And They Met In Belmont LbNA # 26121
|Placed Date||Sep 26 2006|
|Location||(Old) Belmont, WI|
(Yay! First in the County!)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
(see ****NOTE below re: clues & trees down)
Time: PART ONE, 10-15 minutes; PART TWO, 20-30 minutes
The 1830’s and 1840’s were turbulent yet very important historical years for what became the State of Wisconsin…
Before becoming a State (1848), Wisconsin was in what became an organized territory of the United States by an Act of the U.S. Congress. It was known as the Wisconsin Territory and included present day Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and part of North and South Dakotas!
President Andrew Jackson appointed Henry Dodge as the new Territory’s governor and it was up to Dodge to choose a place to begin meetings of the first Wisconsin Territorial Legislature. Because the town of Belmont, in southwestern Wisconsin, was experiencing a great population boom due to success in lead mining, Governor Dodge chose Belmont to be the first capitol of the Wisconsin Territory. He immediately had a Council House erected for the legislature to meet and one for lodging the legislature. On July 4th, 1836, there was a big celebration and the new Wisconsin Territorial Seal was unveiled. It featured an arm holding a pick and a pile of lead ore. The town was ready and the new Legislature met from October through December 9, 1836. In only 46 days: 42 laws were passed, the judicial system was established, and new roads and railroads were called for!
Belmont grew and prospered as dry goods stores, a post office, blacksmith shop, tavern, etc. were all built; even the Belmont Gazette newspaper was established! But it was not to sustain…after heated debate about where the legislature should PERMANENTLY meet, the lawmakers moved meetings to Burlington, Iowa, and then ultimately to Madison, WI where the Wisconsin state capital remains today.
Belmont began to decline soon after that first and only session ended, but especially by 1867 when the Mineral Point Railroad tracks were built about 2-3 miles to the SSE. A new town began springing up along the tracks that people called “New Belmont”, and later, just Belmont. Today “Old Belmont” is called Leslie.
Wisconsin’s First Territorial Capitol is now a State Historic Site. It is located about 2 ½ miles north of Belmont off Highway 151 on County Trunk “G”. The two white clapboard council & lodging houses have been restored and are now furnished with artifacts and an exhibit about pioneer life. They are open for tours June through Labor Day and admission is free. There are outdoor Historical signs erected on the south end of the site with information you’ll need to find the letterbox:
At the large sign, “Belmont, Wisconsin Territory, 1836:
What day in October, 1836, did Governor Henry Dodge address the joint session of the Legislature? = “A”
After the Dubuque and Burlington (IOWA) delegations finally joined the Eastern Wisconsin group…how many years was the capital moved to Burlington? = _____ x 5 = “B”
The small stone monument to the left of the large sign commemorates Arthur M. and Willma E. who donated the land to the Park:
What is their last name? ________ How many letters are in their last name? = “C”.
The parcel of land was donated _________(what month-numerical)=“D”, 2,1976?
With the information accumulated at the Historical Site, drive ½ mile south on Highway “G” to a park managed by the Lions.
Enter the Park (on your left) and take the roadway left…all the way to the top of the “mound”.
Enjoy a spectacular view from the 64-foot Observation Tower! Awesome! (With its two mounds, Belmont came by its name, “Belle Monte,” French for “beautiful hill.”)
*************************************************************(NOTE RECEIVED FROM A LB FRIEND JUNE 2011:
Just looked for the box. Found it in good shape.
The first clue is incorrect now as one of the trunks of the multitrunked tree fell down as did the "love bird" tree. We adjusted and kept on the path.)**********************************************************
From the bottom step of the tower find the trail heading eastward at a 100 degree compass bearing.
Travel along the fairly level trail as it snakes into the woods.
Just past the “C”-trunked tree on the right and then a barkless one for “lovebirds” on the left, continue on the trail as it descends at an obvious steeper grade.
Pass a few barely noticeable rock “steps” in the trail and continue on, taking the 90 degree looping (right) turn.
Don’t trip on the rock in the pathway but go a little ways further to the large slab practically sticking into the path on your right.
“D” steps past this slab is a path at a 335 degree compass direction.
Travel this path "A" paces to the surface of a rock “step”
Seal the deal “B” steps to the right, behind a dead trunk in a rock crevice.
After checking out our try at a design by John S. Horner, first Secretary of the Territory, please re-hide well and be sure to camouflage any footsteps if snow reveals your whereabouts! (Please be extra certain that the box is snapped shut tight! With your help we’re hoping it lasts and everything stays safe & dry!)
To return to the Observation Tower and parking lot: return to the main path, turn left, and retrace your steps back.
Hope you had fun and learned a little about Wisconsin’s heritage!
(Updates will be greatly appreciated as we don't live very close! “Contact the Placer” via clue webpage or E-mail us at YsGuysLB@yahoo.com. Thanks!!)
From: The Y’s Guys : )