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Wisconsin Local Business Directory

Wisconsin is named after the river that runs northeast to southwest across the state. The Wisconsin River, in turn, is thought to have been named by one of the Algonquian tribes that resided in this geographical region prior to the arrival of European settlers. French and Canadian fur traders were among the first settlers in the Wisconsin region and traded more or less peacefully with the American Indian tribes in the area. When the region shifted to British and, later, American control, farmers came to settle the fertile fields near the Great Lakes and miners took up residence in traditional Native American lands. This sparked hostilities between the miners and the American Indians and eventually led to the expulsion of Native Americans from the entire state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin's nickname is the Badger State, a title derived from the habits of these early miners, who were said to sleep in their holes like badgers.

Dairy products are among the most important exports for Wisconsin today. The state enjoys a robust and diverse economy that encompasses service industry sectors that include tourism, education, health care and agricultural support services. More than 40 percent of the population of Wisconsin claims Germanic descent; the next largest ethnic identification is of Irish ancestry at nearly 11 percent. The varied backgrounds of Wisconsin residents are showcased in a number of annual festivals held around the state. Oktoberfest, the African World Festival, Bratwurst Days, Polish Fest, Indian Summer, Festa Italiana and Irish Fest are only a few of the yearly celebrations available for residents and visitors to Wisconsin's diverse cultural environment.

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