Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

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Fort Atkinson is a city in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the Rock River, a few miles upstream from Lake Koshkonong. In 1996, Money Magazine named Fort Atkinson "One of America's Hottest Little Boomtowns."[3] The population was 11,621 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Fort Atkinson was named after General Henry Atkinson, the commander of U.S. forces during the Black Hawk War. The city is located at the site of Fort Koshkonong, which was used during that war. A replica of the original stockade has been built just outside of town, although not at the original site, which was at the confluence of the Rock and Bark Rivers.

Much of the history and natural history of Fort Atkinson and the surrounding area is presented at the Hoard Historical Museum and National Dairy Shrine's Visitor Center.[4] The historical museum has a special Civil War library and exhibit, as well. The museum is named after the Hoard family, who founded the nationally distributed dairy farm magazine, Hoard's Dairyman. The Dairy Shrine portion of the complex portrays the history and significance of the dairy industry.

Another historic feature near Fort Atkinson is the General Atkinson Mound Group, a cluster of Indian mounds located just south of town. Similar to the larger group of mounds at nearby Aztalan State Park, the mounds are an artifact of Mississippian culture in Wisconsin. Some of the mounds are effigy mounds, resembling birds and turtles. There is also a 125-foot (38 m) long panther intaglio west of town, the last remaining intaglio in the state.[5]

Fort Atkinson's history is preserved in the Main Street and Merchants Avenue historic districts. Other Registered Historic Places include the Fort Atkinson Water Tower, Hoard's Dairyman Farm and Jones Dairy Farm.

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