Brief History of Wisconsin

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 5 711.767 thousand people (2011)
Area: 169639.0 sq. km

The origin of the word “Wisconsin” is shrouded in mystery. This is the name of one of the major rivers of the state, but its etymology is debatable. The English probably borrowed from the French an erroneous interpretation of the word “miskashinshin”, which in the Ojibwe language means “place of the red stone.” There are versions that “wisconsin” means “large rock” or “collection of waters.” European Americans refer to Wisconsin as the Badger State.

According to, the state is located on the shores of two Great Lakes – Superior and Michigan, and the Mississippi River is its western border. Wisconsin lies within the Great Plains, which gradually rise from Lake Superior to the south, to the uplands. The state is characterized by large tracts of mixed, ash and birch forests, as well as extensive agricultural land. The Wisconsin River Valley is the most fertile region of the state.

Wisconsin is an agricultural region. It produces a huge amount of dairy products and cheese, which is why the inhabitants of the state are jokingly nicknamed “cheese heads” around the country. Due to the significant German community, the production of sausages and beer is also developed.

The ancient, pre-European population of Wisconsin left traces in the form of mounds, which made it possible to distinguish the archaeological culture of the builders of mounds, the center of which fell precisely on the badger state. Europeans came here in 1634. Until 1763, France owned Wisconsin, which was ceded to Great Britain after the Seven Years’ War. After 1776, Wisconsin was part of the Northwest Territories, as well as Michigan, Missouri, and Indiana. Wisconsin became a separate state in 1848. Among the US states, it is listed at number 30.

Wisconsin, despite its reputation as a hinterland, boasts some of the most popular tourist sites. 5 million vacationers annually flock to the small town of Wisconsin Dells, where 2 dozen water parks have been built. Milwaukee is interesting as the beer capital of America (1.5 thousand bars), as well as a quirky art museum. On Lake Superior, off the shore of the Dor-Country, there is the Aposl archipelago, where the largest number of lighthouses is concentrated. The World Circus Museum operates in Baraboo. Recreation in the forests, on lakes and rivers is popular.


Population: 101.025 thousand people (2008)
Area: 140.7 sq. km
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 177 m

On the west coast of Lake Michigan, at the confluence of the Fox River, lies the city of Green Bay. A large port operates within its boundaries. The city is known for its developed industry. On its territory there are several meat processing plants and a factory for the production of paper products. Green Bay is the seat of Brown County. In 1964 and 1999, he was awarded the “All-American City” award. One of its buildings houses the country’s national railway museum. The city is home to the Green Bay Packers football team, which has repeatedly won the National League competition.┬áSee Wisconsin counties.

Until 1860, the settlement developed slowly. But after the opening of the railway transport line, there was an economic recovery and business became more active. Commerce and the paper industry began to develop successfully. A little later, the port was opened for trade with other countries. In 1934, the city celebrated its 300th anniversary. The most famous participant in the festivities was President Franklin Roosevelt, who arrived here on an official visit.


Population: 236,901 thousand people (2011)
Area: 219.4 sq. km
Founded: 1846
City status since: 1856
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5

The capital of Wisconsin, Madison , is located in the south of the state. The city is located between two lakes – Mendota and Monona. Nearby there are two more very small lakes – Kegonsa and Wobesa. This fact was reflected in one of Madison’s nicknames – the City of Four Lakes.

Madison became the capital of Wisconsin before construction began. Federal Judge James Doty purchased land in the area in 1835 for the purpose of establishing a city and capital for the territory. The favorable location of the future settlement, which was named after the 4th US President James Madison, was decisive in determining the capital of Wisconsin. Construction on Madison began in 1836. Already in 1858, the rapidly growing settlement became a city.

Madison is renowned for the high level of education and research in biotechnology at the University of Wisconsin. The cultural life of the city is diverse: there are excellent conditions for sports, museums, festivals and concerts. The sights of Madison are considered to be the buildings of the Capitol and the Monona Terrace conference center, the botanical and zoological park, and the development of the old part of the city.

Brief History of Wisconsin