“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society Historical Markers

St. Raphael's Frenchtown Cemetery Marker image, Touch for more information
By William J. Toman, September 6, 2010
St. Raphael's Frenchtown Cemetery Marker
1Wisconsin (Dane County), Belleville — 9 — St. Raphael's Frenchtown Cemetery
Final resting place of early French emigrants and their descendants. Coming directly to the Montrose-Belleville community from St. Germain in eastern France, 32 families arrived beginning in the early 1850's. Unique and isolated, the group . . . Map (db m37296) HM
2Wisconsin (Dane County), Black Earth — 30 — Patrons' Mercantile Co-op — Oldest Cooperative in the Nation
Town of Vermont farmers, beset by a depressed economy in the early 1890's, organized a company to obtain quality products at fair prices. Amos Thorsrud was the first general manager. He and Nels Simley toured local farms to sell $10 shares in a . . . Map (db m41930) HM
3Wisconsin (Dane County), Blue Mounds — 29 — Blue Mounds Fort
The onset of the Black Hawk War in northwestern Illinois in April, 1832 triggered panic in southwestern Wisconsin's lead mining region, prompting erection of over a dozen stockades. On an open prairie knoll 3/4 mile south of this marker, area miners . . . Map (db m35412) HM
4Wisconsin (Dane County), Blue Mounds — 38 — German Valley — Evangelical Lutheran Parochial Schule
German immigrant families from Hesse began settling in this area of Blue Mounds Township in the 1840s. As early as 1856, Lutheran missionaries conducted home services for the rural community. In 1867, on acreage purchased from Justus Heuser, a frame . . . Map (db m75828) HM
5Wisconsin (Dane County), Cambridge — 11 — Koshkonong
Koshkonong Prairie with its twin churches at both East and West Koshkonong is one of the focal points from which Norwegian Lutheranism spread to many parts of the American continent. In 1844 at the request of pioneer Norwegian immigrants . . . Map (db m36145) HM
6Wisconsin (Dane County), Cottage Grove — 17 — The Wisconsin Granger Movement
The Cottage Grove Grange, which became a leader in the state and national Grange movement, had its meeting hall near this site shortly after the Civil War. As a community center it became a significant cultural and social influence for pioneer farm . . . Map (db m37290) HM
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7Wisconsin (Dane County), Cross Plains — 15 — Haney's Tavern
In 1838 at the foot of this bluff Berry Haney, a migrant from Cross Plains, Tennessee, established the Cross Plains Post Office in a log house. Early Cross Plains was the site of important military road crossings and Haney became the pioneer . . . Map (db m32617) HM
8Wisconsin (Dane County), Daleyville — 2 — Hauge Log Church - 1852
Early Norse pioneers who realized a need for a house of worship built the first Norwegian Lutheran Church in western Dane County from logs in the winter of 1851-52. First services held May 27, 1852 by the Rev. A.C. Preus. Previous itinerant pastors . . . Map (db m36718) HM
9Wisconsin (Dane County), Dane — 42 — Nathan Dane
Dane County was created by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in 1836. Judge James Doty had convinced the Legislature to select Madison as the Capital and name the surrounding county in honor of Nathan Dane, a compiler of the Ordinance of 1787, . . . Map (db m37643) HM
10Wisconsin (Dane County), Dane — 26 — Old Military Road - 100 Mile Point
In July, 1833, Lt. Alexander Center blazed a nearby oak, marking the 100-mile point of a military road he and James Doty were surveying. The Old Military Road, built from 1835 to 1837, connected Ft. Crawford at Prairie du Chien, Ft. Winnebago at . . . Map (db m36907) HM
11Wisconsin (Dane County), DeForest — 32 — Andreas Dahl — 1844-1923
Andreas Dahl came to DeForest from Valdres, Norway in 1869. For more than a decade as an itinerant photographer in southern Wisconsin, he took pictures that captured the essence of life at that time. His studio stood to the north of this site and . . . Map (db m37005) HM
12Wisconsin (Dane County), Fitchburg — 46 — Illinois Central Depot / Fitchburg
Illinois Central Depot side On this site a two-story railroad depot stood from 1888 to 1939. The depot served the Illinois Central Railroad, which provided passenger and freight service to Fitchburg on its route from Freeport, Illinois to . . . Map (db m120014) HM
13Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 19 — Edgewood
This marks the site of two structures that together spanned 114 years of Dane County history. Overlooking Lake Wingra, Edgewood Villa was built in 1855 for New York lawyer, John Ashmead. In 1856, Samuel Marshall, co-founder of the Marshall and . . . Map (db m33519) HM
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14Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 44 — Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage / Frank J. Hess, Cooper — 1904 - 1966 / 1870 - 1958
Side A The Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage became Wisconsin's largest independent family-owned cooperage, manufacturing quarter-sawn white oak beer, wine, and whiskey barrels. The two factory buildings located near the railroad tracks were . . . Map (db m31788) HM
15Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 28 — Greenbush
Once a marshy area off the shores of Lake Monona, this triangular shaped neighborhood became a dream for Italian immigrants during the early 1900's. Greenbush developed into one of America's countless Little Italys, complemented with Jewish, Black . . . Map (db m32636) HM
16Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 37 — Heritage of the Hill
Madison developers Delaplaine and Burdick erected the three-story Lakeside Water Cure here in 1854. This unsuccessful venture closed after three years and re-opened in 1866 as a summer resort hotel. Known as the "Newport of the West," it appealed to . . . Map (db m32955) HM
17Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 14 — Keystone House
Squire William Pethrick, English barrister and gentleman farmer, used native stone and timber to build this house here in 1853 on 30 acres of land. Pethrick chose the site because he believed that Madison's State Street would eventually be extended . . . Map (db m32470) HM
18Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 41 — Nathan Dane
Dane County was created by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in 1836. Judge James Doty had convinced the Legislature to select Madison as the Capital and name the surrounding county in honor of Nathan Dane, a compiler of the Ordinance of 1787, . . . Map (db m37611) HM
19Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — 10 — Tenney Park Lock and Dam
In 1846 Wisconsin's territorial legislature approved incorporation of Madison Village and construction of a dam at Lake Mendota's outlet with a canal for navigation between Lakes Mendota and Monona. The first dam was built of earth in 1847 by . . . Map (db m33652) HM
20Wisconsin (Dane County), Marshall — 23 — Marshall Academy and High School
From 1867 to 1939 a three-story, yellow brick building on this site provided education for area residents. Organized as Marshall Academy by local subscription, it once enrolled 100 students and offered a classical and preparatory curriculum . . . Map (db m41615) HM
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21Wisconsin (Dane County), Marxville — 399 — Indian Lake Passage
On July 21, 1832, during the Black Hawk War, Sac Indian leader Black Hawk and his band left Pheasant Branch, west of Madison, retreating ahead of the military forces commanded by Colonels Ewing and Dodge. The band fled north following a route past . . . Map (db m31806) HM
22Wisconsin (Dane County), Marxville — 1 — St. Mary of the Oaks
On the brow of a hill, one-half mile east overlooking Indian Lake, rests a tiny stone chapel. The structure was built in 1857 by John Endres in fulfillment of a religious vow he made in return for protecting the lives of his family during a . . . Map (db m31809) HM
23Wisconsin (Dane County), Mazomanie — 12 — John F. Appleby
It was here at Mazomanie in the late 1870's that John F. Appleby perfected the knotter. Still used on binders and balers, the knotter is a mechanical device which binds grain into compact bundles with twine. Appleby was born in New York State . . . Map (db m20255) HM
24Wisconsin (Dane County), Mazomanie — 5 — Old Halfway Prairie
This building is Dane County's oldest existing country schoolhouse. Repeated remodelings conceal an original framework of logs. The land was donated for school purposes in 1844 by Mary Fowler, a widow and member of the British Temperance . . . Map (db m41392) HM
25Wisconsin (Dane County), McFarland — 39 — Fish Camp Launch — Carp Seining in the Yahara Lakes
Carp, introduced by European settlers, were stocked in Wisconsin waters as early as 1880. They thrived in shallow waters of rivers and lakes, reproduced rapidly and by 1900, anglers asked the state to begin a carp removal project. Permits and . . . Map (db m48397) HM
26Wisconsin (Dane County), McFarland — 125 — Stephen Moulton Babcock — 1843 – 1931
Stephen Moulton Babcock came to the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1887 and remained until his death in 1931. His life was filled with a great eagerness to know and a persistent desire to serve. He is best known for the perfection of the . . . Map (db m71752) HM
27Wisconsin (Dane County), McFarland — 22 — Village of McFarland
Prehistoric woodland Indians built effigy mounds on the many glacial drumlins in this area, including those in Indian Mound Park. Later Winnebagoes lived along the shores of Lake Waubesa and the Yahara River. They ceded the land to the government in . . . Map (db m33761) HM
28Wisconsin (Dane County), Middleton — 8 — Mendota
The Yahara chain of lakes resulted from glacial action about 40,000 years ago. A massive ice sheet, ¼ mile thick at Madison, gouged hills and widened valleys as it moved inexorably westward. Changing climate caused the glacier to retreat leaving . . . Map (db m35052) HM
29Wisconsin (Dane County), Mt. Horeb — 18 — Old Town
Pioneer Mt. Horeb, complete with houses, churches, stores, harness shop, undertaker, hotel, and tavern stood on this spot. Known as “The Corners” by early settlers, it was the intersection of the Old Military Road with a major wagon . . . Map (db m33881) HM
30Wisconsin (Dane County), Mt. Horeb — 24 — Springdale Lutheran Church
Norwegians came to this peaceful area of rolling hills and valleys in 1846 and organized a Lutheran congregation in 1852, holding services outdoors and in homes. These God-fearing people purchased 2 acres of land for a church and cemetery in . . . Map (db m41931) HM
31Wisconsin (Dane County), Mt. Vernon — 36 — Donald Park
Escaping the ravages of the last glacier, this tranquil valley retains ancient geologic features. Located just southwest of the Johnstown moraine, it is one of Dane County's most scenic areas. The 110 foot Donald Rock is a rare remnant of St. . . . Map (db m41932) HM
32Wisconsin (Dane County), Mt. Vernon — 34 — Pioneer Scottish Settlement
"Highland Clearances" and 300% hikes in farm rent prompted many Scottish farmers to sail to America in the mid-1800s. Some displaced Scots settled in Springdale and Verona Townships on both sides of the Military Ridge. This rural community known as . . . Map (db m32974) HM
33Wisconsin (Dane County), Mt. Vernon — 47 — Robert M. La Follette: The Early Years
Side 1 Among early Primrose settlers were six La Follette brothers from Indiana. One of them, Josiah, and his wife Mary, arrived in 1850 and acquired acreage in section 18, three miles south of this site. Josiah held town offices, including town . . . Map (db m116818) HM
34Wisconsin (Dane County), Paoli — 27 — Paoli
A meander of the Sugar River, providing an excellent waterpower opportunity, prompted Peter W. Matts to acquire acreage in Montrose Township in 1846. He erected a sawmill in 1847, soon followed by his home, a tavern and a general store. Matts . . . Map (db m59593) HM
35Wisconsin (Dane County), Prairie du Sac — 44 — Wollersheim Winery
In the early 1840's, Hungarian immigrant Agoston Haraszthy acquired acreage on the Wisconsin River near present day Sauk Prairie. He started a brick yard, riverboat and ferry business and laid out the village now known as Sauk City. On the southern . . . Map (db m47981) HM
36Wisconsin (Dane County), Rockdale — 6 — Rockdale Mill
William Murray Dennis entered the Valley of the Koshkonong in 1836 looking for a site to generate water power. The village he platted was called Clinton and later named Rockdale. Thomas and Nathan G. Van Horn built the first mill dam of logs in . . . Map (db m47364) HM
37Wisconsin (Dane County), Roxbury — 13 — Father Adalbert Inama -- St. Norbert House
Father Adalbert Inama a Norbertine Missionary was born in Wilton Tyrol Austria on December 26, 1798. He came to the Roxbury - Sac Prairie area in November 1845. Early the next year he built an 18 x 20 foot log cabin one mile west of here on the . . . Map (db m32352) HM
38Wisconsin (Dane County), Stoughton — 25 — Bovre Congregation — 1860-1887
"Now may the Lord bless this step which we have taken not out of a desire for discord and dissuasion but compelled by the voice of our conscience." With this prayer on their lips, six families met at Lars Bovre's farm on June 22, 1860 to organize . . . Map (db m37293) HM
39Wisconsin (Dane County), Stoughton — 126 — Robert Marion La Follette, Sr. — 1855-1925
Wisconsin's most famous political leader and greatest statesman. Born on a farm in Primrose Township, Dane County, he was the first native son and first University of Wisconsin graduate to become Wisconsin Governor. He rose from Dane County District . . . Map (db m207173) HM
40Wisconsin (Dane County), Stoughton — 7 — Stoughton
Stoughton was founded by Luke Stoughton in 1847. The first settlers were Yankees from New England. Waves of Norwegians immigrated to the community during the late 19th century to make Stoughton America's Norwegian capital, home of lutefisk and . . . Map (db m36256) HM
41Wisconsin (Dane County), Sun Prairie — 43 — First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin
In 1896, the U.S. Post Office Department began rural free delivery in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and West Virginia on an experimental basis. On November 16, Sun Prairie became the first community in Wisconsin to initiate rural free . . . Map (db m37566) HM
42Wisconsin (Dane County), Token Creek — 21 — Token Creek
Attracted by abundant water, early Indian inhabitants erected effigy mounds in the area. George Spaulding was the first white settler in 1841. The Town of Windsor's first election was held in 1847 at Charles Lawrence's Prairie House Inn. A post . . . Map (db m35697) HM
43Wisconsin (Dane County), Town of Albion — 16 — Sterling North
Sterling North, internationally known author of best seller Rascal and 31 other books, was born in the town of Albion on the shores of Lake Koshkonong in 1906. His father, David, attended the Albion Academy. Sterling graduated from Edgerton . . . Map (db m40433) HM
44Wisconsin (Dane County), Verona — 31 — Dane County Home
Boarding houses and jails, deemed unsatisfactory for the County's "unfortunates", prompted establishment of the Dane County Poor Farm on this site in 1854. A two-story brick structure housed all the disadvantaged until 1883 when an asylum for the . . . Map (db m33506) HM
45Wisconsin (Dane County), Waunakee — 20 — Ella Wheeler Wilcox — (1850-1919)
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone" Wisconsin's most famous poet, who penned these lines, grew up on a Town of Westport farm located on the south side of Easy Street east of County I. She attended a one-room . . . Map (db m35719) HM
46Wisconsin (Dane County), Waunakee — 36A — Schumacher Farm — Dane County Park
"To be preserved as a living history museum of early agricultural life" This was the vision of Marcella Schumacher Pendall, daughter of early area settlers. Schumacher Farm Park began when she donated 40 acres of the Schumacher homestead to . . . Map (db m48156) HM
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Dec. 8, 2022