Jefferson County is a well-known county located in Southeast Wisconsin. The county has a rich history, filled with interesting facts and stories. Here are seven fascinating facts about Jefferson County that you might not have known.
1. Jefferson County was originally part of Michigan Territory.
Before Wisconsin became a state in 1848, this area was originally part of the Michigan Territory. When Michigan became a state in 1837, this area was included in the newly-established Wisconsin Territory.
2. The Jefferson County Courthouse is one of the oldest in Wisconsin.
Built in 1860, the Jefferson County Courthouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating courthouses in Wisconsin. It has been in use for over 160 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. There was once a town called Ixonia that was destroyed by a tornado.
Ixonia was a thriving town in Jefferson County until a devastating tornado destroyed it in August 1883. Today, nothing remains of the town, and the area is now an unincorporated community.
4. Fort Atkinson was once a frontier military outpost.
In the early 19th century, Fort Atkinson was a key military outpost on the western frontier. Soldiers stationed at the fort helped to protect settlers moving westward along the Rock River.
5. Jefferson County is home to Wisconsin's only surviving covered bridge.
The Concord Covered Bridge, located in Sullivan, is the only surviving covered bridge in Wisconsin. Built in 1876, it spans the Bark River and is an important part of Jefferson County's history.
6. Johnson Creek is named after a local settler.
Johnson Creek, which flows through the eastern part of Jefferson County, is named after George E. Johnson, a settler who arrived in the area in the 1830s.
7. Jefferson County was a major stop on the Underground Railroad.
Jefferson County was a key stop on the Underground Railroad, the network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves escaping from the South in the 19th century. Abolitionist communities in Watertown, Palmyra, and other towns in the county provided assistance to runaway slaves and helped them on their journey to freedom.
These are just a few of the fascinating facts about Jefferson County's rich history. From Native American settlements to the present day, Jefferson County has a unique story to tell.
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