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Facts About Wisconsin History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

Image: Facts About Wisconsin History: 7 Things You Might Not Know
Photo of eliason-snowmobile web site. (eliason-snowmobile.com)

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 10:07 AM

The mention of this state brings a few facts about Wisconsin to mind for most people. Perhaps they're aware that it borders Lake Erie, and many other lakes and rivers weave through the region.

They may have referred to it as America's Dairyland. They've seen that Wisconsinites are proud of their cheese, going so far as to wear it on their heads to support the state's treasured NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.

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However, they might not know that The Badger State is about more than cheese, football, and its water systems. The following are some fascinating facts about Wisconsin history:

1. Snowmobiling:
There are over 25,000 miles of well-groomed trails looping through Wisconsin. This is not surprising considering it's the birthplace of snowmobiling. Tourists can visit a museum in Sayner where the original, hand-built "motor toboggan," the first snowmobile, was created in 1924.

2. The National Mustard Museum:
Love mustard? Then plan a visit to Wisconsin to see the world's largest collection of mustards and mustard memorabilia. The (mustard) seed was planted for founder Barry Levenson to start the museum in 1986 after his beloved Boston Red Sox's World Series loss. He decided to distract himself by roaming his local grocery's condiment aisle, and subsequently came up with the idea.

3. Noak's Ark:
No, this isn't about a replica of Noah's Ark, or a small museum with one strip of wood supposedly from the original boat. Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells is the largest water-themed park in all of America. It's located on 70 acres of land and in 2014, it was recognized at one of the top 10 Travelers' Choice Water Parks in the U.S. on TripAdvisor.

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4. First Kindergarten in America: In 1856, a newlywed couple, Mr. and Mrs. Schurz, moved to America from London. Mrs. Schurz was seeking purpose in her new community, so she decided to start a small kindergarten class in her home. It was the first of its kind in the states.

5. Harley Davidson Motorcycles: This beloved motorcycle company was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee. The motorcycle was based on a plan that designer William Harley sketched in 1901, which showed "an engine designed to fit into a bicycle," according to the Harley Davidson website. Together with Arthur Davidson, they built the first publicly available Harley in a 10 by 15-foot shed.

6. The First Ringling Brothers Circus:
The world-famous Ringling Bros. Circus began with five Ringling brothers putting on their first circus in the city of Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1884. Twenty-three years later, Ringling and Barnum & Bailey circus merged, but they continued to tour separately.

7. Milwaukee's Summerfest: The largest music festival in the U.S. takes place every summer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for nearly two weeks. This musical event spans across "11 stages with over 800 acts, over 1,000 performances and nearly 900,000 of your closest friends" according to the festival's website.

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The mention of this state brings a few facts about Wisconsin to mind for most people. Perhaps they're aware that it borders Lake Erie, and many other lakes and rivers weave through the region.
facts about wisconsin, history
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2015-07-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 10:07 AM
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