Milwaukee County has a long history of astronomical research. In fact, the first telescope produced in Wisconsin was actually made in Wauwatosa!
Three telescopes were crafted by Dr. R. J. Faries, pioneer dentist of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, who became interested in astronomy in the late 1850s. The photograph above features the second telescope he produced. For a time, the telescope sat in possession of MCHS durings its days on the seventh floor of the Courthouse. Faries’s third and final telescope, which was also his largest, was sold to Alvin Clarke, a famous telescope maker from Boston, after his death. All three of the telescopes were produced at the doctor’s home in Wauwatosa. For some time after his passing, that home served as a Catholic orphanage, but the building was cut in half when Kavanaugh Place was built over it.