Alma, WI is a small town located in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. Over the years, there have been many historical events that have taken place in or near Alma. Here are a few of the most significant events that shaped the town’s history.
1. Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1825)
One of the most important historical events that took place near Alma was the Treaty of Prairie du Chien. The treaty was signed in 1825 between the United States and several Native American tribes, including the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi. The treaty defined the boundaries of the Native American territories south of the Great Lakes and guaranteed that the tribes would have access to hunting and fishing in these areas.
2. The Great Flood of 1965
In June of 1965, the Mississippi River flooded its banks, causing one of the worst floods in Wisconsin history. The flood affected many areas near Alma, including the town itself. The water reached nine feet above flood stage, causing extensive damage to homes and buildings. The flood also caused the evacuation of many residents, who had to seek shelter in nearby towns.
3. Civil War Draft Riots (1863)
During the Civil War, the federal government instituted a draft to provide soldiers for the Union Army. This led to protests and riots in many cities throughout the country, including Alma. In 1863, a group of local residents attacked the draft commissioner’s office in Alma, burning it to the ground. The riot was eventually put down by soldiers from a nearby military camp.
4. The Great Hinckley Fire (1894)
In September of 1894, a wildfire swept through northern Minnesota and into Wisconsin. The fire destroyed several towns, including Hinckley, Minnesota, which was only a few miles from Alma. The fire burned over 200,000 acres and killed over 400 people.
5. The Alma Spinach Festival (1936)
In 1936, the town of Alma held its first Spinach Festival, which celebrated the town’s most important crop. The festival started as a small local event but grew over the years to become a major attraction, drawing visitors from all over the country. Today, the Spinach Festival is still held annually and is one of the most important events in the town.
6. The Limestone Bluff Railroad Tunnel (1873)
The Limestone Bluff Railroad Tunnel was completed in 1873 and served as an important transportation link between Alma and nearby towns. The tunnel was the longest in the state at the time and required the construction of a large bridge across the Mississippi River. The tunnel was used for many years until it was closed in 1990.
7. The Alma Foundation (1971)
The Alma Foundation was established in 1971 to promote economic development in the town. The foundation has helped to attract new businesses to the area and has provided grants and loans to local entrepreneurs. The foundation also sponsors many community events and programs, including the Spinach Festival, and has helped to revitalize the town’s downtown area.
In conclusion, Alma, WI has a rich history that is steeped in the cultural and natural heritage of the area. From the Treaty of Prairie du Chien to the Alma Spinach Festival, there are many significant historical events that have taken place in or near the town, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and curious travelers alike.
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