Wisconsin's First Capitol

Everything has a beginning.  For Wisconsin, things began in Belmont.

Belmont is located close to the center of lead mine country in Wisconsin, chosen by Territorial lawmakers as the place to establish laws for the territory.

Thirty-nine men gathered in the Council House where they conducted business to establish roads, railroads, and judicial system.

They also chose Madison as the permanent capital city.

After little more than a cold month in the closing days of 1836; the legislators selected Burlington, Iowa as the interim capitol.

Wisconsin didn't become a state for 12 years.

The two buildings fell into disrepair.

The second building was where lawmakers lived during the session.  (Maybe that would encourage Congress to work together - force all of them to live in a couple of crowded homes!)

After a brief turn in the spotlight, Belmont got quiet.

So quiet the railroad built their line to the south.  As a result most folks picked up and moved to be closer to the tracks.

The buildings eventually became barns and were nearly lost to the passing of time when women's groups in Wisconsin began a reclamation effort in 1910.

It took forty years, but the two buildings were placed off a quiet county road northwest of the current Belmont.

When my Dad and I made our trips to various state capitals, we stopped here. The buildings weren't open then either (Open Wed - Sun 10 am to 4pm Jun 8 to Sept 5, 2016).

When I look at structures like these, still surrounded by farmland, I wonder what those pioneers imagined would come in the years to come.  I'm sure they dreamed big, if they didn't they would not have traveled this far west.

Making Wisconsin, I guess, a land of dreams.