scrap prices are reported in a handful of publications, including American Metal Market, based on confirmed sales as well as reference sites such as Scrap Metal Prices and Auctions. Non-US domiciled publications, such as The Steel Index report on the US scrap price, which has become important to global export markets. Scrap yards directories are used by recyclers to find facilities in the US and Canada, allowing users to get in contact with yards. With resources online for recyclers to look at for scrapping tips, like web sites and search engines, scrapping is referred to as a hands and labor-intensive job.
Taking apart and separating metals is important to making more money on scrap, for tips like using a magnet to determine ferrous and non-ferrous materials, that can help recyclers make more money on their metal recycling. When a magnet sticks to the metal, it will be a ferrous material, like iron; this is a less expensive item, recycled but is recycled in larger quantities of thousands of pounds. Non-ferrous metals like copper and brass do not stick to a magnet; some cheaper grades of stainless steel are other grades are not. These items are higher priced commodities for metal recycling and are important to separate when recycling them; the prices of non-ferrous metals tend to fluctuate more than ferrous metals so it is important for recyclers to pay attention to these sources and the overall markets. Great potential exists in the scrap metal industry for accidents in which a hazardous material present in scrap causes death, injury, or environmental damage. A classic example is radioactivity in scrap.
Toxic materials such as asbestos, toxic metals such as beryllium and mercury may pose dangers to personnel, as well as contaminating materials intended for metal smelters. Many specialized tools used in scrapyards are hazardous, such as the alligator shear, which cuts metal using hydraulic force and scrap metal shredders. According to research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, recycling scrap metals can be quite beneficial to the environment. Using recycled scrap metal in place of virgin iron ore can yield: 75% savings in energy. 90% savings in raw materials used. 86% reduction in air pollution. 40% reduction in water use. 76% reduction in water pollution. 97% reduction in mining wastes. Every ton of new steel made from scrap steel saves: 1,115 kg of iron ore. 625 kg of coal. 53 kg of limestone. Energy savings from other metals include: Aluminium savings of 95% energy. Copper savings of 85% energy. Lead savings of 65% energy. Zinc savings of 60% energy; the metal recycling industry encompasses a wide range of metals.
The more recycled metals are scrap steel, lead, copper, stainless steel and zinc. There are two main categories of metals: ferrous and
Portage is a city in and the county seat of Columbia County, United States. The population was 10,662 at the 2010 census making it the largest city in Columbia County; the city is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Portage was named for the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway, a portage between the Fox River and the Wisconsin River, recognized by Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet during their discovery of a route to the Mississippi River in 1673; the city's slogan is "Where the North Begins." The Native American tribes that once lived here, the European traders and settlers, took advantage of the lowlands between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers as a natural "portage". This is reflected in indigenous names for the town, such as the Menominee name Kahkāmohnakaneh, which means "at the short cut". In May 1673, Jacques Marquette joined the expedition of Louis Jolliet, a French-Canadian explorer, to find the Mississippi River, they departed from St. Ignace on May 17, with two canoes and five voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry.
They followed Lake Michigan up the Fox River, nearly to its headwaters. From there, they were told to portage their canoes a distance of less than two miles through marsh and oak plains to the Wisconsin River. French fur traders described the place as "le portage", which lent itself to the name of the community; as a portage, this community developed as a center of trade. When the railroads came through, the community continued in this role. Portage emerged at this place because of its unique position along the one and a half mile strip of marshy floodplain between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. By the end of the 17th century, the Fox-Wisconsin waterway, linked at The Portage, served as the major fur trade thoroughfare between Green Bay and Prairie du Chien, it was not until the 1780s and 1790s that traders built their posts and warehouses at each end of The Portage. In the early 19th century Portage was populated by Métis. In 1828, the federal government recognized the strategic economic importance of The Portage and built Fort Winnebago at the Fox River end.
After 15 years of controversy, Winnebago settlement won the county seat in 1851. The community incorporated as Portage City in 1854; the Portage business district lies along a hill. The buildings now in the city's downtown were once part of a bustling, urban commercial center serving a large region across north central Wisconsin; the building of the city paralleled its commercial prominence between the end of the American Civil War and the second decade of the 20th century. Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters Historic Site Fox-Wisconsin Portage Site Henry Merrell House Old Indian Agency House Portage Industrial Waterfront Historic District Portage Retail Historic District Zona Gale House Museum at the Portage Wisconsin American Legion Museum and Learning Center Portage Canal Society Historic Portage Canal World War II History Museum Wisconsin State Historical Markers in PortageFort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters Historic Site Frederick Jackson Turner Jacques Marquette Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet Ketchum's Point Potter's Emigration Society Society Hill Historic District Zona Gale Veterans memorials Revolutionary War Veteran To Honor Pierre Pauquette To the Memory of Our Historic Dead Daughters of the American Revolution Historic MarkersSite of Fort Winnebago / Surrender of Red Bird Pierre Pauquette and East End of Wauona Trail Landing Place of the Ferry Built by Pierre Pauquette Portage lies in the Wisconsin River valley.
The city is surrounded by grasslands. Three miles west of the city are the Baraboo bluffs. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.62 square miles, of which, 8.82 square miles is land and 0.80 square miles is water. The location of the town at the split of the Wisconsin and Fox river is what gives it the name "Portage", which means carrying a boat of its cargo between two navigable waters. In addition to the rivers, the city has access to Silver Lake; when Portage was first established, the streets were laid out on a traditional grid system. Today, the streets of the outlying city are contorted as a result of the many marshes and lowlands that run through much of Columbia County; the northern side of the city thus looks different from the central city, with the organized grid street system giving way to a more suburban streetscape with a lower housing density. The city has two commercial areas. One is the downtown historic district, which features several small boutique restaurants.
In the summer of 2007, the Portage Canal was cleaned up and now features a bike path that runs alongside part of it. In the summer of 2008, the main downtown street was redone. Historical landmarks of the city include the Museum at the Portage, the Indian Agency house, the Surgeons Quarters; as of the census of 2010, there were 10,324 people, 4,060 households, 2,349 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,170.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 4,493 housing units at an average density of 509.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 90.9% White, 5.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.7% from other races, 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population. There were 4,060 households of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband pr