How Wisconsin Got its Nickname

Miners and Ferocious Animals Both Dug Holes to Stay Warm

by Virginia Quach, age 12

Wisconsin is often referred to as the “Badger State.” Most people think Wisconsin got its nickname because there are lots of badgers in the state, but this is not true.
Here’s the real story:
Wisconsin got its nickname during the early 1800’s, back when it wasn’t even a state. It was Indian Territory.
In the 1800’s a mineral called lead was very rare. Miners came to southern Wisconsin searching for lead. To keep warm and to have shelter, the miners would dig into the sides of cliffs during the cold and snowy Wisconsin winters.
Badgers (the animal) dug similar holes. Badgers are very ferocious animals. They are furry with long, sharp claws, and use these claws to dig holes.
The miners and badgers both dug holes for shelter and warmth. That’s how Wisconsin got its nickname as the “Badger state.”
So, next time you’re in town, try coming to a University of Wisconsin- Madison athletic event. You may see a furry mascot with long claws. But you’ll know who the real Wisconsin mascot should be, a lead miner.

[Source: Simpson Street Free Press ]

Love this! Now we know the real story! – Marshall Cook , Madison (2013-07-03 06:04)
What an excellent story! This is the kind of stuff that makes history so interesting. Really nice job, Virginia. – UW Grad , Middleton (2013-07-05 10:46)
This is super cool! It all makes sense now! – Susan M. , Lafollette HS (2014-06-12 21:10)
This article was so cool! It was awesome to read because I was one those people who for sixteen thought we were Badger State because of the animal! You learn something new everyday! – Robin Mwai , La Follette High School (2014-06-12 21:12)