Native Americans hunted in the area we know as Wisconsin for thousands of years. Some of the earliest people hunted huge elephant like creatures called mammoths. Mammoths, of course, no longer roam the earth. They are extinct. Long after the mammoth hunters left the area, native American tribes formed. These groups included the Dakota Sioux, Winnebago, the Ojibwe, and the Fox nations, to name but a few. And eleven Native American tribes still live in Wisconsin today.
The first Europeans to reach the Wisconsin region were French, but the area came under British control in 1763 as a result of the the French and Indian War. About twenty years later, after the American Revolution ended, the land officially became part of the new country.
In the 1820s a mining boom brought many settlers to the region. As the newcomers moved in Native Americans fought to defend their homeland, but by the 1830s most of the battles had stopped. The Wisconsin Territory was named in 1836, and Wisconsin became a U.S. state in 1848.
The Wisconsin State Animal: The Badger
Wisconsin’s state animal is the badger. Badgers are are small mammals with flat, wedge-shaped bodies, broad feet with long claws and coarse hair that can be black, brown, gold or white. They are related to ferrets, minks, otters, weasels and wolverines
Although badgers live throughout the state, the animal isn’t the reason that Wisconsin is called thee Badger State. Actually, Badger”was the nickname for the 19th-century miners who cut into Wisconsin’s hills to find lead and then slept in their caves, just the way badgers burrow into the ground and sleep in their dens.
Notable Cities in Wisconsin
- Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin.
- Madison is the capital of Wisconsin.
- Green Bay, Wisconsin is the home of the Green Bay Packers, a professional football team.
- Appleton, Wisconsin, is the home of Harry Houdini, the famous magician.
- Oshkosh, Wisconsin was the original home of Oshkosh B’Gosh, a manufacturer of children’s clothes.
Fact #1: Wisconsin borders not one, but two two Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
Fact #2: Wisconsin is is perhaps best known for its dairy farming. Wisconsin has more dairy cows per square mile than any other state, and most of the milk from those cows is used to make cheese.
Fact #3: The sugar maple is Wisconsin’s state tree, and it’s loved not only for its sap, which is used to make maple syrup, but also for its leaves that turn bright red, orange, and yellow during fall.
Fact #4: The first ever ice cream sundae was served in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1881. Now there’s an invention that you can sink your teeth into.
Fact #5: The state capital of Madison is also the home of the University of Wisconsin, which is the oldest and largest public university in the state. But the state’s largest city is Milwaukee. In fact, 30 percent of the state’s population lives in the five-county metropolitan area in and around Milwaukee.
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Wisdonsin? Is it Milwaukee or Madison?
Madison is the capital of Wisconsin.
What's the Wisconsin state animal?
It’s the badger.
Is Wisconsin famous for making breakfast cereal, crab cakes, cheese, or Hershey's candy?
Wisconsin if famous for its cheese.
Early Native Americans hunted a large animal that is now extinct? Was it the mammoth, the T. Rex, the raptor, or the stegosaurus?
They hunted the mammoth.
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.
Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Wisconsin.
Idea #2: What do you think it would be like to own a dairy farm in Wisconsin? Do you think you would like milking cows twice every day? What do you think your life would be like?
To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”
Here's a riddle for you:
What do you call a skunk that flies?