The Ghost Town of Belmont



Belmont, located in Lafayette County, was the first capital of the newly designated Wisconsin Territory in 1836. It was founded in 1835 by land speculator John Atchison. For 46 days it was the Wisconsin Territory Capital. When the legislature met, it was decided that the more centrally located town of Madison would be a better location. However, during the time Belmont was the Territory Capital, 42 laws were passed which would become the basis for Wisconsin's State Laws twelve years later. Once the territorial capital was changed, many people and businesses moved away. The town continued with a post office and a couple of other businesses until 1867 when a new town of Belmont was established three miles away along the railroad. The first Belmont was abandoned. The firt Capitol site has buildings that are restored and open as a state park.



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