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The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1923
(1923)

Mack, John G. D.
The four Wisconsin capitols,   pp. [41]-52 PDF (4.0 MB)


Page 42


WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK
   After the capital was taken away from Belmont the village lost its
 importance and when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway
 was built through about three miles to the south, the village was
 removed to a new location on the railway, the present flourishing vil-
 lage of Belmont.
   The territorial capitol building had a varied but not a very pic-
 turesque career, finally in the later eighties being moved about one
 hundred yards south where it was used as a barn until purchased by
 the state in 1919.
   The legislature of 1917 created the Belmont capitol commission,
 with instructions to purchase two acres about the original site, pur-
 chase the old building, move it to this park and restore it, for which
 purposes a preliminary appropriation of $3,000 was made.    The
 commission consists of Hon. M. P. Rindlaub of Platteville, chairman,
 Hon. Platt Whitman and the state chief engineer, ex officio.
 On account of title difficulties the land was not purchased until
 1919. The legislature of 1921 provided additional funds in the amount
 of $5,250 for the completion of the restoration of the building and the
 improvement of the park.
 The illustration is from a photograph taken August, 1922, after the
 building had been moved to the park and its restoration completed.
 The original site is indicated by X in the illustration. This tract was
 purchased by the Wisconsin Federation of Woman's Clubs in 1910.
The Federation erected a granite and bronze marker in the center of
the area and provided an iron fence about the tract.
  The Federation has cooperated with the Belmont Capitol Commission
in every way, and has offered to transfer the site to the state, the
formalities only of this transfer remaining to be completed.
  The Wi~sconsin territorial legislature of 1837 met in Burlington,
now in the state of Iowa, on November 6th in a two-story frame build-
ing, 40 by 70 feet, which was destroyed by fire during the -session on
December 13th. A special session convened at Burlington June 11, 1838.
  While the building in Burlington in which the 1837 legislature met
might be classed a Wisconsin ,capitol, this meeting was, in so far
as Wisconsin was concerned, an interim meeting, for Madison had
been selected as the future capital and it probably was well known
that the Mississippi river would soon be the western boundary of
Wisconsin territory.
  On June 12, 1838, by act of congress, Wisconsin territory was
reduced to the limits of the present state and the portion of the
state of Minnesota east of the Mississippi river and east of a
meridian drawn through Lake Itasca.
                         The Second ,Capitol
  A little more than a year before this act was passed, on June 10,
1837, workmen had arrived in Madison and begun the construction of
the capitol under the direction of Augustus A. Bird, building commis-
42


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