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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city

The Madison Heritage Series

 
 
Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Toman, July 24, 2010
1. Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker
Inscription. Even before Madison was founded, people met to exchange money and merchandise not far from this spot. Five hundred Ho-Chunk camped near the square in 1832 to swap furs for trader Oliver Armelís goods.

People began building businesses on Capitol Square in 1837. The first settlers lived on King Street, and downtown centered on the intersection of King, Main and Pinckney streets. The earliest hotels appeared on Pinckney Street, to host visiting legislators and government officials, and James Richardson opened Madisonís first bank on the corner of Pinckney Street and East Washington Avenue.

Madisonís first trains arrived in 1854, and growth on the square continued as businesses sought to attract rail-riding customers from nearby depots. The squareís status as Madisonís first business hub helped make it the cityís favorite place for political speeches, parades, holiday events, protests, outdoor markets and victory celebrations.

Sidebar:

Standing here and looking down Pinckney Street toward Lake Monona in 1885, you would have observed a vital thoroughfare, part of Madisonís original downtown. At that time, the square as a whole boasted 124 stores. Capitol Square remained Madisonís liveliest shopping district until well into the 20th century. At that time, the green space around the capitol was also the cityís
Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Toman, July 24, 2010
2. Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker
Closeup of South Pinckney Street, ca. 1885 drawing on marker
largest park. No wonder the square was Madisonís undisputed center—and remains a popular staging ground for public events.
 
Erected 2006 by City of Madison.
 
Location. 43° 4.529′ N, 89° 22.968′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and South Pinckney Street, on the left when traveling west on East Washington Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 South Pinckney Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Outdoor markets are a Madison tradition (within shouting distance of this marker); American Exchange Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); American House (within shouting distance of this marker); Olson and Veerhusen Building / Hobbins Block (within shouting distance of this marker); Maeder Building / Ellsworth Block (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hans Christian Heg (about 300 feet away); Winterbotham Building (about 400 feet away); Suhr Bank Building (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
 
More about this marker. This marker is part of the The Madison Heritage Series, Sharing Our Legacy, created for
Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Toman, July 24, 2010
3. Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city Marker
View of the Capitol with marker in lower right
Madison's sesquicentennial. The marker was sponsored by the Madison Community Foundation, American Family Insurance, and M&I Bank.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 604 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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