5-17-14 and 3-27-17
Fitchburg is a community of 26,260 near the south side of Madison. It is actually quite an old community, but few of the original buildings still exist. In the 1840’s settlers made their way here from many European countries, most of them from Ireland. Something we discovered when learning about Fitchburg, most of the historic sites are in the rural part of town, not the current center of commerce. Of the historic structures in Fitchburg, the most well-known one is the restaurant Quivey’s Grove. We have not eaten there yet, but hope to soon!
We also discovered a new historic marker, not easy to find since it is in a small park in the rural area. The coordinates are N 42º58.913/ W089º28.088 on Fitchburg Rd.
There is another new marker near historic Wendt Rd. and HWY. M (N 42º57.727/W089º28.172) on the Badger State Trail. It is two-sided and commemorates the Illinois Central Railroad and it’s role is helping Fitchburg grow. We saw a caboose from that railroad in Homewood, IL. You can bike the trail all the way to Freeport, IL.
We also found two former one-room schoolhouses out in the country.
1. Maple Corner’s School
2. Syene School
Now I will show you sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Not far from there is the Nicholas Haight Farmstead, still an active farm today. We could not get close as it is private property.
Also the McCoy Farmhouse, former home of a successful tobacco farmer.
The former Wisconsin Industrial School of Girls, now the Oakhill Correctional Institution. The columns at the driveway entry still stand yet.
To learn more about Fitchburg, visit their library, the Historical Society is also housed there. It’s at 5530 Lacy Road.
Also explore the Nevin Fish Hatchery, the oldest DNR-managed land in Wisconsin. You can do some fishing here.
We go back in town to join the community in celebrating Fitchburg Days at McKee Farm Park.
We had a good time exploring the Fitchburg most people probably don’t know, very educational.