Waunakee, Wisconsin

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Waunakee, Wisconsin
Downtown Waunakee on Wisconsin Highway 19
Downtown Waunakee on Wisconsin Highway 19
Motto: 
The Only Waunakee in the World
Location of Waunakee in Dane County, Wisconsin
Location of Waunakee in Dane County, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 43°11′14″N 89°27′8″W / 43.18722°N 89.45222°W / 43.18722; -89.45222Coordinates: 43°11′14″N 89°27′8″W / 43.18722°N 89.45222°W / 43.18722; -89.45222
Country United States
State Wisconsin
CountyDane
Government
 • TypeVillage Board
 • Village PresidentChris Zellner[1]
 • Village Board Trustees
Trustees
  •  - Nila Frye
  •  - Gary Herzberg
  •  - Sam Kaufmann
  •  - Erin Moran
  •  - Phil Willems
  •  - Joe Zitzelsberger
Area
 • Total7.17 sq mi (18.58 km2)
 • Land7.17 sq mi (18.57 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation928 ft (283 m)
Population
 • Total14,879
 • Density1,959.83/sq mi (756.74/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
53597
Area code608
FIPS code55-84350[5]
GNIS feature ID1576318[3]
Websitewww.vil.waunakee.wi.us
Welcome sign for Waunakee

Waunakee (/ˌwɔːnəˈk/)[6] is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 14,879 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Waunakee bills itself as "The Only Waunakee in the World."

History[edit]

When the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wanted to expand its line from Madison to Saint Paul, a door was opened for development of a town. The original location of the village was intended to be at Packham's Mill, about where Mill Road crosses the railroad track today two miles southeast of today's downtown Waunakee. However, two local settlers, Louis Baker and George Fish, platted a village on their land two miles further northwest along the railroad. Railroad officials agreed to moving a train depot to the new community in exchange for $1,500 and two miles of right of way.[7] The village was founded in 1871 and formally incorporated in 1893.[8] Baker and Fish did not want to take credit for naming the community, so they asked Simeon Mills and Mr. Hill of Madison to come up with a list. The name "Waunakee" has a Native American origin meaning "fair and pleasant valley."

Robert F. Kennedy visited the village to campaign for his brother John for president in February 1960.[9]

Former First Lady Barbara Bush visited the village to campaign for her son George for president in October 2000.[10]

The landmark Waunakee Railroad Depot located in the central part of town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It now houses the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce offices.

Geography[edit]

Waunakee is located at 43°11′14″N 89°27′8″W / 43.18722°N 89.45222°W / 43.18722; -89.45222 (43.187253, −89.452244).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.39 square miles (16.55 km2), of which, 6.38 square miles (16.52 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[12]

The village is bordered on the south and east by the town of Westport, the north by the town of Vienna, the northwest by the town of Dane, and to the west by the town of Springfield.

Six Mile Creek, the main waterway through the community, runs west to east before making a southerly turn through the village on its way to Lake Mendota.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880279
189031211.8%
190044342.0%
191055024.2%
19205601.8%
193064014.3%
194077320.8%
19501,04234.8%
19601,61154.6%
19702,18135.4%
19803,86677.3%
19905,89752.5%
20008,99552.5%
201012,09734.5%
202014,87923.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 12,097 people, 4,344 households, and 3,316 families living in the village. The population density was 1,896.1 inhabitants per square mile (732.1/km2). There were 4,483 housing units at an average density of 702.7 per square mile (271.3/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.8% White, 1.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 4,344 households, of which 45.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.7% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.20.

The median age in the village was 37.9 years. 31.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.5% were from 45 to 64; and 9.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 8,995 people, 3,203 households, and 2,379 families living in the village. The population density was 1,509.9 people per square mile (582.7/km2). There were 3,295 housing units at an average density of 553.1 per square mile (213.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.07% White, 0.36% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.96% of the population.

There were 3,203 households, out of which 46.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 32.1% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $59,225, and the median income for a family was $67,894. Males had a median income of $45,053 versus $30,163 for females. The per capita income for the village was $25,952. About 0.4% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.4% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Waunakee is governed by a board consisting of a president and six trustees. The president and trustees are elected to two-year terms during spring elections.[14] The Village President of Waunakee since April 2015 is Chris Zellner.[15] The current village trustees are Nila Frye (since 2020), Gary Herzberg (2001–2018; since 2019), Sam Kaufmann (since 2021), Erin Moran (since 2018), Phil Willems (since 2007), and Joe Zitzelsberger (2018–2020; since 2022).

The village is represented in the Wisconsin State Assembly by Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) and in the State Senate by Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point).[16] The village's representative on the Dane County Board is Tim Kiefer.[17]

Waunakee Village Presidents[15]
Village President Tenure
Henry Heller 1893–1899
Jacob Buhlman 1900–1901
Lawrence Freney 1901–1904
Henry Heller 1904–1906
J.P. O'Malley 1906–1908
George E. Lester 1908–1909
Almon W. Cameron 1909–1914
Herman J. Doll 1914–1924
J.H. Koltes 1924–1927
Roy W. Cameron 1927–1931
Julius Diederich 1931–1934
Herman J. Doll 1934–1941
Julius Diederich 1941–1947
Roy W. Cameron 1947–1951
Harvey Solveson 1951–1953
Francis Bowles 1953–1955
Roy W. Cameron 1955–1957
Joseph Hellenbrand 1957–1965
Peter Barbian 1965–1967
Ed Hellenbrand 1967–1973
Allan Dittman 1973–1975
Ann Helt 1975–1981
Math Laufenberg 1981–1987
Tom Marx 1987–1990
Maureen O'Malley 1990–1995
Tom Marx 1995–1997
Tim Nixon 1997–2001
Rich Murphy 2001–2003
John Laubmeier 2003–2015
Chris Zellner 2015–

Economy[edit]

Waunakee added a local Village Center in 2006 that acts as a central nucleus for the community by offering a fitness center, senior center, meeting rooms, and a gymnasium. The Waunakee Business Park is a 160-acre (0.65 km2) business park development that hosts large and small business operations. Recent years have seen two redevelopments and two new apartment buildings on Main Street, a reconstruction and new streetscape on both Main Street and Century Avenue, a mural on the Waunakee Furniture building, and annual public art displays.[18]

Top employers[edit]

As of 2018[19] the top employers in the village are:

# Employer Full-time employees
1 Waunakee Community School District 575
2 NORD Gear 310
3 Uniek Plastics 300
4 Octopi Brewing 250
5 Suttle-Straus, Inc. 200
6 Scientific Protein Laboratories 198
7 Waunakee Manor, HCC 158
8 Piggly Wiggly 145
9 GFL Environmental 115
10 Dane Manufacturing 100

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Airport[edit]

The Waunakee Airport (FAA ID 6P3) is a privately owned general aviation airport 1-mile (1.6 km) south of the village center. A number of homes are located along the runway, and many have hangars, allowing the airport to function as an airpark.

Commercial air service is provided by Dane County Regional Airport.

Railroad[edit]

A Wisconsin and Southern railroad line runs through town en route to Dane, Lodi, Baraboo, and Reedsburg.[20]

Waunakee Railroad Depot previously served passengers until 1963.

Education[edit]

Waunakee is served by the Waunakee Community School District, whose schools include:

  • Arboretum Elementary School (serves eastern/southeastern part of school district)
  • Heritage Elementary School (serves southern and central part of school district)
  • Prairie Elementary School (serves northern and western part of school district)
  • Waunakee Intermediate School
  • Waunakee Community Middle School
  • Waunakee Community High School

The three public elementary schools serve students from kindergarten through 4th grade, the intermediate school 5th and 6th grades, the middle school 7th and 8th grades, and the high school grades 9 through 12.

Private schools include St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Madison Country Day School.

Warrior Stadium is the home of the high school lacrosse, football and track teams. It consists of a synthetic turf field.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]


  1. ^ "Board of Trustees". Village of Waunakee. Village of Waunakee. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ 'Miss Pronouncer: Wisconsin's Pronunciation Guide: Waunakee, Wisconsin
  7. ^ "History of Waunakee". Village of Waunakee. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Village of Waunakee History". Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Around Town". The Waunakee Tribune. 3 March 1960. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ Baumann, Roberta (26 April 2018). "Barbara Bush touched hearts in Waunakee, too". The Waunakee Tribune. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Waunakee Board of Trustees Overview
  15. ^ a b Village Presidents by date
  16. ^ "Find Your Legislator". Wisconsin Legislative Districts Interactive Map. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Supervisory District 25 Map" (PDF). Dane County. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Mutts on Main - 2019 | Waunakee, WI - Official Website". waunakee.com. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  19. ^ "Waunakee Community Economic Profile". Village of Waunakee. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-07-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]