Wisconsin Retirement offers many great amenities from both rural and big city venues, but the climate here is not for the faint of heart as winter temperatures can be frigid for many weeks at a time. Much of Wisconsin’s historical heritage is less showcased than in eastern states although the region was first explored for France by Jean Nicolet. He landed in Green Bay in 1634. Great Britain took over after the French and Indian Wars in 1763. The territory was taken by the United States in 1783 after the Revolutionary War but Britain retained control until after the War of 1812.
The region was successively governed as part of the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan between 1800 and 1836, when it became a separate territory. Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th state in 1848.
The “Badger State”, Wisconsin ranks 26th in size with 56,154 square miles of land and water. Madison is the capital and home to the University of Wisconsin, one of the nation’s largest Universities and a product of the early “land grant” system of educational institutions that established several of the major state institutions of higher learning. Wisconsin’s largest city is Milwaukee in the South Region which is also Wisconsin’s most populous area.
South of Milwaukee, on Highway 50, are the cities of Racine and Kenosha. On Highway 50 north of Milwaukee is the city of Green Bay, home of the Green Bay Packers of professional football fame.
Lake Winnebago is the largest of Wisconsin’s 14,000 lakes. Water sports, ice-boating, and fishing are popular, as are skiing and hunting. Public parks and forests take up one-seventh of the land, with 45 state parks, 9 state forests, 14 state trails, 3 recreational areas, and 2 national forests.
Among the many points of interest are the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Ice Age National Scientific Reserve; the Circus World Museum at Baraboo; the Wolf, St. Croix, and Lower St. Croix St. Croix National Scenic Riverway ; and the Wisconsin Dells.
Wisconsin’s notables include Don Ameche, Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles, Woody Herman, Les Paul, Liberace, Frank Lloyd Wright, Harry Houdini, Thornton Wilder, and many more.