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

What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago?

The Madison Heritage Series

 
 
What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
1. What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker
Inscription. Sometime between 14,000 and 20,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, an enormous northern glacier invaded Wisconsin. Standing here then, you would have been encased in a solid ocean of ice 160 stories tall.

The glacier bulldozed this areaís jagged rock-towers and outcroppings, and filled deep valleys with the debris. Finally, temperatures warmed and transformed the ice into a vast lake dotted by islands. Trees grew on its banks.

The slow but constant movement and eventual melting of the glacier smoothed the rugged earth and sculpted new features, including the type of hill, known as a drumlin, on which youíre standing. In fact, the glacial age created an entire landscape of distinctive landforms—moraines, kettles and more.

You can explore the story of Wisconsinís rich glacial heritage on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which passes through western Dane County.

Sidebar:

In this area, a glacier towered as high as five Capitol buildings—1,600 feet. This colossal sea of ice was thickest near Hudson Bay, Canada, and tapered to nothing just 10 miles southwest of here. Eventually it melted, leaving behind Glacial Lake Yahara, which was 12 feet higher and twice as large as Madisonís present-day lakes. Over the next 6,000 years, Lake Yahara shrank to form smaller bodies of water, including
What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
2. What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker
Closeup of lakes comparison (the present-day lakes are actually the darker blue, not the medium blue shown in the key).
lakes Mendota, Monona and Wingra in Madison.
 
Erected 2006 by City of Madison.
 
Location. 43° 4.429′ N, 89° 23.119′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of West Washington Avenue and South Carroll Street, on the right when traveling east on West Washington Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: One South Carroll Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grace Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Grace Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Loraine (within shouting distance of this marker); Wisconsin State Capitol (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Way of the Cross at Cathedral Place (about 400 feet away); Mohr / Christoffer Block (about 400 feet away); Smith and Lamb Block (about 500 feet away); Jackman Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
 
More about this marker. This marker is part of the The Madison Heritage Series, Sharing Our Legacy, created for Madison's sesquicentennial. The marker was Sponsored by the Madison Community Foundation, Home Savings
What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
3. What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker
Closeup of cross section on marker.
Bank, Inn on the Park, and Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 9, 2010
4. What would you have seen here 14,000 years ago? Marker
The State Capitol building is in the background. The tents are for vendors at the Art Fair on the Square.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 11, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 817 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 11, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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