Wisconsin Public Television's documentary, "When Wisconsin Was New France," examined the founding of the first settlement in Green Bay, Wisconsin,and the relationships between French missionaries, voyageurs and indigenous people. The program is now available in segments at WPT's Wisconsin Stories Web site. The clips offer a look at the French pioneers who followed the northern waterways into a mysterious world.
Although accounts of the year and the actual happenings differ, it's widely accepted that Jean Nicolet was the first European to arrive in Wisconsin, possibly coming ashore in 1634 at Red Banks.
To take a closer look at some of the maps featured on the program, click on the name of the image file. This will open the image in a new window. These maps from the 1600s show a progression of the Great Lakes as the French learned more and more of this region. Maps are courtesy of George Parker.
Map from 1669
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Mik Derks produced "When Wisconsin Was New France," which is part of the Wisconsin Collection, a partnership between the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television. The collection marries the research and archival resources of the Historical Society with the broadcast skills and reach of WPT so that statewide viewers can learn more about Wisconsin's people, culture and history.