Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Gertie the Duck: Good Mom, Symbol of Hope

Immortalized in life-sized bronze, Gertie and her hatchlings inspired Milwaukee during the dark days of World War II.
Address:
Riverwalk Way, Milwaukee, WI
Directions:
Gertie, Dee Dee, and Pee Wee are on the E. Wisconsin Ave. bridge crossing the Milwaukee river between N. Water St. and N. Plankinton Ave. Rosie and Millie are about 20 yards away from Gertie on the East Riverwalk. Black Bill and Freddie are about 20 yards away on the West Riverwalk.
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Gertie on sentry duty. Gertie the Duck, Symbol of Hope

Gertie the Duck lived under the Wisconsin Ave. Bridge during World War II.

Gertie served as a reminder of the preciousness of life after so many years of war. Gertie diverted attention from the war as the world watched and awaited the arrival of the Mother's ducklings. The City of Milwaukee even delayed reconstruction of the bridge while she was hatching 6 chicks, Black Bill, Dee Dee, Freddie, Millie, Pee Wee, and Rosie.

The 5 bronze statues (Dee Dee and Pee Wee are on the same pedestal as Gertie) are located within 20 yards of each other. Gertie was dedicated in 1997 with the others following in 1999.

[Mark Bertieri, 03/02/2008]Rosie the Riveter Duckling
Blackbill the duckling. Gertie the Duck, Symbol of Hope

More info about Gertie, from recent coverage in the Milw. Journal Sentinel...
"They had a huge storm and all of the ducks fell into the river, and the bridge tender had to go out with this long pole with a net at the end and save the ducks.

"The Boy Scouts had a Gertie Patrol, to watch out for the safety of Gertie.

"A lot of people don't know that Gimbels had three registered nurses on eight-hour shifts (to watch over the ducklings in the store's window). They not only had the temperature correct, but the humidity correct.

"And whenever they had a parade, when the band came to Plankinton Avenue they stopped playing and walked quietly across the bridge."

[Jenevive, 01/04/2002]

The info is from an interview by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with Louis Romano, who co-wrote a best selling children's book, "Gertie the Duck," in 1959. March 2008: Photo of Blackbill the Duckling added.

Salute to Gertie the Duck , Symbol of Hope

A famous World War II era duck that lived under a bridge in Milwaukee, WI, will soon be nesting in bronze. A $15,000 statue of Gertie the Duck, donated by a local architectural firm, will be placed on the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge.

... [10/04/1997] Complete News Story

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