Wisconsin June 17, 2017
25 Then And Now Photos In Wisconsin That Show Just How Much It Has Changed
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same, but these pictures from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Services show that plenty of things have changed over the past few decades. Though many of our parks look unchanged, there’s plenty in and around the parks to show just how different things were a couple of decades ago.
Take a stroll down memory lane with some of these gorgeous and interesting historical pictures:
1. This aerial picture of the Madison isthmus from 1954 shows some development and even some smoke stacks.
2. But a more current view shows even more buildings along the tiny strip of land central to our state capitol.
3. Here's a second shot of the isthmus from another angle to show all that has been packed into those small blocks.
4. The kids' entertainment at Brunet Island was pretty sparse back in 1941.
5. It's a state park, so it's protected, but even the playground looks a bit more inviting these days.
6. This Bayfield fish boil from 1967 is more than a little alarming, but the folks milling about don't seem too concerned. I'm not sure we'd advocate for tossing gasoline on the flames anymore.
7. These days, the boil is a lot less public and a lot more about going to a restaurant and letting them do all the work. Folks are waiting inside to partake in the delicious fish.
8. This homemade viewing platform at Castle Mound in 1958 is certainly charming, but I can't see it passing muster these days.
9. There's no platform and the forest definitely looks a bit more lush, but the view here is remarkably unchanged.
10. The area around the State Capitol Building looks relatively residential and there's quite a bit of parking in this pic from 1964.
11. It's a lot more commercial and built up around the Capitol building now, though that square with green space still remains.
12. There was a bit more cleared land at Nelson Dewey State Park in Cassville in 1969.
13. Today the forest rules and there's a lush area surrounding the Mississippi River.
14. Back in 1954, UW-Madison's Camp Randall Stadium was a single bowl. Most of the university hadn't spread that far and the stadium was in a residential area.
15. There's still some residential area around Camp Randall, but the stadium is about three times the capacity, fully lighted and part of the university sprawl towards this side of town. With Regent St. built up, it's hard to imagine it was once so small.
16. In 1937, the town of Gays Mills sat in the Kickapoo River Valley.
17. Today, the town moved spots due to flooding and the river valley is nothing but vegetation.
18. This one is a bit "the more things change, the more they stay the same." In 1967, Chequamegon Bay was still an outlet for logging companies to ship their wares.
19. The logging industry has long since moved west, but now it's mining and iron ore that leave these piers for ports unknown.
20. The UW Carillon stood alone in a copse of trees in 1937.
21. Since then, the rest of campus and spread out to meet it and the bell tower is just one part of a massive campus.
22. Cornucopia on the shores of Lake Superior was a sleepy little fishing village in 1957.
23. Now a popular vacation destination, Cornucopia's harbor is much more full of sailing and leisure vessels than commercial boats.
24. After making you nostalgic and forcing you to face the passing of time, here's a pair of photos that are remarkably unchanged in the 70 years between them. This one, from 1946, shows the view from Gibraltar Rock in Lodi.
25. More than seven decades later, the view is virtually unchanged and is there for everyone to share.
Looking for more historical Wisconsin? Check out
These 13 Hidden Gems In Wisconsin Hold Historic Keys To The Past.