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“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)
 

Orton Park

1887

 
 
Orton Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 4, 2010
1. Orton Park Marker
Inscription.  Originally chosen as the site for the Village of Madison Cemetery in 1846, the fathers of the growing city decided to disinter the bodies buried here a decade later upon acquisition of the Forest Hill site. Named for Supreme Court Justice Harlow S. Orton, the park was the first municipal facility of its type. Official dedication occurred in 1887, being the culmination of a twelve-year effort by Sixth Warders led by John George Ott.
 
Erected 1975 by Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 39.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission series list.
 
Location. 43° 4.844′ N, 89° 21.861′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of Spaight Street and South Ingersoll Street, on the right when traveling east on Spaight Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison WI 53703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Orton Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 4, 2010
2. Orton Park Marker
The marker is on the left rock in front of the Orton Park sign.
of this marker. Curtis-Kittleson House (a few steps from this marker); Lougee House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Orton Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cutter House (about 500 feet away); B. B. Clarke House (about 600 feet away); Gay Liberation Sculpture (about 600 feet away); Mills Brothers Commercial Building (about 600 feet away); Harvey Hospital (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Orton Park. According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, "Orton Park comprises the entire Block 180 of the original plat of Madison. The settlement of Madison was officially recognized as a village in 1846 and in 1848 Block 180 was designated as the village's official cemetery. In 1857, however, shortly after Madison became a city, the land that is now Forest Hill Cemetery was purchased for that purpose. In 1877 all of the burials that could be found where removed from the old village cemetery and reinterred at Forest Hill. In 1883 the old cemetery site was declared an official city park, the first in Madison. It was named after Harlow S. Orton, one of Madison's former mayors and a supreme court justice at the time. In 1887 the park was officially opened. Orton Park remained the city's first public park until
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the Madison Parks and Pleasure Drive Association started their campaign to add parks to the city at the turn-of-the-last-century."
 
Also see . . .
1. Ott House. More on John George Ott. (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 

2. Harlow S. Orton. Biography from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (Submitted on July 6, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 

3. Madison Landmarks Commission. The landmark nomination form for the park (pdf). (Submitted on March 19, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 

4. One of the markers at Forest Hill Cemetery, successor to the cemetery at Orton Park. (Submitted on April 14, 2014, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 886 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 4, 2020