Plain, Wisconsin

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Plain is a village in Sauk County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 792 at the 2000 census.



Plain is located at 43°16′39″N 90°2′40″W / 43.2775°N 90.04444°W / 43.2775; -90.04444 (43.277580, -90.044563).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²), all of it land.


The village of Plain is located on Wisconsin Highway 23 in the Town of Franklin. The area of Plain was originally known as Cramer's Corners[4] because Solomon, John, and Adam Cramer owned the land after moving there from Richland County, Ohio (previously from Pennsylvania). The Cramers are listed as land owners in an 1857 Town of Franklin map. (This Cramer family should not be confused with the Kraemer [Krämer] family from Irlach, Bavaria, Germany, who settled in Plain, Wisconsin, in 1867.) Several rough buildings were erected and the area acquired the nickname of Logtown.[5] A post office was established at Plain in 1860, and Plain formally became a village in 1912.[6]

The origin of the village's name is widely rumored to have been selected as an homage to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary at Maria Plain, in Salzburg, Austria. There are, however, no known documents, newspaper articles or books of the time to support this claim, and writings of the time indicate a less colorful origin: In the book Baraboo and Other Place Names in Sauk County, Wisconsin (written in 1912, the same year that Plain was incorporated) it says of Plain that it was "called Plain because the inhabitants were plain people." In a September 23, 1915 letter in the local newspaper, the Weekly Home News, a subscriber wrote of his desire to have Plain re-christened, as the town had expanded and improved so much over the past three years that it had outgrown the "plain"ness of its name. In the letter, the author wrote: "Within a few weeks very strong efforts will be made at proper headquarters to have the name of Plain changed, as that name does not agree with the rushing strides our burg is making. First of all there is no meaning to the word Plain, as it is an adjective; we must have at least a noun and why not put a "ville" or "city" to it."

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