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Walworth County, located in southeastern Wisconsin, is a rich cultural and historical region that has seen many fascinating events over the years. Here are seven interesting facts about the area's history.

1. Walworth County was once a prime location for the abolitionist movement. During the 1850s, many activists called the area home, including Sherman Booth, who was jailed for helping a runaway slave escape. The region is also home to some of the oldest remaining Underground Railroad structures in the country.

2. The town of Geneva, Wisconsin, which is located within Walworth County, was once the home of George Williams, the founder of the YMCA. Williams created the organization in 1844 and it has since become a worldwide entity.

3. The county has strong ties to the circus industry. In the early 1900s, many circuses would winter in the area, taking advantage of the mild climate and proximity to Chicago. The Ringling Brothers even had their winter headquarters in Delavan.

4. In 1836, Walworth County was officially established by the state of Wisconsin. The county was named in honor of Reuben H. Walworth, a renowned judge and politician from New York.

5. During the 19th century, the area was a popular destination for wealthy city dwellers seeking a retreat from urban life. Many built grand homes in the region, including the largest mansion in Wisconsin, Black Point Estate, which is located on the shore of Lake Geneva.

6. Another prominent figure from Walworth County is William Bekemeier, known as the Father of Taxidermy. Bekemeier lived in Delavan and created many famous animal mounts, including one of the largest woolly mammoth mounts in the world.

7. The county has seen its share of natural disasters over the years. In 1871, a massive fire swept through much of the area, destroying countless homes and businesses. Then, in 1917, a tornado struck Delavan, causing significant damage and loss of life.

Walworth County has a rich and varied history that is reflected in its many cultural and historical attractions. Visitors to the area can explore the region's abolitionist past, learn about the circus industry's impact on the county, or discover the stories of local figures like William Bekemeier and George Williams.

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