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Stoughton City

Stoughton City Hall is located at 381 East Main Street, Stoughton, WI 53589; phone: 608-873-6677.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, National Register

Photo: Lyman Brown House (ca. 1859), 101 South Fifth Street, Stoughton, WI. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Photographed by user:James Steakley (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed April, 2015.

Beginnings [1]

Like many pioneer settlements in southern Wisconsin, Stoughton has grown from a succession of uses: an early mill town to a growing railroad and agricultural trade center and eventually to the City it is today. The City was platted in 1847 along the Yahara River (then known as the Catfish River). It become an incorporated village in 1862 and an incorporated City in 1882. A large wave of Norwegian immigrants populated Stoughton in the 1880s and 1890s to work in the City's expanding wagon and tobacco industries. Early development consisted of home sites, flour mills, wagon factories, machine shops, tobacco warehouses, and other mercantile establishments. By 1905, when the City's population reached 4,200, the Norwegian language and culture were evident throughout the community and became one of the most "Norwegian" communities in the United States. That heritage is reflected today in local place names, festivals and customs. In 2000, nearly 30 percent of Stoughton's residents reported Norwegian ancestry (German was the most common ancestry reported with 38.6 percent).

Much of Stoughton's history is captured in the buildings constructed during the City's boom from 1880 to 1910. There are several buildings and districts in the City of Stoughton listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places.

  1. City of Stoughton, Wisconsin with Vandewall and Associates, Inc., City of Stoughton Comprehensive Plan, 2005; amended 2012, www.ci.stoughton.wi.us, accessed April, 2015.
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