“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Columbia County, Wisconsin

Clickable Map of Columbia County, Wisconsin and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Columbia County, WI (73) Adams County, WI (8) Dane County, WI (443) Dodge County, WI (25) Green Lake County, WI (13) Juneau County, WI (20) Marquette County, WI (11) Sauk County, WI (59)  ColumbiaCounty(73) Columbia County (73)  AdamsCounty(8) Adams County (8)  DaneCounty(443) Dane County (443)  DodgeCounty(25) Dodge County (25)  GreenLakeCounty(13) Green Lake County (13)  JuneauCounty(20) Juneau County (20)  MarquetteCounty(11) Marquette County (11)  SaukCounty(59) Sauk County (59)
Portage is the county seat for Columbia County
Adjacent to Columbia County, Wisconsin
      Adams County (8)  
      Dane County (443)  
      Dodge County (25)  
      Green Lake County (13)  
      Juneau County (20)  
      Marquette County (11)  
      Sauk County (59)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Baraboo — St. Mary's of the Pines
Built by B.I. Durward & Neighbors 1866 Damaged by fire 1923 Restored by Madison Council Knights of Columbus 1929Map (db m41612) HM
2 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Cambria — David J. Jones
This memorial is dedicated to the life of David J. Jones Born in Cambria, WI, June 20, 1880. Davy grew up in Cambria playing baseball with well known local players such as the Dodge Brothers, Willard and Ben. Davy was an aggressive leadoff . . . Map (db m66065) HM
3 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Cambria — Historical Site
On this site in 1844, John Langdon & his four sons erected a sawmill, a dam & gristmill. Other early settlers by the names of McConochie, Dodge, Torbert, & Williams joined in construction. The original place name of Langdon's Mill, later became . . . Map (db m66352) HM
4 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — Columbus City Hall
This 1892 Richardsonian Romanesque building was designed by T.D. Allen of Minneapolis using local materials. It originally housed the Library, Kindergarten and Fire Station in addition to the City Offices, Police Departments and Auditorium. The . . . Map (db m67231) HM
5 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — Columbus Public Library
The Prairie Style Library was designed by Louis W. Claude (former associate of Louis Sullivan) and Edward F. Starck of Madison, Wisconsin, and built with funding from Andrew Carnegie and the Columbus Women's Club. The library was dedicated November . . . Map (db m28344) HM
6 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — Farmers & Merchants Union BankEstablished 1861
In 1919, Bank President J. Russell Wheeler and his wife, Anna May Wheeler, retained Architect Louis Sullivan. Known as the father of the skyscraper, Sullivan was to design a building that would give the bank an image of financial security, civic . . . Map (db m67230) HM
7 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — 324 — Governor James Taylor Lewis / Governor Lewis: Civil War Era
Governor James Taylor Lewis · 1819 – 1904 Governor James T. Lewis, the ninth Governor of Wisconsin (1864-66), led the state through the tumultuous conclusion of the Civil War. He was born in New York State and in 1845 settled in . . . Map (db m22918) HM
8 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — Grand Army of the Republic Memorial
. . . Map (db m28289) HM
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9 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Columbus — World War II Memorial
The citizens of the Township of Elba purchased this land in 1947 as a memorial to the men and women who served their country in World War II. 1995Map (db m65642) WM
10 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Fall River — Fall River Dam
At this location, in 1846, Alfred A. Brayton constructed a log and earth dam across the Crawfish River and erected a saw mill.

From this saw mill the village of Fall River was built.Map (db m150747) HM
11 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Friesland — Inglehart Church
A congregation of German settlers had been worshipping in a log cabin about 200 feet north of this sign, on property homesteaded by James Inglehart in 1846. In 1867 the congregation decided to build a church. James Inglehart offered this . . . Map (db m74235) HM
12 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Lodi — Historic Tree
The Palmer Tree, a stately burr oak was a mere acorn in front of the Palmer Family log cabin, when Lodi was settled in 1848. Its testimony to a peaceful community continues, as it stands proudly to welcome all who enter the Lodi Valley Historical . . . Map (db m33882) HM
13 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Merrimac — 187 — The Merrimac Ferry
Merrimac’s first permanent settler, Chester Mattson, obtained a territorial charter in 1848 to provide ferry service across the Wisconsin River. The State Legislature of 1851 authorized a road, subsequently to become State Trunk Highway 113, to . . . Map (db m1932) HM
14 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Pardeeville — Angie Williams Cox Public Library
Angie Williams Cox Public Library 1934 is listed in the State Register of Historic PlacesMap (db m22869) HM
15 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Pardeeville — 423 — Historic Pardeeville / Belmont Hotel
Historic Pardeeville In 1848, New York native and Milwaukee merchant, John S. Pardee hired agents to oversee his Fox River land holdings and to establish business operations from this location. Yates Ashley, the most notable of Pardee's . . . Map (db m215748) HM
16 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Pardeeville — Pardeeville World War I Memorial
1929 Dedicated to those of this community who served in the World War and to the memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion. Erected by American Legion Auxiliary to Harry D. Jerred Post No. . . . Map (db m39566) HM
17 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 61 — Fort Winnebago
In the autumn of 1828 a permanent fort was built on this site by the First Regiment of the United States Infantry under the command of Maj. David E. Twiggs, later a general in the Confederate Army. The fort was constructed primarily to control the . . . Map (db m2364) HM
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18 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Fort Winnebago Surgeons' Quarters
Home of Army Surgeons 1834 - 1845 Occupied by Francis LeRoy before 1828 Restored by Wisconsin Society, Daughters of the American Revolution 1954Map (db m42904) HM
19 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 317 — Frederick Jackson Turner1861 – 1932
Considered the most important historian of the United States in the twentieth century, Frederick Jackson Turner brought a new understanding to the meaning of the American experience. He was born in Portage; his father was Andrew Jackson Turner, a . . . Map (db m216262) HM
20 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Historic Indian Agency HouseBuilt in 1832
The Indian Agency House was built in 1832 by the United States Government for John Harris Kinzie and his wife Juliette Magill Kinzie. John Kinzie was the Indian Agent to the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Indians. He had been assigned by the Government to . . . Map (db m42998) HM
21 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet
This tablet marks the place near which Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet entered the Wisconsin River June 14, 1673Map (db m2342) HM
22 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 451 — Ketchum’s Point
Ketchum’s Point, named for a local family, stands above the low, marshy Portage connecting the Fox River and Great Lakes with the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. This waterway served as a vital thoroughfare for supplies and furs during the fur . . . Map (db m2407) HM
23 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 63 — Marquette
On June 14, 1673 Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet started the portage (1.28 miles) from here to the Wisconsin River, which led to their discovery of the Upper Mississippi June 17, 1673 at Prairie du Chien. The expedition, in two birch bark . . . Map (db m2341) HM
24 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Pierre Pauquette Ferry
Landing place of the ferry built by Pierre Pauquette and operated by him from about 1828 until his death in 1836. This ferry was in use until the first bridge was built across the Wisconsin River in 1857.Map (db m74344) HM
25 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 106 — Potters' Emigration Society
Near here in 1849 Thomas Twiggs began a settlement of unemployed potters from Staffordshire, England. To help farmers on both sides of the Fox River reach his store and blacksmith shop at Twiggs' Landing, he operated Emancipation Ferry, named to . . . Map (db m20084) HM
26 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Revolutionary War Veteran
Patriots Cooper Pixley and Alexander Porter served the cause of gaining our nation's independence while dedicated members of the military. Both are buried in Section 33 of this National Soldiers Rest. Cooper Pixley, born in Great Barrington, . . . Map (db m42899) HM
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27 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Site of Fort Winnebago
1828 — 1845 Surrender of Red Bird Noted Winnebago Chief 1827 Erected by Wau-Bun Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1924Map (db m4609) HM
28 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 480 — Society Hill Historic District
This 137 building district is bounded, in part, by Emmett, Cass, Wisconsin and MacFarlane streets. Most of the houses were constructed between 1870 and 1910 and are in the Italianate and Queen Anne architectural styles. Society Hill reflects . . . Map (db m20042) HM
29 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — The Indian Agency House
. . . Map (db m42997) HM
30 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — Trinity United Church of Christ
Trinity United Church of Christ Has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior Trinitatus Evangelische 1871Map (db m108279) HM
31 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Portage — 513 — Zona Gale
Zona Gale was born August 26, 1874, in Portage. She graduated in 1899 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Masters in Literature. Gale then spent six years as a journalist in Milwaukee and New York. Her visits to Portage . . . Map (db m20009) HM
32 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — 29 — John Muir View
John Muir (1838-1914), world famous naturalist and "father of the national park system," often stopped to rest and admire this view as he walked from his home in Marquette County to the University of Wisconsin. Muir loved the wilderness from which . . . Map (db m20148) HM
33 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — 259 — Rest Areas on the I-Roads
Early roadside rest areas were rural school grounds and country churchyards with their two little houses in back. In Wisconsin, by 1920, curves were built to eliminate sharp road corners. Local garden clubs, with the American Legion and . . . Map (db m22690) HM
34 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — 178 — The Circus
Wisconsin has a unique heritage as the birthplace of circuses. More than a hundred had their beginnings in Wisconsin, with Delavan providing winter-quarters for twenty-six between 1847 and 1894. New York brothers Edmund and Jeremiah Mabie brought . . . Map (db m109259) HM
35 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — 591 — The Old Village of Dekorra
Before the introduction of the railroad, the Wisconsin River provided one of the most practical means of transporting lumber and farm products to distant markets. The old Village of Dekorra was beautifully situated to take advantage of this . . . Map (db m165534) HM
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36 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — Veterans of the American Revolution Memorial Bridge
A living memorial to and in honor of veterans who are buried in Wisconsin who served this nation in the American Revolution and who, by their efforts, were responsible for the founding of our country.Veterans of the American Revolution After the . . . Map (db m43824) HM
37 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — 545 — Wallis Rowan and His Cabin
Wallis/Wallace Rowan (1800-1847) was born in Kentucky of Scotch Irish descent. He was a lead miner, trader, innkeeper, land speculator, farmer, and mill owner. In 1818 he married Elizabeth “Betsy” Metcalf in Illinois. By 1828 Rowan was . . . Map (db m67233) HM
38 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Poynette — Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Highway
A living memorial to and in honor of all Wisconsin veterans living and deat, of all wars in which the United States of America has engaged. Color guard of the 8th Wisconsin Infranty Regiment with Old Abe at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1863 The . . . Map (db m43825) HM
39 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Rio — Samuel & Chloe Leonard Doud1793 – 1860 · 1791 – 1874
In memory of Samuel & Chloe Leonard Doud 1793 – 1860 · 1791 – 1874 Donors of Ohio Cemetery First burial their grandson Winfield Doud 1848 – 1955 –Map (db m25656) HM
40 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — A Glimpse of the Old Dells
Welcome to Witches Gulch In the 1800s, Witches Gulch was a far from accessible. Centuries of fallen trees and other debris made a hike through the gorge a physical and mental marathon. In H.H. Bennett's search for new places to . . . Map (db m157076) HM
41 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Alexander Mitchell Steamboat AnchorA Piece of History
In 1873, steamboats began overtaking rowboats for river excursions to see the famous Dells. One such steamer was built in 1878 by the Kilbourn Boat Company and named after Alexander Mitchell, a successful Milwaukee banker and railroad magnate. By . . . Map (db m156991) HM
42 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Bailey’s Eddy – Municipal DockKilbourn Landmark
This natural harbor is named for Gen. Joseph Bailey, original owner of the property. It has been the gateway to the magnificent dells of Wisconsin for millions of visitors for over 100 years. Sight-seeing boats have developed from spoon-oared . . . Map (db m7757) HM
43 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Bailey's Landing(A Landmark Store)
This building was constructed on the home site of General Joseph Bailey Civil War hero and a founder of Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) in 1856. Bailey became a national Civil War hero in 1864 when Porter's Red River Fleet was stranded in low . . . Map (db m7966) HM
44 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Belle BoydKilbourn Landmark
Born May 9, 1844 in Martinsburg, VA. Died June 11, 1900 at Kilbourn, WI. On May 23, 1862 at the Battle of Front Royal, VA., Belle Boyd, then 18, ran across the battlefield between the firing lines with information for Gen. Stonewall . . . Map (db m8023) HM
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45 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — First Evangelical Lutheran Church
This marks the site of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Moe Settlement 1863 — 1892 Map (db m8172) HM
46 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Geology of the Wisconsin Dells
The word "Dells" was derived from the French word "Dalles," meaning flat-layered or slab rock. These layers of rock were formed during the Cambrian period, 500 million years ago, when the North American Continent was completely covered by an ocean, . . . Map (db m157040) HM
47 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — George H. CrandallSteward of the Dells
Claiming that "no man can own the Dells." George H. Crandall - son-in-law to H.H. Bennett - ensured his legacy with extraordinary efforts to preserve the scenic landscape. Even though Crandall himself was involved in the tourist trade, managing . . . Map (db m157128) HM
48 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — H. H. Bennett StudioKilbourn Landmark — America’s Oldest Photographic Studio ·  Established in 1865 —
This building was constructed in 1875 by Henry Hamilton Bennett, pioneer landscape photographer, nationally known for his artistry, technical excellence and inventive genius. His views of this area brought the earliest tourists to his beloved Dells . . . Map (db m7851) HM
49 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — H.H. Bennett Photography & Promotion of the Wisconsin Dells Area
Henry Hamilton (H.H.) Bennett (1843-1908) is recognized as on of the countries foremost landscape photographers.At the age of only 22, with little formal education and a damaged right hand, he began his photographic career in Kilbourn City (now . . . Map (db m157084) HM
50 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Henry Hamilton Bennett
Arriving in the developing Kilbourn City as a teenager in 1857, Henry Hamilton Bennett began work as a carpenter. After suffering a hand injury during the Civil War, he chose a new career and opened a photography studio that still stands on Broadway . . . Map (db m157131) HM
51 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Hero of the Red River
A Wisconsin Pioneer One of the founders of Wisconsin Dells, Joseph Bailey completed the first dam across the Wisconsin River here in 1859. Opposition from upriver lumbermen required the dam's removal in 1860. Bailey's dream to build an . . . Map (db m134610) HM
52 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — History of the Wisconsin Dells
In 1634, Jean Nicolet was the first white man to have contact with the Indians of Wisconsin. He was soon followed to this area by French and British explorers, missionaries, adventurers and fur traders. The first white settlers came in the 1840's . . . Map (db m157039) HM
53 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Indians -- Flora & Fauna
(two panels, side-by-side) Indians Indian tribes have lived in this area of Wisconsin for centuries. Jean Nicolet, a French Government representative, was the first white man to have contact with the Indians in 1634. . . . Map (db m157082) HM
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54 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Kilbourn CityKilbourn Landmark
The first bridge on this site, a wooden structure, was completed in 1857. Byron Kilbourn, land speculator and politician promoted the site. Through his influence the LaCrosse and Milwaukee Railroad crossed the river here instead of at Newport, 2 . . . Map (db m8047) HM
55 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Kilbourn CityWisconsin Dells' Original Name
Downriver sits the ruins of the lost city of Newport. In the early 1850s, the settlement on the Lower Dells developed rapidly, amidst rumors the town was to be the spot of the new LaCrosse and Milwaukee Railroad bridge. Speculators' hopes were . . . Map (db m157129) HM
56 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — 177 — Kingsley Bend Indian Mounds
The mounds of this group are a fairly representative sample of those built by the people of the Effigy Mound Culture between A.D. 700-1000. It has been through excavation of other burial mounds quite similar to these that archeologists have learned . . . Map (db m7731) HM
57 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Korean and Vietnam Veterans Memorial — American Legion —
Praise be to God K.I.A. Korea   Durlin Morse Vietnam   Dennis Beard Korea Deceased Korean War Members of Harold B. Larkin Post 187 The American Legion "We honor those veterans who gave of themselves to . . . Map (db m80461) WM
58 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Leaping the Chasm
WHI 2101 Ashley Bennett, son of photographer H.H. Bennett, jumping to Stand Rock, caught in midair by the instantaneous shutter.Map (db m157080) HM
59 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Lumber RaftsmenMaking a Living on the River
Abundant stands of white pines throughout Northern Wisconsin spurred the first era of big business to the Dells beginning in 1833. Timber logs 70-feet long were floated down to sawmills, where they were cut into rough planks. Lumbermen made their . . . Map (db m157133) HM
60 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — Natural IngenuityDeep Entrepreneurial Spirit
From early settlers and lumber raftsmen, to row boat guides, steamboat captains and modern-day tour operators, love for this unique stretch of the Wisconsin River runs deep as its history. Tourism remains the driving economy for the waterway. Today, . . . Map (db m157132) HM
61 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — River ExcursionsLeroy Gates - Dells' First River Guide
River excursions in Wisconsin Dells were born from one man's a-ha moment. Leroy Gates gained notoriety as an expert lumber raft pilot, guiding the bundled wood planks through the tricky waters of the Dells. He began to make a show of his skills, . . . Map (db m157036) HM
62 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — 447 — Stroud Bank
Perry G. Stroud, a young attorney from New York, established this early bank in Kilbourn City, now Wisconsin Dells, in ca. 1870. Over his thirty-year career as the town's first attorney, Stroud preserved much of the city's early documentary history. . . . Map (db m7850) HM
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63 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — The Ho-Chunk PeoplePeople of the Big Voice
For thousands of years, indigenous people have lived on this land. Wisconsin Dells is home to the Ho-Chunk, whose native land extends from Michigan to Illinois. For centuries, the Ho-Chunk people have gathered in the Dells to revitalize themselves . . . Map (db m157127) HM
64 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — The Kilbourn DamHarnessing the River
The year 1908 brought dramatic changes to the Wisconsin River and the Dells. After many attempts at harnessing the power of the river with smaller dams, a new high dam and hydroelectric power plant were built. The Kilbourn Dam split the river into . . . Map (db m157126) HM
65 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — The RailroadsTourism & Commerce
The arrival of the railroad in 1857 created a boom in tourism as an increased number of sightseers arrived by rail to take scenic boat tours. The Dells of the Wisconsin River had gained notoriety through the photographs of H.H. Bennett. But the . . . Map (db m157035) HM
66 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — The Wisconsin RiverMan and Nature Converge
Picture before you a white-rapids river raging between its rocky banks. The early days of the Wisconsin River flowing through this region were not the serene postcard scenes of today. The riverbed and towering sandstone bluffs were formed more than . . . Map (db m157037) HM
67 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — This Beauty Is Yours Because Others Before You Love The Dells
Henry Hamilton Bennett, pioneer photographer, discovered, pictured and named many of the scenic spots including this, The Witches Gulch. George H. Crandall, and his wife, Nellie Bennett Crandall here acquired, preserved and reforested hundreds of . . . Map (db m157073) HM
68 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wisconsin Dells — World War I Roll of Honor — American Legion —
Deceased WW I Members of Harold B. Larkin Post 187 The American Legion "They Served with Honor" Roll of Honor (W.W. I War Dead) Lawrence S. Christianson Otto Christopherson Hubert Coon Harold B. Larkin Keith L. . . . Map (db m80577) WM
69 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wyocena — Civil War Monument
In memory of our comrads. Buried in unknown graves. ——— Henry R. Coffin. Charles Bloom. John Chapman. Co. G. 2d Reg. Wis. Vol. • Clovis V. Bushnell. Co. B. 40th Reg. Wis. Vol. • . . . Map (db m37975) HM
70 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wyocena — 561 — Columbia County Asylum Cemetery"Potter’s Field"
This plot of land, locally known as "Potter's Field", served as the final resting place for nearly 250 residents of the Columbia County Asylum. Indigent asylum residents left unclaimed by family members were buried here from 1871 until 1971, nearly . . . Map (db m185566) HM
71 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wyocena — Dickason Park / Toppe FieldMajor Dickason / Erhardt Toppe
Major Dickason Major Elbert Dickason founded Wyocena in 1843. He platted and named the village in 1846. He was instrumental in Wyocena being temporarily named the county seat. He died in 1848 and is buried in the Wyocena Cemetery. Erhardt . . . Map (db m37115) HM
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72 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wyocena — 468 — Major Elbert Dickason / Dickason's "Hotel"
Major Elbert Dickason Major Elbert Dickason founder of Wyocena, was born in Virginia in 1799. He moved to Illinois where he joined their militia during the Black Hawk War. Representing a Milwaukee land investor, he founded Columbus in 1839. . . . Map (db m22839) HM
73 Wisconsin, Columbia County, Wyocena — 550 — Wyona Park / Rifle Pit Legend
Wyona Park This site has traditionally been a popular picnic area for Wyocena residents. As early as 1905, approximately 1,000 people attended an insurance company picnic at this location. In 1948, Gordon Spear, a lifetime Wyocena resident, . . . Map (db m36448) HM
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Jun. 2, 2023