86 Interesting Facts About Wisconsin

Last updated on May 11th, 2024

49. The busiest control tower on earth

Oshkosh, a small town found on Lake Winnebago to the Northwest of Milwaukee, is prominent for two things: the first is its popular line of children’s clothing, and secondly, the integral place it occupies on the world’s air show circuit. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, which is the largest meeting of aviators in the world, has, since 1970, been held right here every summer. During the event, which takes one week, the Oshkosh control tower is the busiest on earth as close to 15,000 aircrafts land at the airport, plus approximately 500,000 visitors. All of these come here to get a glimpse of the thrilling aerobatic displays and flybys from contemporary and vintage military aircraft.

50. The Highest Number of Water Parks in a Single Place

The Wisconsin Dells boasts the most number of water parks in a single area in the whole world. There are over 10 water parks, both indoor and outdoor with millions of water gallons when combined. Water slides exceed 200 in number.

51. One of the biggest water parks in the US

Wisconsin Dells has one of the biggest water parks in the US. This is none other than the Noah’s Ark Water Park. Noah’s Ark Family Park has dozens of attractions and boasts more than 50 water slides.

La Crosse Lager storage tanks shaped like a 6 pack of beer cans
La Crosse Lager storage tanks shaped like a 6 pack of beer cans. Photo © Sequential5

52. The World’s Largest Six-Pack

The World’s Largest Six-Pack is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It is a collection of six giant beer cans that are each over seven feet tall. The World’s Largest Six-Pack was created by the City of La Crosse and the La Crosse Brewing Company as a way to promote the city’s brewing industry. It is a popular tourist destination.

53. The largest scrap metal sculpture

Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron is a massive sculpture located in North Freedom, Wisconsin. The sculpture is made up of scrap metal and other materials, and it stands at over 120 feet tall.

54. Rope Jump Capital of the World

In 1960, Wally Mohrman invented the rope jump. He was thinking of a winter activity that kids could play. He designed it in a way that kids from grade I to middle school would contend to see who managed to jump a rope most in 10 seconds. It was after this that rope jumping gained world fame. Subsequently, Bloomer got the name of the world’s Rope Jumping Capital.

55. Tons of effigy mounds

Effigy mounds are a common sight in Wisconsin. These raised earth piles were built in the shape of a symbol, animal or other figures. Although Native Americans built them throughout the country, it’s in Wisconsin that they are most common.

The Milwaukee Art museum.
The Milwaukee Art museum. The wings of this unique building fold and unfold twice daily.

56. One of the largest museums in the US

The Milwaukee Art Museum, abbreviated as MAM, contains close to 30,000 works of art, and is among the largest museums to be found in the US. It used to be partially housed in a structure designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957 as a war memorial. Right from the start, the 2 lower floors were designated for art gallery use. The museum sees more than 400,000 visitors a year.

57. A museum for the Toys

The Fenimore, Wisconsin Toy Museum holds an extensive collection of toys and dolls for the collectors of these items to observe. They have about 80 display cases where classics and collectibles are on display.

58. Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire offers children an opportunity to explore their creativity. Through interactive exhibits and plays, children can think and grow in this child-friendly environment. There is a beautiful world of water, planetarium shows, face painting, and more.

Lincoln-Tallman House located in Janesville, Wisconsin
This is a Fall picture of the Lincoln-Tallman House located in Janesville, Wisconsin. The house constructed 1855-1857 is an example of Italian Villa architecture. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1970.

59. Where Abraham Lincoln Slept

The Lincoln-Tallman House Museum is a famous landmark located in Janesville. It was constructed in the 1850s by a lawyer who was known as William Tallman. It became famous after Abraham Lincoln spent two nights there.

60. The Wisconsin Statue

At the highest point of Capitol building is a statue that honors the Greek goddess. The outstretched arm of the figure symbolizes the Forward motto. People often mistake it as the Forward statue but it is actually named Wisconsin.

61. The Spring City

Waukesha is renowned for natural springs and has plenty of resorts for tourists. The springs started gaining popularity in the 19th Century. Some were said to have medicinal properties. There is a beautiful park to see with spectacular floral gardens on the Fox River.

Wind Point Lighthouse, Wisconsin.
Wind Point Lighthouse. Image credit –

62. Fox Trot Trail, Appleton

The famous Fox Trot Trail takes you through the riverfront and downtown of Appleton. You can start the adventure at the Houdini Plaza and follow the fox symbol. Expect scenic views of Fox River and numerous historic sites.

63. Want to enjoy cherry bloom?

Gorgeous cherries in bloom can be observed in Door County, Wisconsin. Cherry blooms will peak for two weeks in the middle of May to provide you with an unforgettable sight of beauty.

64. Surfing in Sheboygan

Sheboygan is commonly known by avid surfers as ‘Malibu of the Midwest.’ Freshwater surfing takes place from around September to March. The Great Lakes is one of the top surf spots with favorable geography.

65. 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.

66. Trail town of the U.S

Cable in North Wisconsin is known as the ‘Trail Town of the US.’ It is an outdoor adventure paradise for bikers and hikers and lies in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Sputnik satellite close-up
Sputnik close-up. Photo © Anton Barashenkov

67. Sputnik’s crash site

The Sputnik satellite crashed in a farm field near Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1962. There is also an annual festival to celebrate it. Every year in September, the Sputnikfest celebrates this momentous event. 

68. Here cars coast uphill

Gravity Hill in Wisconsin is a spot where cars coast uphill. The Gravity Hill legend has been around for years. The Gravity Hill is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

There are many theories about how the Gravity Hill became like this. Some say that it is the result of a magnetic field, while others claim it is an optical illusion. Whatever the case may be, the Gravity Hill is a fascinating phenomenon that continues to baffle people to this day. If you’re ever in Wisconsin, be sure to check out the Gravity Hill for yourself!

69. Eat an Ice Cream if you want to party!

People living in Wisconsin love to party and eating ice cream is just one of the excuses they use to have fun. Wisconsin people consume about 21 million gallons of this dessert each year.

70. House on the Rock

The widely celebrated House on the Rock, located between Spring Green and Dodgeville cities, is a tourist attraction that was opened in 1959. It consists of architecturally discrete rooms, gardens, shops, and streets, and was designed by Jordan Alex Jr. It sits atop Deer Shelter Rock, which is a rock column approximately 18x21x61 (meters).

71. 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 8th largest army in the world if grouped together.

72. Hunters!

More than 600,000 hunting licenses were issued in Wisconsin to hunters by 2022. The licenses were only for deer hunters who hunt over the few months of the open season.

73. Margarine was prohibited

Wisconsin prohibited the sale and use of margarine starting from 1895 to 1967. Although the ban has since been lifted, there are still some restrictions that remain on margarine. Today, it is still illegal for restaurants to serve their customers margarine in place of butter unless the customer requests for it.

74. Save the Chicken

In 1850, laws were set to protect the greater prairie chicken from extinction. The population of this bird became too small for hunting and was later limited to the central region of Wisconsin.

representational image

75. Initiated the Income Tax

Wisconsin was the first state in the US to establish income tax in 1911. These days, Wisconsin’s income tax generates about fifty percent of the state’s general fund revenue.

76. Cheese Hats

While ‘cheese head’ was an insulting term given to mock the cheese industry of Wisconsin, the insult was turned around to show their pride. It all changed in 1987 when people from Wisconsin started wearing cheese hats.

77. An Exceptional Cheese Sculptor

A Wisconsin native, Sarah Kaufmann has been a cheese sculptor for more than 20 years. From her, we got the larger-than-life cheese model of a hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

78. Frank Lloyd Wright

Some of the most popular attractions of Wisconsin are the buildings that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He was a native of Wisconsin and one of its most ever prominent citizens.

79. Maria Boyd

Maria Boyd, better known as Belle Boyd, a Confederate spy, found her final resting place in Wisconsin. She might have been from Virginia, but before she died, she became a Unionist and was buried in Wisconsin Dell.

80. 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.”

81. The Hulk hails from Wisconsin

A fun fact is that the actor of the Hulk in The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo, hails from Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was born November 22, 1967, and played in You Can Count.

82. Robert Gard founded the Wisconsin Idea Theater

Robert Gard is the founder of the Wisconsin Idea Theater, which was established in 1945. The Idea Theater was a cultural program developed by the University of Wisconsin to advance theater arts.

Barbie Fashionista 69
Skylar – Barbie Fashionista 69. Image credit – Eirien

83. Barbie doll was born here

Did you know the fictional town where the Barbie doll was born is the town of Willows, Wisconsin? She attended high school there, and her official birthday was March 9, 1959.

84. Adjutant Arthur MacArthur

A member of the 24th Wisconsin Infantry, the 18-year-old Adjutant Arthur MacArthur was the first to say the words: ‘On Wisconsin.’ It was said at the Battle of Chattanooga during the Civil War.

85. A Hideaway for many gangsters

Wisconsin isn’t just known for all the nice things. It also has a history of gangsters. They used to like Waukesha County a lot, specifically Oconomowoc. Some notable members included John Dillinger, Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, and Bugs Moran.

86. The house of Laura Ingalls Wilder

A replica of the little house in the big woods can be seen just outside Pepin in Wisconsin. It is the house of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the famous author of the very popular Little House on the Prairie

Facts about the state flag of Wisconsin

Flag of Wisconsin
Flag of Wisconsin. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

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
Population
5,910,955
(Estimate July 1, 2023 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
DemonymWisconsinite
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
(Singer)
State FossilTrilobite
FruitCranberry
Wildlife animalWhite-tailed deer
State fishMuskellunge
State DogAmerican Water Spaniel
State BirdAmerica robin
AnimalBadger
Domestic animalDairy cow
RockGranite
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
Websitewww.wisconsin.gov
Area Codes262, 274, 414, 534, 608, 715, 920
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023