Wisconsin Historic Marker for the Old Military Road
Military Road Marker
In July, 1833, Lt. Alexander Center blazed a nearby oak, marking the 100-mile point of a military road he and James Doty were surveying. The Old Military Road, built from 1835 to 1837, connected Ft. Crawford at Prairie du Chien, Ft. Winnebago at Portage and Ft. Howard at Green Bay, a distance of 235 miles. In two months, troops from Ft. Crawford under Col. Zachary Taylor, later our 12th President, built the section between Prairie du Chien and Poynette, at a cost of $1200, excluding soldiers' labor. Milestones were erected as work progressed. In Dane County, the road went east from Blue Mounds to Mt. Horeb, then northeast near the present villages of Pine Bluff, Cross Plains and Dane. In this area, it followed the survey route rather than Indian trails. Of limited military value, the road aided the settlement and economic development of Wisconsin.
Photo taken by J.R. Manning
Wisconsin's Old Military Road ran from Fort Howard (near Green Bay) along the route of today's US 41, then down the east coast of Lake Winnebago to Fond du Lac, west along today's Wis 33 to Fort Winnebago, then along the Wisconsin River to Fort Crawford in Pairie du Chien.