Juneau, Wisconsin has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. Located in Dodge County, this small city of about 3,000 people has been the site of significant historical events that have shaped the region, the state, and even the nation. Here are seven notable historical events that have taken place near Juneau, WI.
1. Founding of Juneau - 1846
Juneau was founded in 1846 by Solomon Juneau, one of the founders of the city of Milwaukee. Originally named Hayton, the town was later renamed Juneau in honor of its founder. Juneau was an important figure in Wisconsin's early history, and his leadership helped to shape the state's political and economic landscape.
2. The start of the Underground Railroad - Late 1840s
Juneau was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by African-American slaves to escape to freedom in the North. Juneau was also home to abolitionist Alvin Streeter, who helped to shelter fugitive slaves on their way north to Canada.
3. The Dodge County War - 1861
The Dodge County War was a violent conflict that occurred in 1861 between the Yankee and Irish factions in the county. The war grew out of a dispute over the election of county officials and resulted in the deaths of several people.
4. The sinking of the Lady Elgin - 1860
The Lady Elgin was a steamship that sank in Lake Michigan near Juneau in 1860, killing more than 300 people. The tragic event was one of the deadliest maritime disasters in US history.
5. The Great Peshtigo Fire - 1871
The Great Peshtigo Fire was a massive forest fire that swept through much of Wisconsin in 1871, including parts of Dodge County. The fire killed more than 1,500 people and destroyed more than 1.2 million acres of land.
6. The founding of John Deere - 1837
John Deere founded his eponymous tractor company in 1837 in Grand Detour, Illinois. However, Deere's company had a significant impact on the area surrounding Juneau, as many farmers in the region relied on John Deere tractors and machinery to cultivate their land.
7. The launch of the WIAA high school basketball tournament - 1916
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) held its first high school basketball tournament in 1916 in Madison, Wisconsin. The tournament has since become an important part of Wisconsin's sports culture, and many high schools in the Juneau area have participated in the tournament over the years.
These are just a few of the many historical events that have taken place near Juneau, WI. Whether you're interested in politics, sports, or natural disasters, this small city has a rich and diverse history that is worthy of exploration.
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