Mineral Point, Wisconsin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the community in Green County, see Mineral Point, Green County, Wisconsin.
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
City
High Street, Mineral Point
High Street, Mineral Point
Location of Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Location of Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 42°51′37″N 90°10′59″W / 42.86028°N 90.18306°W / 42.86028; -90.18306Coordinates: 42°51′37″N 90°10′59″W / 42.86028°N 90.18306°W / 42.86028; -90.18306
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Iowa
Settled 1827
Government
 • Mayor Greggory Bennett
Area[1]
 • Total 2.91 sq mi (7.54 km2)
 • Land 2.91 sq mi (7.54 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,487
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,492
 • Density 854.6/sq mi (330.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 608
Website www.mineralpoint.com

Mineral Point is a city in Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located within the Town of Mineral Point. Mineral Point is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Wisconsin's third oldest city,[4][5][6] Mineral Point was settled in 1827, becoming a lead and zinc mining center during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the city's historical character has made it a regional tourist destination. The population was 2,487 at the 2010 census.

History[edit]

The first European settlement at Mineral Point began in 1827. One of the first settlers to the area was Henry Dodge and his family who settled a few miles away from Mineral Point.[7] During the following year, large quantities of galena, or lead ore, were discovered around the settlement in shallow deposits. Lead had many uses at the time, and settlers began to flock to the region hoping to make a living by extracting the easily accessible mineral. Lead deposits extended throughout an area that also included Dubuque, Iowa and Galena, Illinois, but Mineral Point became the center of lead mining operations within the bounds of present day Wisconsin (then part of Michigan Territory). By 1829, the region's growing population led to the creation of Iowa County, which included all of the lead mining lands within the borders of Michigan Territory at the time. Mineral Point was established as the county seat later that year. During the Black Hawk War of 1832, residents of Mineral Point built Fort Jackson to protect the town from a possible attack.[8] The young settlement's importance was further confirmed in 1834 when it was selected as the site of one of two federal land offices responsible for distributing public land to settlers within the area that now encompasses Wisconsin.

When Wisconsin Territory was created in 1836, Mineral Point hosted the inauguration of the first territorial governor, Henry Dodge, and the territorial secretary, John S. Horner. During the ceremony, a design by Horner was officially recognized as the Great Seal of Wisconsin Territory. It displayed an arm holding a pickaxe over a pile of lead ore, demonstrating the importance of Mineral Point's early mining economy to the new territory. A census conducted in the months after the inauguration showed that Iowa County had 5,234 inhabitants, making it the most populous county in the Wisconsin Territory east of the Mississippi River.[9]

Pendarvis House (left) and Trelawny House (right) at the Pendarvis Historic Site

Mineral Point remained an important lead mining center during the 1840s. Although the most easily accessible lead deposits on the surface were being exhausted by this time, new immigrants began to arrive with more refined techniques for extracting ore. The largest group came from Cornwall, which had been a mining center for centuries. Experienced Cornish miners were attracted to the lead mining opportunities in Mineral Point, and by 1845 roughly half of the town's population had Cornish ancestry.[10] The original dwellings of some of these early Cornish immigrants have been restored at the Pendarvis Historic Site in Mineral Point. Lead continued to be produced in abundant quantities by the Cornish miners, and in 1847, the Mineral Point Tribune reported that the town's furnaces were producing 43,800 pounds (19,900 kg) of lead each day.[11]

Mining activity in Mineral Point began to decline in the following years. In 1848, the same year that Wisconsin achieved statehood, gold was discovered in California. Many experienced miners left Mineral Point to look for gold, and in all, the town lost 700 people during the California Gold Rush.[12] While the lead industry in Mineral Point continued into the 1860s, the town never recovered its former importance. A further blow was struck in 1861 when the county seat of Iowa County was relocated to nearby Dodgeville, Wisconsin, where it remains today. Afterwards there was an intense rivalry between the two cities, during which[when?] Mineral Point fired a cannon towards Dodgeville's direction.[citation needed]

As lead mining declined in Mineral Point, zinc mining and smelting became important new industries. Zinc ore was discovered with increasing frequency near the bottoms of old lead mines. The Mineral Point Zinc Company was founded in 1882, and by 1891 it was operating the largest zinc oxide works in the United States at Mineral Point.[13] Zinc mining and processing continued on a large scale until the 1920s.

Geography[edit]

Mineral Point is located at 42°51′37″N 90°10′59″W / 42.86028°N 90.18306°W / 42.86028; -90.18306 (42.860465, -90.183204).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.91 square miles (7.54 km2), all of it land.[1]

Mineral Point lies within the Driftless Area.

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,487 people, 1,147 households, and 648 families residing in the city. The population density was 854.6 inhabitants per square mile (330.0/km2). There were 1,278 housing units at an average density of 439.2 per square mile (169.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.9% White, 0.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.

There were 1,147 households of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.5% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.83.

The median age in the city was 43.7 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 30.3% were from 45 to 64; and 18.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 2,617 people, 1,092 households, and 693 families residing in the city. The population density was 868.1 people per square mile (335.7/km²). There were 1,192 housing units at an average density of 395.4 per square mile (152.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.01% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.

There were 1,092 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33, and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,182, and the median income for a family was $52,137. Males had a median income of $31,750 versus $23,396 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,097. About 3.8% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.

Cuisine[edit]

Cornish flags flying from a café on Commerce Street.

Mineral Point restaurants are known for serving Cornish food, such as pasties and figgyhobbin.[16]

Recreation[edit]

The city is home to an endpoint of the Cheese Country Trail.

Sister city[edit]

Historical buildings[edit]

First Methodist Church.

Much of the city is a historical district, including blocks of stone cottages and businesses crafted by the Cornish settlers in the 1800s. A more recent building is the City Hall, built in 1914, which includes the library and the Opera House. The Opera House underwent a $2 million renovation in 2010.

Pendarvis, a state historical site, is a historically accurate preservation of some of the original cottages. It is open for tours in the summer months. Shake Rag Alley contains seven historic structures; an outdoor summer theatre, Alley Stage; and a community-owned center for the arts, which sponsors a children's art program and adult classes.

  • Fort Jackson
  • Walker House
  • Orchard Lawn - home of the Mineral Point Historical Society
  • Mineral Point Opera House
  • Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

Notable people[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Get to the point", Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, April, 1999.
  5. ^ Randy Curwen, "Southwest Wisconsin: The Badger State's beginnings", Chicago Tribune, September 7, 2008.
  6. ^ Preserve America, "Preserve America Community Close-ups: Mineral Point, Wisconsin".
  7. ^ Fideler 1973, p. 25.
  8. ^ Fiedler 1973, p.36.
  9. ^ Thwaites 1895, p.249.
  10. ^ Nesbit 1989, p.114.
  11. ^ Fiedler 1973, p.84.
  12. ^ Fiedler 1973, p.95.
  13. ^ Fiedler 1973, p.147.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Pendarvis - Shops & Restaurants"

References[edit]

  • Fiedler, George (1973). Mineral Point: A History. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. OCLC 2932430. 
  • Nesbit, Robert C. (1989). Wisconsin: A History. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-10804-X. 
  • Thwaites, Reuben Gold (1895). "The Territorial Census of 1836". "Wisconsin Historical Collections" XIII. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 

External links[edit]