The state's name is derived from the Wisconsin River, which was named by the French traders and explorers who arrived in the area in the 17th century. The river's name is believed to come from the Ojibwe word "meskonsing," which means "it lies red" or "red stone place."
Juneau County, located in the state of Wisconsin, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ho-Chunk and Menominee, who were drawn to the abundant natural resources in the region. European settlers began arriving in the mid-19th century, attracted by the lumber industry and the promise of fertile lands for farming.

In 1857, Juneau County was officially established, named in honor of Solomon Juneau, one of the early founders of the city of Milwaukee and a prominent figure in Wisconsin's early history. The county quickly became a center for logging, as vast forests covered the area. Timber was transported via the Wisconsin River, which played a crucial role in the county's economic development during this period.

As the logging industry declined in the late 19th century, agriculture took on a more significant role in Juneau County's economy. Dairy farming became a staple activity, as the area's fertile soil was well-suited for producing milk and cheese. The construction of rail lines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries further facilitated the transportation of agricultural products, solidifying the county's position as an agricultural hub.

In the present day, Juneau County remains primarily a rural area with a population that relies on agriculture, tourism, and small industries for its livelihood. The county is known for its natural beauty, boasting several lakes, rivers, and state parks that attract outdoor enthusiasts from around the region. With a history deeply rooted in logging and farming, Juneau County continues to honor its past while embracing the opportunities of the present.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Juneau County, Wisconsin.

  • 1836 - The Wisconsin Territory is established.
  • 1857 - Juneau County is officially established by the Wisconsin Legislature.
  • 1861-1865 - Juneau County residents fight in the American Civil War.
  • 1864 - The village of New Lisbon is incorporated.
  • 1865 - Camp Randall, a Civil War training camp, is established near present-day Camp Douglas.
  • 1882 - The Wisconsin Central Railroad reaches Mauston, bringing increased transportation and economic opportunities.
  • 1899 - The city of Mauston is officially incorporated.
  • 1920s - Juneau County becomes a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors to its lakes, forests, and recreational opportunities.
  • 1950s-1960s - The construction of Interstate 90/94 improves access to Juneau County and promotes further economic growth.
  • 1985 - The Juneau County Historical Society is founded to preserve and promote the county's history.
  • 2008 - The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • 2010 - Juneau County's population reaches over 26,000 residents.