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Jean Nicolet, a native of France, was the first explorer to reach the area while searching for the Northwest Passage to China in 1634

During the French and Indian War, possession of the area went into British hands. In 1783, with the end of the Revolutionary War, the British lost possession of the area, though remained unofficially in control. Real settlement began around 1820 when a lead boom occurred. Unfortunately, there also began to be much conflict between the government, the new settlers and the Native Americans who lived here. The Black Hawk War began in 1832 with the eventual end moving the Tribes to other areas either by choice or by force. The Wisconsin Territory was created in 1836 with many new settlers moving to the area. A few years later, another group of settlers began to arrive. They continued to come and develop the rich farmland. Finally on May 29, 1848, Wisconsin was admitted to the Union as the 30th state.

The nickname, Old North State, is a reference that came with the division of the Carolinas in 1710.  It was the first of the original 13 colonies to vote for independence.  Another nickname for the state is the Tar Heels.  This term dates back to before the Revolutionary times when tar, pitch and turpentine were taken from North Carolina pine forests for British naval stores.



Total area - 65,498 square miles
Total land area - 52,660 square miles
Wisconsin is 17% water!

Width - 260 miles
Length - 310 miles

Latitude 42°30'N to 47°3'N
Longitude 86°49'W to 92°54'W

Highest Point - Timms Hill at 1,951 feet above sea level
Lowest Point - Lake Michigan at 579 feet above sea level
Mean Elevation - 1,050 feet above sea level


Wisconsin is located between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.

Bordering areas:
North - Montreal River, Lake Superior and Michigan
East - Lake Michigan (The Menominee River is part of the northeastern border)
South - Illinois
West - Iowa and Minnesota (The Mississippi River and St. Croix River are part of the western borders)

Wisconsin is located in the Central Time Zone

1820 - 1,444
1830 - 3,635
1840 - 30,945
1850 - 305,391
1860 - 775,881
1870 - 1,054,670
1880 - 1,315,497
1890 - 1,693,330
1900 - 2,069,042
1910 - 2,333,860
1920 - 2,632,067
1930 - 2,939,006
1940 - 3,137,587
1950 - 3,434,575
1960 - 3,951,777
1970 - 4,417,731
1980 - 4,705,767
1990 - 4,891,769
2000 - 5,363,675
2005 - 5,536,201

Population Density

2000 - 98.8 persons per square mile

Per capita - $21,271 (1999)
Median Household - $46,538 (2003)

Wisconsin Coat of Arms
This symbol was official in 1881.  It represents Wisconsin in its diversity, wealth and abundance of resources.

State Motto
Forward has been the official state motto since 1851.  It reflects the state's drive to be a national leader in every way.

State Flag
 The state flag was changed last in 1979.

State Coat of Arms

State Beverage
Since Wisconsin is also known as America's Dairyland, milk was chosen as the official beverage in 1987.

Wisconsin Trivia

Polka music is the Wisconsin state music
Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in the country
Did you know that every county or parish has an emergency management team.




Official State of Wisconsin Website
Wisconsin State Legislature Website
Wisconsin Department of Commerce

State Department of Public Instruction

Government Links page for Wisconsin
Great links page for all levels of government in Wisconsin


A Wisconsin Genealogy Links page



The Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street,
Madison, WI 53706

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Foundation



Wisconsin Tourism

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Annual Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival


Find the weather for anyplace in the USA


This page was last updated on 28 July 2011 at 9:20 pm

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