65 Interesting Facts About Wisconsin

Last updated on September 9th, 2022

52. Green Bay

Green Bay is known as the toilet paper capital of the whole world because the city produced the first splinter-free toilet paper. The paper industry remains one of the largest employers in the state.[32]

53. Green Bay, also the oldest settlement in the state

Green Bay, which is mostly known for its 13 football championships in modern times, is actually the oldest city in the state with roots to the trader post established by Jean Nicolet in 1634. French traders and fur trappers are well-known for settling areas of America’s midwestern territories.[8]

Cheese samples laid out on display boards
Cheese samples laid out on display boards at a local creamery in Wisconsin. Photo © Jacqueline Nix

54. World’s Swiss Cheese Capital

Monroe is best known for cheese. Every September of an even-numbered year, cheese lovers celebrate the Green County Cheese Days.

55. The first cheese factory in the U.S.

The first cheese factory in the United States was established in Wisconsin in 1841.

56. A popular dish

If you’re a fan of strange food, you’ll love this next fact. One of Wisconsin’s most popular dishes is called “fried cheese curds.” Cheese curds are fresh, unaged cheddar cheese that have a slightly salty flavor. They are deep fried and often served with a dipping sauce. Yum!

57. The first governor

The first governor of Wisconsin was Nelson Dewey, who served from 1848-1852.

58. Golfing in Brookfield

Brookfield provides outstanding golf courses for avid golfers. There are plenty of tees amidst streams and quiet woods for just any skill level. Examples are Country Club and Brookfield Hills Golf Club.

59. Gift of Glacial Lake Wisconsin

Almost all of Wisconsin’s abundant lakes in and around the largest 10 cities were produced naturally by glaciers, and many of them formed from leftovers of Glacial Lake Wisconsin, which was 160 feet deep and spread over a surface area eight times as large as the current Lake Winnebago.[33]

60. The fastest growing city in Wisconsin

Eau Claire grew faster than most cities in the state, according to the U.S. census figures, to become the 8th largest city in the state. However, Madison takes the award for fastest growing city, which grew by 10.7% compared to an average growth rate of 2.6%.[34]

61. The two largest cities

The two largest cities in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison, are located less than 79 miles apart.

62. The first capital of the state

Madison wasn’t always the state’s capital city. Belmont served as the first capital in 1836 when the region was still a territory. The original Council House remains a large tourist attraction, which is located near Belmont Mound State Park.[35]

63. The deer season in Wisconsin

The opening day of deer season in Wisconsin is so popular that many businesses close, and the day attracts enough hunters that it would make the 6th largest army in the world if grouped together.[32]

64. Powerhouse of cinema

Wisconsin’s largest cities also shaped modern cinema history. Kenosha native Orson Welles became a pioneer in cinema who wrote, produced, directed and starred in some of the best known movies in history. Many of his movies have been adapted for the Broadway stage, and Welles is best known for his cinematic masterpiece “Citizen Kane.”[8]

65. The first and oldest brewery

Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, is known for wonderful breweries, but the first and oldest is still Pabst Brewery. The city is also famous for the oldest soccer team in continuous U.S. operation, the Milwaukee Wave.[35]

Flag of Wisconsin

Flag of Wisconsin
The State Flag of Wisconsin. Image credit – Public Domain/Wikipedia.org

Facts about the state flag of Wisconsin

1. The Wisconsin state flag was first adopted in 1863 at the request of Civil War regiments wanting the flag for battlefield use. A committee was formed by the state legislature to specify the design of the flag. Wisconsin statutes added the specific flag design in 1913.

2. The state coat of arms is featured on both sides of the official flag for the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The solid royal blue background also includes the state name WISCONSIN positioned above the coat of arms as well as “1848” the year the state was admitted to the Union, below it.

3. In 1941, the state flag of Wisconsin was raised over Antarctica by Carl R. Eklund at the request of then Governor Julius P. Heil. The flag was raised approximately 500 miles north of the south pole. In 1958, Eklund raised another Wisconsin flag over Antarctica which is now displayed in a museum in the state.

4. The coat of arms on the Wisconsin state flag is representative of the workforce that was in place at the time the flag was adopted in 1863. It includes a plow to represent agriculture, an anchor for navigation, and a pick and shovel for the mining that was common in the area.

5. The current state flag was officially adopted on May 1, 1981. It added more symbols depicting life in Wisconsin. This included a sailor and a minor to show that the people of Wisconsin worked on both land and water.

Wisconsin – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationWI
State CapitalMadison
Largest CityMilwaukee
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 65,498 sq miles; Land Only: 54,310 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2022 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodMay 29, 1848
State rank by population20th
State rank by date of formation30th
State rank by area23rd
Number of Counties72
Bordering StatesIllinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota
Official LanguageNone
Highest PointTimms Hill
1,951 ft (595 m)
Lowest pointLake Michigan
579 ft (176 m)
Length 311 miles (500 km)
Width260 miles (420 km)
GovernorTony Evers (D)
Lieutenant GovernorSara Rodriguez (D)
Electoral Votes10
State MottoForward
State NicknameBadger State
% Water17
Nobel Prize WinnersJohn Bardeen (Physics, 1972)
Herbert Simon (Economic Sciences, 1978)
Thomas A. Steitz (Chemistry, 2009)
Oliver E. Williamson (Economic Sciences, 2009)
David J. Wineland (Physics, 2012)
William P. Murphy (Physiology or Medicine, 1934)
Herbert S. Gasser (Physiology or Medicine, 1944)
John Bardeen (Physics, 1956)
Famous peopleMike Webster (Pro Football player)
Bud Selig (Baseball player)
Christian Steinmetz (Baskerball player)
Mark Ruffalo (Actor)
Skylar Grey
State FossilTrilobite
Wildlife animalWhite-tailed deer
State fishMuskellunge
State DogAmerican Water Spaniel
State BirdAmerica robin
Domestic animalDairy cow
State FlowerWood Violet
State Insect
Western honey bee
State TreeSugar maple
National Forest2
State Forests13
State Parks46
Recreation Areas11
Longitude86° 46′ W to 92° 54′ W
Latitude42° 30' N to 47° 05′ N
Time ZoneCentral Time Zone
Area Codes262, 274, 414, 534, 608, 715, 920
Table last updatedApril 27, 2023