Capitols (buildings) in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Capitol Buildings in Wisconsin

Capitols (buildings) in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.


Night view of the Wisconsin State Capitol dome, 1970 (WHi-35429)

Wisconsin got its first capitol in 1836 when it became a U.S. territory. This capitol was located in Belmont in the lead region of southwest Wisconsin. The Belmont building is now a historic site operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

After Madison was selected as the territorial capital, a second capitol was built in Madison in 1837-1838. Lawmakers met temporarily in Burlington, Iowa, during its construction. The second capitol was in use from 1838 to 1858.

A third capitol was constructed in Madison in 1859-69. It was occupied from 1859 to 1904. In 1904, a fire destroyed this third capitol building.

The fourth capitol is the building still in use today. It was built between 1909 and 1917.

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