Where Wisconsin’s History Began

Saturday, May 25 | 10AM – 4PM

Enter the Council House and witness where the first 42 state laws were made, see where legislators stayed during initial meetings and visit the First Capitol Court House as you immerse yourself in the quaint estate that gave birth to modern Wisconsin government. 

Start your history road trip!

Opening Saturday May 25

Pick up your 2024 Member PastPort and start collecting stamps when you visit First Capitol! Redeem your stamps for discounts or even a free year of membership! Not a member? Join today to get in on the fun.

Get the Best Deal in History 

Wisconsin Historical Society members receive unlimited free admission to our 11 historic sites and museums, a complimentary annual subscription to the Wisconsin Magazine of History, merchandise discounts and more. Join at the Family level and above for added benefits and discounts at over 1,200 organizations nationwide! 

Kids standing in front of a building at First Capitol

Discover the Birthplace of Wisconsin Government 

Madison has long been Wisconsin’s capital city, but the first 40 laws were made 50 miles southwest, here in Belmont. Welcome to Wisconsin’s First Capitol, where for just 46 days in 1836 representatives met to lay the foundation for our state’s government. Immerse yourself in the world of these founders, walking through the buildings and rooms where these important decisions were made. 


two boys and their mother looking at a display

Field Trips

The best day of your school year awaits! Don’t just read about history, experience it! Field Trips at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s historic sites and museums allow students to step into the worlds they’re studying through fun adventures and engaging experiences around the state for grades k-12.  

Group Tours

Travel Together Through Time and bring your group tour to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s sites and museums. Experience the worlds and wonders of Wisconsin’s past. Book your group tour today! Tours include private guide(s) that can be customized to meet the needs and interests of your group.

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Members Get Free Admission!

Become a Wisconsin Historical Society member and visit all 12 of our historic sites for free! Membership pays for itself in as little as two visits and includes other great benefits like discounts and reciprocal benefits to more than 1,200 organizations.

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First Capitol

First Capitol


Discover the rugged origins of the first capitol of Wisconsin Territory, where legislators laid down the framework for the current state government.

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We've been busy at First Capitol getting ready to open for the 2024 season! We recently had a new fence installed, and this week two new cedar shake roofs were completed. On the backs of each building, the accessible ramps were redone and painted.

Check all the work out when we open tomorrow Saturday, May 25 at 10am.
... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Check out our new fence! See it in person when we open for the season on Saturday, May 25 at 10am. ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

As the start of several upcoming site improvements, we have Fink Fencing out of Platteville on site today. The team is installing a fence at the back of the property. Archaeologists were on site to monitor the project. Stay tuned for more upcoming projects! ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago