RACINE, a city of Wisconsin, and capital of Racine county, is situated on the W. shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of Root river, 25 miles S. by E. from Milwaukee, and 70 miles N. from Chicago. It is the second city of the state in population and commerce, and has one of the best harbors on the lake, formed by the mouth of the river, which admits vessels drawing 12 feet of water. The city is built on a plain elevated about 40 feet above the surface of the lake. It is laid out in regular blocks, with wide streets, and contains a number of fine public buildings; among which is the Racine college, founded by the Episcopal Church. Racine contains 12 Protestant, and 2 Catholic churches, a central high-school, and a bank in successful operation. Several newspapers are published here. The commercial advantages of this port have attracted considerable capital, and there are 10 warehouses and 126 mercantile houses in various branches of business. Over $60,000 have been expended by the citizens of Racine in the construction of a harbor. From 30 to 40 vessels are owned here, with a tonnage of over 4000 tons. The exports and imports for 1861 amounted to $2,507,715. There are 3 ship-yards, and several furnaces, machine shops, and flouring mills. Three plank-roads extend from Racine into the interior, and railroads are in course of construction to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Janesville. First settled in 1835 : incorporated as a city in 1848. Pop. in 1840, 337; in 1850, 5111; in 1863, about 7500. (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)

RACINE, City, is situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of Root river, and comprises fractional sections 9 and 16 of town 3 N., of range 23 E. It was first settled in 1835, incorporated as a village in 1841, and received a city charter in 1848. The city is principally built upon a plain or table land elevated some thirty or forty feet above the waters of the lake, forming a beautiful site for a city. It is laid out in regular lots and blocks with wide streets, and is justly entitled to the appellation of "La Belle City of the Lakes." It is the county town of Racine county, situated 16 miles north of the State line, and 25 south of Milwaukee. Its beautiful and healthful location, combined with its commercial advantages, early attracted the attention of adventurers and capitalists; and it has had a rapid, continuous, and healthy growth, as will be seen by the following statement of annual enumeration of its inhabitants: In 1840 the population was 337; 1844, 1,100; 1847, 3,004; 1849, 4,002; 1850, 5,111; 1851, 5,897; and it is now supposed to be nearly 7,000. Racine has one of the best, if not the very best harbor on the western shore of the lake. Over $60,000 have been expended in its construction by the citizens, of their own means, raised by voluntary taxation. This enterprize is justly considered one of the most important ever projected and carried out to a successful completion by so small a community, and furnishes a fair index to the character of her population for enterprize. In addition to the amount raised by this means, Congress has appropriated $12,500, which has been expended, and $10,000 are now appropriated to be expended the present season. The harbor is now sufficient to accommodate the entire shipping of the lake, and being protected by the high banks of the river is entirely safe. The city of Racine is also distinguished among western towns for the number and beauty of its public buildings. Over $125,000 are now invested in them. Fourteen churches have been erected, to wit: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Congregational, 1 Baptist, 1 Freewill Baptist, 1 Episcopal, 1 Methodist, 1 Lutheran, 2 Welch, 1 German Evangelical, 1 German Lutheran, 1 Universalist, 2 Catholic—1 German and 1 Irish. Racine college, an Episcopal institution, is located at this point. A beautiful college edifice, of brick, has been erected, which, together with the college grounds, are valued at $15,000. This amount was contributed by the citizens. The institution is under the management of Rev. Roswell Park, D. D. The first session of the college commenced last fall, and now numbers over 20 pupils. The board of education of the city are now engaged in erecting a central high school edifice for the more advanced scholars of the common schools. The building and furniture cost $6,000, exclusive of the lot. The facilities afforded by the harbor and other commercial advantages of the place, have attracted a large amount of capital. There are ten warehouses in the city valued at $53,000, and two bridge piers valued at $7,000. Three ship yards are constantly employed in the building and repairing of vessels, and five new vessels are now being built in them. The citizens of the city own in whole, or in part, between thirty and forty different vessels, with a tonnage of over 4,000 tons, consisting of propellers, schooners, brigs and sloops, which are engaged in the carrying trade between the upper and lower lakes, and in the lumber trade on lake Michigan. There are now 126 mercantile stores in the various branches, 1 steam flouring mill with four run of stone, and 2 water mills just out of the limits of the corporation; there are 7 different mechanics shops, with steam engines and their furnaces. The bank of Racine is in successful operation, issuing bills and doing a general banking business. There are 3 plank roads extending into the country from the city—the Racine and Rock River road, leading west through the villages of Rochester, Burlington, Spring Prairie, Elkhorn and Delavan, a distance of 56 miles, completed—the Racine and Raymond road, leading northwest from the city 15 miles, nearly completed—and the Racine and Wilmot road leading southwest, a distance of 16 miles, now in process of construction. Speed's and O'Reilly's telegraph lines both have offices in the city, and the Racine and Rock River telegraph company have a line completed from Racine to Beloit, touching at all the intermediate villages. The Racine, Janesville, and Mississippi rail road has been surveyed and located from Racine to Beloit, and the contracts are now let for the whole distance and the work in process of construction, and will be completed by September 1854. Considering the natural advantages of Racine—its importance as a commercial point— the character and enterprize of its inhabitants—its institutions of learning—its size, being second only to Milwaukee in population among the places of the State—and, above all, its beautiful and healthful location—no place in the State offers more inducements to those seeking a home in the West, either as a pleasant residence or a place of business. (John Warren Hunt, Wisconsin Gazetteer..., Madison, 1853)

Total Population 1840
Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
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