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The meaning of the name “Kaukauna” has been variously explained over the years. Dr. Herbert B. Tanner writes the following in his booklet, The History of the Streets of Kaukauna:

“The word Kaukauna is unique among names for there is no other like it. The bureau of ethnology in Washington gives it as a Menomonie Indian word, Ogaq-kane, meaning the place of the pike. Other authorities give it in the Indian language as O-Gau-Gau-Ning, meaning stopping place of the pickerel, the pickerel fishing grounds or the eddies where the fish stop. At any rate it is very evident that the broad expanse of the Fox River, just below the fifty-foot fall and rapids, afforded splendid fishing grounds for the original inhabitants and the Indian name expressed this fact.”