Riverwest Community History Reading

Tom Tolan, author of Riverwest: A Community History Monday, September 8, 7 pm reading, 2559 N. Downer Ave. (414-332-1181) Tom Tolan, a metro desk writer and copy editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, presents Riverwest: A Community History, which explores the growth and cultural development of the neighborhood between N. Holton St. and the Milwaukee River, from the 1830s to the present. Tolan examines how a succession of ethnic and social groups, including German aristocrats, Polish immigrants, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and counterculture activists, have shaped the history and identity of the vital Milwaukee neighborhood. Milwaukee historian John Gurda, who edited the work and contributed its forward, writes, “The Riverwest experience echoes some of the dominant themes of American history, from European immigration to racial integration and from urban decay to urban rebirth.” COA Youth and Family Centers (formerly Children’s Outing Association) raised the money to publish Riverwest, and proceeds go to benefit COA. Tolan donated his services to the project. As a young man, Tolan worked as a cab driver and longshoreman in his hometown of Milwaukee. He later went on to write for the El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post and the Rome (Georgia) News-Tribune. He currently resides in Shorewood with his wife Priscilla and his son Casey.