Origin of “Whitewater”
The name “Whitewater” comes from the Potawatomi Native Americans when they first settled along Whitewater Creek. They called it “Waubegannawpocat” (which translates to “white water”) because of the creek having white sand at the bottom.
John Belushi Attending UW-Whitewater
Ok, so a lot of people do know this. However, did you know that some scenes from Animal House were inspired by John Belushi’s attendance at UW-Whitewater? If you visit the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, they can confirm the rumors. Remember the scene where the character D-Day rides down the stairs on his motorcycle through the Delta Tau Chi house? That actually happened years ago in the Hamilton House. To this day, the staircase still has large dents where the motorcycle came through.
It may seem crazy to believe that Whitewater, WI was actually part of the Underground Railroad back in the mid 1800s. Many people believe this to be true because of the intertwining tunnels below buildings around town. The Hamilton House, built in 1861, was one of the houses that serves as part of the Underground Railroad. Some say the tunnels were also used by practicing witches but that’s a whole other story…
The 1,000-mile long Ice Age Trail is one of the eleven National Scenic Trails in all of the United States. In fact, many of the buildings around campus are named after this beautiful trail formed from glaciers. Drumlin Dining Hall, Esker Dining Hall, Laurentide Hall, and Moraine Bookstore are all named after glacial features that existed over 10,0000 years ago.
I’m sure we are all familiar with the Birge Fountain in Whitewater across the street from Fairhaven. But who was this mysterious Mr. Birge? Julius Birge was the first child of European decent ever born in Whitewater. Strange, right? Julius was born in 1839 and grew up among the Potawatomi and Winnebago native tribes in the region.