BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY!

The wait is almost over! First Capitol will reopen for the season on May 28. We can’t wait to see you. Plan your group tour for the 2022 season.

BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY!

The wait is almost over! First Capitol will reopen for the season on May 28. We can’t wait to see you. Click below to plan your group tour for the 2022 season.

Kids standing in front of a building at First Capital

Discover the Birthplace of Wisconsin Government 

Before Madison became Wisconsin’s capital, the first territorial Explore the site of Wisconsin’s first capitol, where for just 47 days representatives met to lay the foundation for our state’s government. Madison has long been Wisconsin’s capital city, but the first 40 laws were made 50 miles southwest in Belmont. At First Capitol, you’ll immerse yourself in the world of these founders, walking through the buildings and rooms where these important decisions were made.


GROUP TOURS

Details

Book your group tour today! Tours include private guide(s) that can be customized to meet the needs and interests of your group. Free onsite bus parking

Min 10 | Max 55

Please note we do not offer onsite dining. Reservations needed 2 weeks in advance.

Pricing

$5.00 per guest
*bluestar initiative

Tour operators/guides/drivers: FREE

Payment due on arrival.

For more information, or to book, contact us at firstcapitol@wisconsinhistory.org or call 608-987-2122.

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Becoming a member is the best way to explore Wisconsin history. Members get free admission to our historic sites and discounts on special events!


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First Capitol

First Capitol

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Discover the rugged origins of the first capitol of Wisconsin Territory, where legislators laid down the framework for the current state government.

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It's National Historic Marker Day!

Our historic markers at First Capitol celebrate the founding and continuation of Wisconsin government. Marker #75 shares the history of the territorial government meeting in this spot in 1836. Markers #355 and #438 observe Wisconsin's 1998 Sesquicentennial celebration through an address by governor Tommy Thompson and the Wisconsin Assembly.

Our markers are located in the parking lot of First Capitol, but have been temporarily removed for refurbishment by Sewah Studios, Inc in Ohio. They will be reinstalled later this spring.

📸: Marker #5, Belmont, Wisconsin Territory, 1836
📸: Marker #355, Governor Tommy G. Thompson's 1998 Address at Wisconsin's First Capitol
📸: 1998 Wisconsin Assembly
... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago
Its National Historic Marker Day!

Our historic markers at First Capitol celebrate the founding and continuation of Wisconsin government. Marker #75 shares the history of the territorial government meeting in this spot in 1836.  Markers #355 and #438 observe Wisconsins 1998 Sesquicentennial celebration through an address by governor Tommy Thompson and the Wisconsin Assembly. 

Our markers are located in the parking lot of First Capitol, but have been temporarily removed for refurbishment by Sewah Studios, Inc in Ohio. They will be reinstalled later this spring. 

📸: Marker #5, Belmont, Wisconsin Territory, 1836
📸: Marker #355, Governor Tommy G. Thompsons 1998 Address at Wisconsins First Capitol
📸: 1998 Wisconsin AssemblyImage attachmentImage attachment

Did you know that First Capitol was the site of the only battle of the War of 1812 to take place in Wisconsin? British and American forces clashed in July of 1814 over control of the Upper Mississippi River.



April Fools! Any "battles" at First Capitol were fought only with words and votes during the Wisconsin territorial legislature's first session in 1836. The Battle of Prairie du Chien actually occurred at our sister site, Villa Louis Historic Site. From July 17-20, 1814, British soldiers and local militias laid siege to the American Fort Shelby, leading to the Americans' surrender. Thirty years later, Hercules Dousman would build his home on the very spot where Fort Shelby once stood. You can learn more about the War of 1812 and the Dousman family by visiting Villa Louis this year, opening for the season on May 28.
... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Did you know that First Capitol was the site of the only battle of the War of 1812 to take place in Wisconsin? British and American forces clashed in July of 1814 over control of the Upper Mississippi River.

 

April Fools! Any battles at First Capitol were fought only with words and votes during the Wisconsin territorial legislatures first session in 1836. The Battle of Prairie du Chien actually occurred at our sister site, Villa Louis Historic Site. From July 17-20, 1814, British soldiers and local militias laid siege to the American Fort Shelby, leading to the Americans surrender. Thirty years later, Hercules Dousman would build his home on the very spot where Fort Shelby once stood. You can learn more about the War of 1812 and the Dousman family by visiting Villa Louis this year, opening for the season on May 28.