Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Location of Fond du Lac in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.
|County||Fond du Lac|
|Incorporated||1847 (as a village), 1852 (as a city)|
|• City manager||Joseph P. Moore|
|• Council president||Brian Kolstad|
|• City||20.53 sq mi (53.18 km2)|
|• Land||19.22 sq mi (49.79 km2)|
|• Water||1.31 sq mi (3.39 km2) 6.41%|
|Elevation||760 ft (232 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,234.65/sq mi (862.79/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
54935, 54936, 54937
Fond du Lac (//) is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 43,021 at the 2010 census. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Fond du Lac Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Fond du Lac County (2000 population: 97,296). Fond du Lac is the 342nd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States. The Fond du Lac MSA and the Beaver Dam (city), Wisconsin Micropolitan Statistical Area, form the larger Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam Combined Statistical Area.
Native American tribes, primarily the Winnebagos but also the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Mascoutin lived or gathered in the area long before European explorers arrived. Although the identity of the first white man to explore the southern end of Lake Winnebago is uncertain, it was probably Claude-Jean Allouez, followed by French fur trappers.James Doty, a federal judge for the western part of the Michigan Territory, thought the land at the foot of Lake Winnebago might be a good location for a city, so he and his partners bought land in the area. In 1836, during the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, John Arndt proposed making Fond du Lac the new capital. The motion failed, and Doty convinced the legislature to choose Madison instead. Colwert, Fanna Pier and Alex Tomasik were the first white residents of the area. In 1835, the construction of the Military Ridge Road began. It passed through Fond du Lac, connecting the forts in Wisconsin and Fort Dearborn in Illinois. The first school in Fond du Lac was built in 1843. The first railroad came to the community in 1852. About 1856, the first English newspaper in Fond du Lac, the Fond du Lac Commonwealth, was founded. Logging and milling were primary industries in the late 1880s, with access to the lake as the engine of the industry.
From June 1944 to August 1944, the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds was the site of an Allied prisoner of war camp that held 300 German prisoners of war guarded by 39 U.S. soldiers. The prisoners worked on peas farms and in canneries that summer.
Fond du Lac has 20 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, including four historic districts: the South Main Street Historic District, the North Main Street Historic District, the Linden Street Historic District, and the East Division Street-Sheboygan Street Historic District. Other listings include six houses, two octagon houses, two hotels, a church, a fire station, a train depot, an apartment building, a commercial building, and a prehistoric site. Most of the buildings listed in the register were a result of economic prosperity following the lumber industry boom in the Fox Valley and the newly rich building residences in the area.
Fond du Lac is at (43.775, -88.445).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.11 square miles (52.08 km2), of which, 18.82 square miles (48.74 km2) is land and 1.29 square miles (3.34 km2) is water.
The data below were accessed via the WRCC and were collected over the years 1893 through 2020, when this chart was created. The record low was -41 °F (-41 °C) on January 30, 1951. The record high was 111 °F (44 °C) on July 13, 1936; the days immediately before and after that date hit 109 °F and 110 °F, respectively.
|Climate data for Fond du Lac, WI|
|Record high °F (°C)||57
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||43.8
|Average high °F (°C)||25.9
|Average low °F (°C)||9.4
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−14.9
|Record low °F (°C)||−41
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.19
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||10.0
Fond du Lac is the larger principal city of the Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Fond du Lac metropolitan area (Fond du Lac County) and the Beaver Dam micropolitan area (Dodge County), which had a combined population of 183,193 at the 2000 census.
As of the census of 2010, there were 43,021 people, 17,942 households, and 10,395 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,285.9 inhabitants per square mile (882.6/km2). There were 19,181 housing units at an average density of 1,019.2 per square mile (393.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.6% White, 2.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population.
There were 17,942 households of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.1% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.94.
The median age in the city was 36.9 years. 22.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 14.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 42,203 people, 16,638 households, and 10,282 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,501.3 people per square mile (965.9/km²). There were 17,519 housing units at an average density of 1,038.3 per square mile (401.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.59% White, 1.86% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 2.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,638 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,113, and the median income for a family was $50,341. Males had a median income of $35,682 versus $22,492 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,996. About 4.6% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
Fond du Lac has a city manager-council form of government. The city council is composed of seven individuals, who are elected to two-year terms. The current city manager is Joseph P. Moore and the council president is Brian Kolstad.
Fond du Lac is represented by Dan Feyen in the 18th district of the Wisconsin Senate, and by Jeremy Thiesfeldt and Michael Schraa in the 52nd and 53rd districts of the Wisconsin Assembly. At a federal level, Fond du Lac falls within Wisconsin's 6th congressional district and is represented by Glenn Grothman in the United States House of Representatives.
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has four churches in Fond du Lac: Redeemer Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, and Faith Lutheran Church.
Fond du Lac's population is about one-third Roman Catholic. In 2000 the six Catholic parishes merged into a single entity called Holy Family Catholic Community. St. Louis Catholic Church burned down in 2007 and the building was demolished. The St. Patrick and St. Joseph churches closed, while Sacred Heart, St. Mary, and St. Peter remain open.
Fond du Lac also has a synagogue, Temple Beth Israel. Although Jewish people first came to Fond du Lac in the late 19th century, the first synagogue was not established until 1914.
Fond du Lac is served by the Fond du Lac School District. Its schools include:
- Chegwin Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Evans Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Lakeshore Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Parkside Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Pier Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Riverside Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Roberts Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Rosenow Elementary School (grades K–5)
- Waters Elementary School (grades K–5)
- STEM Academy (grades 3-5)
- STEM Institute (grades 6-10)
- Sabish Middle School (grades 6–8)
- Theisen Middle School (grades 6–8)
- Woodworth Middle School (grades 6–8)
- Fond du Lac High School (grades 9–12)
The original Fond du Lac High School, built in 1922, was Fond du Lac's only public high school to 2001. The name of the high school changed to L.(owell) P.(ierce?). Goodrich High School, ca. 1955. The original part of the high school, located solely on Linden St., was torn down about the time the new high school was built. When the current Fond du Lac High School on Campus Dr. was built (which is still Fond du Lac's only public high school), the addition part of the former building (opened 1965), located mostly on 9th St. became partially the administration building for the school district (9th St.) and partially Riverside Elementary School (Linden St.).
Private secondary schools in Fond du Lac include: Winnebago Lutheran Academy, a Lutheran (WELS) high school; St. Mary Springs High School, a Catholic high school; Fond du Lac Christian School, an interdenominational K-12 school; and Trinity Baptist School, a Baptist K-12 school.
St. Mary's Springs Academy also operates an elementary school and middle school, which were formerly named Fond du Lac Area Catholic Education System (FACES). Fond du Lac also has four Lutheran primary schools.
Fond du Lac is the home of three colleges: Marian University, a private Catholic four-year university; the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, a two-year campus in the University of Wisconsin Colleges; and Moraine Park Technical College, a two-year technical college in the Wisconsin Technical College System.
- The Reporter – Daily newspaper, owned by Gannett Newspapers
- Action Advertiser – Free newspaper printed on Wednesdays and Sundays, also owned by Gannett.
- KFIZ – One of the oldest radio stations in Wisconsin, broadcasts out of Fond du Lac. KFIZ first went on the air in 1922 when Oscar Huelsman turned on the transmitter. Branded as News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.
- WFON – Sister station to KFIZ. Country format. Branded as 107.1 The Bull.
- WFDL-FM – Sunny 97.7 FM is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Contemporary format.
- WIWN – A television station (virtual channel 68, physical channel 5) carrying WeatherNation TV; currently transmits from Milwaukee rather than its city of license in order to receive market-wide coverage (although Fond du Lac is part of the Green Bay television market).
Business and industry
The largest employer in Fond du Lac is Mercury Marine, a division of the Brunswick Corporation. Mercury Marine, which has its world headquarters in Fond du Lac, is the largest maker of outboard motors in the world, employing approximately 2,500 people in its factory and offices. Other industry includes Giddings & Lewis, a manufacturer of machine tools, owned by the Fives Group; Brenner Tank, a builder of transport tankers; Chicago Tube & Iron, a division of Olympic Steel; Saputo Cheese; and J. F. Ahern, a mechanical and fire protection company.
Fond du Lac has one hospital, St. Agnes Hospital.
Fond du Lac is the county seat of Fond du Lac County and the site of the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds. The Fond du Lac County Fair takes place annually in late July.
Fond du Lac is also host to Walleye Weekend, an annual summer festival centered around the Mercury Marine National Walleye Fishing Tournament. Walleye Weekend, usually hosted on the second weekend in June is a "Free Family Fun Festival" held in Lakeside Park on the south shore of Lake Winnebago.
An annual fall festival is also held in September, called Fondue Fest. The festival was first held in September 2007 when a collaboration project between The Melting Pot and Brenner Tank created and set the Guinness World Record for the world's largest fondue set. The festival has been held since.
Fond du Lac has a children's museum, which displays rotating child-centric exhibits.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Marian University have teamed up to create the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders baseball team in 2017. The Dock Spiders are a part of the South Division of the Northwoods League. The team uses Herr-Baker Field on the Marian University campus.
The largest park in Fond du Lac, Lakeside Park has more than 400 acres (1.6 km2) of open recreational space on the south end of Lake Winnebago. Year-round activities include a whitetail deer exhibit. Summer activities include flower displays, boating, picnics, and weddings within the park's picturesque landscape. From April 15 to October 15, the Lakeside Park Lighthouse, built in 1933, and its observation tower are open. Visitors can ride on a miniature train and an antique carousel. The park also has four jungle gyms and a petting zoo. A steam locomotive stands at the Main Street entrance to the park, donated by the Soo Line in 1955. Lakeside Park hosts a holiday event featuring a "dancing lights" display, decorations and music.
Buttermilk Creek Park is a large, grassy, hilly park containing an amphitheater, tennis courts, two jungle gyms, and a sledding hill.
Other parks include: Taylor Park and Pool, Butzen (Danbury) Park, Jefferson Park, Fairgrounds Park and Pool, and Playmore Park.
Fond du Lac Area Transit is the city's local public transit operator. The first public transit in Fond du Lac was a privately owned streetcar service in the 1880s; it converted to buses from 1944 to 1967. After several private operators, the bus system ceased operations in December 1967. On August 1968 the Fondy Area Bus Cooperative (FABC) was established to provide bus service by support of private citizens and businesses, in lieu of a municipal one; the FABC nevertheless asked the city for financial support in 1970.
The current city-owned transit system began operations in January 15, 1973, following the successful passing of the referendum in November 7, 1972. It operates eight bus routes (with one of those routes operating only in the morning and afternoon to service K-12 schools), as well as a Paratransit service and taxi service for areas that the bus system does not reach.
Roads and highways
|Interstate 41 Northbound, I-41 routes to Appleton and Green Bay. Southbound, I-41 routes to Milwaukee via Lomira. I-41 is a freeway bypassing Fond du Lac on the west side with five interchanges serving the area. The interchanges are at US 151 (Exit 95), Hickory St (Exit 97), Hwy D Military Rd (Exit 98), Wis 23 Johnson St (Exit 99), and Hwy OO Winnebago St (Exit 101). The interchange for Wis 175 Main St was removed when the new US 151 bypass was built.|
|U.S. 41 US 41 is cosigned with I-41 in the Fond Du Lac area.|
|U.S. 151 Southbound, routes to Waupun, Beaver Dam and Madison. Northbound, routes to Chilton and Manitowoc. Formerly running through the city, the highway now bypasses Fond du Lac to the southeast since a grade-access expressway was completed in the mid 2000s. US 151 has exits at Hwy D Military Rd (Former US 151), Hickory St, Wis 175 Main St, I-41/US 41/US 45 North, US 45 South/Hwy V, and Wis 23 Johnson St. There are a few at grade intersections between Hwy V and Wis 23.|
|WIS 23 (Johnson St.) travels west to Wisconsin Dells via Rosendale and Ripon and east to Sheboygan via Plymouth.|
|WIS 175 travels south parallel to I-41 & US 41 and consists of most of the route US 41 took before the construction of the freeway. Wis 175 has been scaled back to the interchange with US 151. Former Wis 175 on Main St has been turned back to local control.|
|US 45 travels north to Oshkosh, Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Winnebago, and south to West Bend via Eden and Kewaskum. US 45 has been rerouted onto the US 151 bypass, I-41/US 41, and Wis 23. The former route was returned to local control.|
Politics and law
- "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- Ruth Shaw Worthing. The History of Fond du Lac County, as Told by Its Place-names. 2nd ed. Oshkosh, Wis.: Globe Printing, 1976, p. 33.
- "Fond du Lac County". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- Clorissa Swingen (Spring 1988). "Fond du Lac: Links to our Past". Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- County History. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
- Mentzer, Michael (199). Fond du Lac County: Gift of the Glacier. Fond du Lac, WI USA: Fond du Lac County Historical Society. p. 212. ISBN 0-9631213-0-8.
- Barden, Cindy (1998). Foot of the Lake: An Early History of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Fond du Lac, WI USA: Fond du Lac Public Library Board of Trustees. p. 64. ASIN B0006E82KA.
-  Archived October 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Cowley, Betty (January 1, 2002). Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WW II Prisoner-of-war Camps. Badger Books Inc. pp. 112–15. ISBN 9781878569837.
- Clarence B. Davis (ed.). "History by the Lake: Studies in the History of Fond du Lac and the Lake Winnebago Region" (PDF). Fond du Lac, Wis.: Marian College Press. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation-Fond du Lac county
- "FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN - Climate Summary". wrcc.dri.edu. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
-  .
- METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS Archived May 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS Archived June 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS Archived June 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Religion Data Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "St. Agnes Hospital". Agnesian HealthCare. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Heidi R. Lomangino; et al. "Ordinary Sisters – Reflections". Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- The Sadoff Family of Fond du Lac archived at 
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Fond_du_Lac, Wisconsin Religion". Bestplaces.net. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- "Fond du Lac School District". Fonddulac.k12.wi.us. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
-  Archived January 13, 2013, at Archive.today
-  Archived February 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- "Trinity Baptist School". Tbschool.org. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
-  Archived July 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived February 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived November 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived January 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Sustainability". Mercury Marine. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- "Walleye Weekend Family Festival". Fdlfest.com. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- "Children's Museum". Cmfdl.org. June 20, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- Rhonda Roberts (August 15, 2016). "Northwoods League team coming to Fond du Lac". WBAY-TV. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- "Lakeside Light Show, Fond du Lac, WI". FDLLights. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- "History – Transit – Public Works". City of Fond Du Lac. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
- "Fond Du Lac Transit Development Plan" (PDF). East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. October 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- Juzwiak, Rich (June 13, 2011). "QVC's Jeanne Bice Dead at 71". TV Guide. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- David M. Cheney. "Bishop Pablo Ervin Schmitz Simon [Catholic-Hierarchy]". Catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
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