Green Bay, city (1990 pop. 96,466), seat of Brown co., NE Wis., at the mouth of the Fox River on Green Bay; inc. 1854. An important Great Lakes harbor, Green Bay is a port of entry, with heavy shipping and a large wholesale and jobbing trade. Its industries include papermaking, food and dairy processing, meatpacking, and auto part manufacture.
Jean Nicolet established a trading post on the site of Green Bay in 1634; many notable French explorers and missionaries followed. The permanent settlement, the oldest in the state, dates from 1701. The key to the Fox-Wisconsin water route and thus an entry to the Midwest, Green Bay became a fur-trading center and was occupied successively by the French (1717), the British (1761), and the Americans (1816). With the settlement of the Old Northwest after the War of 1812 and the decline of the fur trade, Green Bay became the trade center of a lumber and farm area.
Of interest are the National Railroad Museum and many historical buildings, including the Tank Cottage (1776). A branch of the Univ. of Wisconsin and a technical college are in the city, which is also the home of the Green Bay Packers professional football team.