Wisconsin History Day By Day



Related Web Sites:
Wisconsin Historical Society Archives: John Nolen letters

Wisconsin State Parks Through the Years

John Nolen Drafts a Plan for a State Park System in 1909


Read More About It:

"Madison, A Model City" by John Nolen

""Wisconsin State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide" by Bill Bailey


Vocabulary:

feasibility
confluence
inception


Interesting Fact:

Wisconsin's oldest state park, Interstate State Park, was established in 1900.


Study Questions:

  • What is John Nolen's background? Why was he in Wisconsin?
  • What is Nolen's connection with Madison?
  • How many state parks are there today in Wisconsin?


    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about John Nolen and Wisconsin State Parks:

  • Newspapers on BadgerLink
  • Wisconsin Historical Society


    U.S. historical events that occurred on January 13:

    1888: The National Geographic Society is founded.
    1957: The Wham-O Company produces the first Frisbee.



  • January 13

    January 13, 1909: Parks planner John Nolen issued a report to the Wisconsin State Park Board that provided guidelines for a Wisconsin state parks system. Hired in 1907 to draft a feasibility plan for a Wisconsin state parks system, Nolen's 1909 report recommended the creation of parks at four locations: Devil's Lake, Fish Creek in Door County (Peninsula State Park), the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers (Wyalusing State Park) and the Dell of the Wisconsin River. The Dells was the only area that was not named a state park at the program's inception.


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