Everything About Wisconsin You Never Asked

When Dan first got an email from Dream Company’s recruiter, asking him to apply for the job he’ll be starting tomorrow morning, we were both kind of like, “That’s cool but why would we want to move to Wisconsin?” We were hesitant at the idea of moving far away (to be honest, I wasn’t even sure where Wisconsin was at this point) especially for a company we knew very little about. Still, in this job market it would be foolish not to look into any opportunity so Dan began researching Dream Company and just fell in love – the benefits this company offers are terrific and it’s a very fast-paced competitive environment, which is actually perfect for Dan. And they were interested enough to recruit him – more than we can say for anyone else – even now that we’ve arrived in Wisconsin, we’ve still really only heard from a very small handful of the many companies Dan applied to.

So we started researching Wisconsin after deciding that Dream Company was worth relocating for. First off, we figured out where the heck it was! As Wikipedia will tell you:

“Wisconsin (En-us-Wisconsin.ogg /wɪˈskɒnsɨn/ (help·info)) (French: Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty states in the United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States. It borders two of the five Great Lakes and four U.S. states (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota). Wisconsin’s capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee.”

Here it is on a map for my fellow geographically challenged readers:

Anyway, being the big huge nerd that I am, I wanted to share with you any little interesting thing I could find about Wisconsin, after a brief browse through it’s Wikipedia page. I’ve found a lot of random WI connections since this whole thing began – it’s amazing how you can go your whole life hearing next to nothing about something until it’s relevant, and then it’s everywhere. And then it’s your whole life. Okay, I’m rambling again – onto the probably boring to everyone else facts!

  • Now that I live here, you can all start calling me a Wisconsinite. I doubt if I’ll ever have an accent that will make you say, “Oh she’s probably from Wisconsin.” First because despite having lived on the West Coast, the East Coast and the South I’ve never had an accent to speak of – second, according to the man at the Budget rental dealer we went to for Dan’s interview a month back, Wisconsin is one of those states that seems largely void of accents – although you will hear a bit of a Canadian / Minnesota accent occasionally.
  • “The word Wisconsin has its origins in the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian speaking American Indian groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River and record its name, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal.This spelling was later corrupted to Ouisconsin by other French explorers, and over time this version became the French name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling to its modern form when they began to arrive in greater numbers during the early 19th Century. The current spelling was made official by the legislature of Wisconsin Territory in 1845.”
  • Wisconsin is in the Central time zone. We moved here from the East Coast so it’s kind of weird, having been used to the Eastern Time Zone for the larger part of my life to suddenly be living an hour earlier. You know when you watch a tv show and it says it airs at 8pm / 7pm central – suddenly this applies to me. A lot of our shows now start at 7pm instead of 8pm and our last shows of the evening will end at 9pm instead of 10pm. I’m actually a big fan of this whole Central Time Zone thing because it’s given me an extra hour at night to read!
  • “In 1624, the Frenchman Jean Nicolet became the first European to explore what was to become Wisconsin. He founded the Green Bay colony. During the next 150 years, the area was settled primarily by French fur traders. France then transferred the territory to Britain in 1763. The United States acquired the Wisconsin territory after the Revolution in 1783, but it remained under de facto British control until the War of 1812. The nineteenth century saw settlement by “Yankees” (New Englanders and people from upstate New York), Cornish miners, and German, Scandinavian and Swiss settlers.”
  • “Wisconsin’s economy was originally based on farming, mining, and lumbering. Wisconsin’s topography of rolling glacial hills with rich (but rocky) soil coupled with unpredictable seasons favored dairy farming. Industrial centers sprung up along Lake Michigan and in the Fox Valley where there was easy access to raw materials (lumber, iron ore) and shipping ports, most notably at Milwaukee. After WWI Wisconsin became a major exporter of durable goods, with Milwaukee being known as the “tool box of the world.””
  • “In recent decades, service industries, especially medicine and education, have become dominant as heavy industry declined. Wisconsin is also noted for having a stable economy compared to most other states. This may be attributed to a diversified economy as well as a low net population growth.”
  • “The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing, agriculture, and health care. Although manufacturing accounts for a far greater part of the state’s income than farming, Wisconsin is often perceived as a farming state.”
  • “The varied landscape of Wisconsin makes the state a popular vacation destination for outdoor recreation. Winter events include skiing, ice fishing and snowmobile derbies. Wisconsin has many lakes of varied size; in fact Wisconsin contains 11,188 square miles of water, more than all but three other states (Alaska, Michigan and Florida). The distinctive Door Peninsula, which extends off the eastern coast of the state, contains one of the state’s most beautiful tourist destinations, Door County.”
  • “The highest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the Wisconsin Dells, on July 13, 1936, where it reached 114 °F (46 °C). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the village of Couderay, where it reached –55 °F (-48 °C) on both February 2 and February 4, 1996.” Overall Wisconsin’s weather is fairly similar to where we are from in Massachusetts – but it seems that when it gets hot, it gets a little bit hotter, and when it gets cold, it gets a little bit colder. At least, that’s what I gather from what I’ve heard and read. I’ll get back to you on the climate once I’ve lived in more than one week of it.
  • Wisconsin produces more dairy products than any other state in the United States except California, and leads the nation in cheese production. Wisconsin ranks second behind California in overall production of milk and butter, and it ranks third in per-capita milk production, behind Idaho and Vermont. Wisconsin ranks first in the production of corn for silage, cranberries, ginseng, and snap beans for processing.”
  • Seriously, no joke, the cheese in Wisconsin is amazingly delicious – I am a huge cheese lover so that is kind of like heaven for me. Even the generic store brand string cheeses in Wisconsin taste amazing because I’m pretty sure it’s made from Wisconsin cheese – or else I’m imagining it, but if so then my imagination is delicious and that’s also pretty cool.
  • “Some well-known food brands produced in Wisconsin include Oscar Mayer, Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats, and Usinger’s sausage. Kraft Foods alone employs over 5,000 people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer and the site of the headquarters of Miller Brewing Company, the nation’s second-largest brewer. At one time, Schlitz, Blatz, and Pabst were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee. Today, Milwaukee’s economy is more diverse with an emphasis on health care. In 2004, four of the city’s ten largest employers (including the top two) were part of the health care industry.”
  • There are no toll roads in Wisconsin; highway and road construction and maintenance is funded by motor fuel tax revenues.
  • “Wisconsin’s self-promotion as “America’s Dairyland” sometimes leads to a mistaken impression that it is an exclusively rural state. However, Wisconsin contains cities and towns of all sizes. Over 68% of Wisconsin residents live in urban areas, with the Greater Milwaukee area home to roughly one-third of the state’s population. With over 602,000 residents Milwaukee proper is the 22nd-largest city in the country. The string of cities along the western edge of Lake Michigan is generally considered to be an example of a megalopolis. Madison’s dual identity as state capital and college town gives it a cultural richness unusual in a city its size. With a population of around 220,000, Madison is also a very fast-growing city. Madison’s suburb, Middleton, was also ranked the “Best Place to Live in America” in 2007 by Money Magazine.”
  • “Public education in Wisconsin includes both the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, headquartered in Madison, and the 16-campus Wisconsin Technical College System which coordinates with the University of Wisconsin. Notable private colleges and universities include Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Medical College of Wisconsin, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Beloit College, and Lawrence University, among others.”
  • “Wisconsin has more country music festivals than any other state,[citation needed] including Miller Lite Presents Country Fest, Bud Light Presents Country Jam USA, the Coors Hodag Country Festival, Porterfield Country Music Festival, Country Thunder USA in Twin Lakes, and the ever-popular Ford Presents Country USA. The state’s largest city, Milwaukee, also hosts “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” Summerfest, every year. This festival is held at the lake front Henry Maier Festival Park just south of downtown.”
  • “Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. Lambeau Field, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin is home to the National Football League‘s Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful small-market professional sports franchises in the world and have won 12 NFL championships, including the first two AFL-NFL Championship games (Super Bowls I and II) and Super Bowl XXXI. The Milwaukee Brewers, the state’s major league baseball team, play in Miller Park in Milwaukee, the successor to Milwaukee County Stadium since 2001. In 1982, the Brewers won the American League Championship, marking their most successful season. The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association play home games at the Bradley Center. The Bucks won the NBA Championship in 1971.”

Okay, I’ll stop. Have a great night!

7 responses to “Everything About Wisconsin You Never Asked”

  1. Jen @ mommablogsalot Avatar

    @ Jen – Daily Big Top : We’re close to a smaller but still very big lake and about an hour’s drive to the great lakes I think.


  2. Amanda @ funkepunkemonke.com Avatar

    I’m so coming to visit!


  3. jen@ourdailybigtop Avatar

    I learned alot about Wisconsin in your post. I only think of WI and cheese and the Green Bay Packers. Are you close to the lakes?


  4. sues2u2 Avatar

    Interesting. I actually have been to Wisconsin on my way to St Paul, Mn a couple of years ago. It was in the spring & I remember it being very beautiful & green although super windy.


  5. workingmomma247 Avatar

    I’ve never been to Wisconsin but that’s where my former company’s corporate office was-Milwaukee. One of the guys would come down and bring me brauts and cheese. Love me some cheese too!
    I also will mention that when I would travel over to Easten Time, I really did hate it, as I felt it was so late when it was still early in Central time. I don’t think I ever got used to it. Pacific Time is a whole another story.
    I never knew that about all the music festivals…the more you know!


  6. Andrea @ Red Knows How Avatar
    Andrea @ Red Knows How

    Now I know more about Wisconsin than I could ever want to know. A dream come true!


  7. Mrs. Newlywed Avatar

    How fun!

    Are you feeling all settled? I’ve been having Reader issues, so I am sure I missed some posts!

    Good luck to him tomorrow 🙂 How exciting!