Along the River Bank

The Wisconsin River has been called “the hardest working river” in the state.  The river was used for many years as a way to move lumber from northern Wisconsin down to the Mississippi.   Trade was a major part of the native economy and the river provided the mechanism for that trade.

The Sac tribe build a sophisticated village along the river bank which is now Sauk City, the oldest village in the state.  Explorer John Carver stopped his canoe at the village in 1699 calling it the largest and most elaborate Indian village he had ever seen.


Eberhart, F.S., October, 1911
Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society

The dam in Prairie du Sac was built in the early 20th century, putting an end to commercial transportation on the river.  The dam now provides energy to the villages of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac and beyond.   The dam also creates some of the best fishing in the state and a place for eagles to feed in the winter.

So the river still stands as one of the hardest working rivers in Wisconsin.

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