Wisconsin State Capital: Madison

Wisconsin's lovely capital, Madison, has a huge population of over 280 thousand people and is named after American President and Founding Father James Madison.

This charming city, which is centrally positioned in Dane County, is known for its excellent schools, easy access to other large cities, magnificent natural landscapes, and warm Midwestern hospitality.

Madison is ranked second in the US in terms of education, based on a Forbes magazine report making it highly attractive to families.

Boasting the second-largest population in the state, behind Milwaukee, and the 82nd-biggest in the country, Madison offers its resident's parkland covering 6,431 acres or 13.5 percent of the city's total area.

There is no shortage of outdoor fun as the city has built more parks for every 10 thousand residents than any other city in the country.

How Madison Became the Wisconsin Capital

James Duane Doty, a territory politician, and land speculator came up with establishing Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

In the fall of 1836, when territorial politicians met in Belmont, the original capital, to choose a new state capital, Doty traveled there with an agenda.

He traveled through the Four Lakes region on his route to Belmont, where coincidentally, he had purchased a parcel of land with a few partners.

Doty tagged along with a surveyor who surveyed the land and laid out the plan on a piece of paper.

It was a precise map of a magnificent, modern-looking non-existent metropolis on that sheet of paper. It was so impressive that the territory legislature chose Madison as its capital on the 28th of November 1836, even though the city only existed on paper.

This was due to its central location, halfway between the new and developing communities of Milwaukee in the east and Prairie du Chien, the populated lead-mining districts and others. 

Popular Structures in Madison

Madison is rich in history with popular historical sites, including the domed Wisconsin State Capitol, which is well-known for its location on an isthmus straddled amid the Mendota and Monona lakes.

There's also the Wisconsin Historical Museum, which is committed to the state's agricultural and immigrant histories. Then there's the attractive Monona Terrace, a lakefront convention center created by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is part of the Capital City State Trail, a must-see on a visit to the city.

Economy of Madison

Madison is dubbed the most rapidly evolving city in Wisconsin in recent years, with its economy dominated by a substantial and rapidly expanding technology sector.

Its University Research Park, as well as many biotechnology and healthcare firms, are among the major entities based in the city and providing thousands of jobs.

Madison's tourism brought in more than $1 billion for Dane County in 2018. Meanwhile, the city's fast growth has led to major land development in several communities resulting in soaring housing expenses which has not deterred individuals desiring to live there.

Wisconsin State Capital: Madison