Baraboo is a city in and the county seat of Sauk County, Wisconsin, United States. The largest city in the county, Baraboo is the principal city of the Baraboo Micropolitan Statistical Area. Its 2010 population was 12,048. It is situated on the Baraboo River.
City of Baraboo
Location of Baraboo in Sauk County, Wisconsin.
|• Type||Mayor – Council|
|• Mayor||Mike Palm|
|• City||7.49 sq mi (19.40 km2)|
|• Land||7.40 sq mi (19.18 km2)|
|• Water||0.09 sq mi (0.22 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,642.90/sq mi (634.32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1582749|
Baraboo is home to the Circus World Museum, the former headquarters and winter home of the Ringling Brothers circus. The Al. Ringling Theatre is an active landmark in the city. Baraboo is also near Devil's Lake State Park, and Aldo Leopold's Shack and Farm.
The area around Baraboo was the site of a Kickapoo village as early as 1665. The current community was established by Abe Wood in 1838, and was originally known as the village of Adams. In 1846 it became the county seat of Sauk County after a fierce fight with the nearby village of Reedsburg. In 1852, the village was renamed "Baraboo", after the nearby river. It was incorporated as a village in 1866 and as a city in 1882.
The city was the home of the Ringling Brothers. From 1884 to 1917 it was the headquarters of their circus and several others, leading to the nickname "Circus City". Today Circus World Museum is located in Baraboo. A living history museum, it has a collection of circus wagons and other circus artifacts. It also has the largest library of circus information in the United States. The museum previously hosted the Great Circus Parade, which carried circus wagons and performers through the streets of Baraboo, across the state by train, and then through downtown Milwaukee.
The Al. Ringling Theatre is a grand scale movie palace in downtown Baraboo, made possible through the financial assistance of the Ringling family. The Al Ringling home still exists.
Located near Baraboo is the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, which was the largest munitions factory in the world during WWII, when it was known as "Badger Ordnance Works". The plant is no longer in use.
Cirrus Aircraft, a manufacturer of single-engine aircraft, was founded in a rural Baraboo barn in 1984 by brothers Alan and Dale Klapmeier. After a few years of designing the VK-30, the company relocated to the Baraboo–Wisconsin Dells Airport, and in 1994 moved to its present-day home in Duluth, Minnesota.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.47 square miles (19.35 km2), of which, 7.39 square miles (19.14 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
West Baraboo, a suburb of Baraboo, borders the city on its west side.
Baraboo gives its name to the Baraboo Syncline, a doubly plunging, asymmetric syncline in Proterozoic-aged Baraboo quartzite. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, particularly Charles R. Van Hise, used the syncline to demonstrate that small-scale deformational structures in isolated outcrops reflect larger regional structures and that sedimentary structures could indicate the original top-facing direction within elaborately deformed strata. These two principles sparked a global revolution in structural geology during the 1920s.
The nearby Baraboo Hills are designated one of the "Last Great Places" by the Nature Conservancy because of their rare rocks, plants and animals. The hills were created by glacial action, and in some points poke up from the flat terrain to form a stark contrast. Some of these features were created when a glacial pocket was formed during the Wisconsin glaciation where the advance of the glacier halted, along the edge of what is known as the Driftless Area. Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin's largest state park, contains large areas of the Baraboo Hills. Pewits Nest is located outside Baraboo.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Baraboo forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Baraboo Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Sauk County (2000 population: 55,225). The Baraboo µSA is just northwest of the Madison metropolitan area, with which it forms the Census Bureau's Baraboo-Madison Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,048 people, 5,161 households, and 3,016 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,630.3 inhabitants per square mile (629.5/km2). There were 5,619 housing units at an average density of 760.4 per square mile (293.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.0% White, 1.3% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.
There were 5,161 households of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.6% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.89.
The median age in the city was 38 years. 23.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.5% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 15.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,711 people, 4,467 households, and 2,733 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,030.2 people per square mile (783.2/km²). There were 4,718 housing units at an average density of 894.3 per square mile (345.0 persons/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.12% White, 0.51% African American, 0.77% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,467 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,375, and the median income for a family was $48,149. Males had a median income of $32,775 versus $22,813 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,304. 6.6% of the population and 4.7% of families were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under the age of 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or older.
Baraboo-Wisconsin Dells Airport (KDLL) serves the city and surrounding communities.
Government and infrastructureEdit
The middle school has a swimming pool that can be accessed by the public with a seasonal membership option. There are also three parochial schools: St. Joseph's Catholic School, which serves pre-K through sixth grade; St. John's Lutheran School of the WELS, serving pre-K through eighth grade; and Community Christian School, serving 4K through high school.
St. Joseph's Catholic, under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison, is a parochial school. The current school building, designed by the Wisconsin Rapids company Billmeyer and Sons and with a cost of over $500,000, has 11 classrooms. The basement has a cafeteria and a combination auditorium/gymnasium. The second building for the school opened on a filled-in ravine in 1912, northeast of its associated church. The building had three floors and a basement. The first and second floors each had three classrooms, and the second floor also housed the chapel and the library. The third floor had a 600-seat auditorium while the basement had a large banquet hall/gymnasium. The second building became overcrowded due to the post-World War II baby boom, so the third school building, north of the second building, opened in 1958.
The Baraboo Public Library serves the community. The former Free Congregational Society church was demolished by 1902 for the library's construction.
- Donald R. Atkinson, educator and writer
- Frank Avery, Wisconsin State Senator
- Stan Barnes, judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Virgil H. Cady, Wisconsin State Representative
- Tiny Cahoon, NFL player
- Jorge A. Carow, Wisconsin State Representative
- Randy Chestnut, comedian
- John V. Diener, mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Evan Alfred Evans, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals
- Evan Glodell, film director, producer, writer, and actor
- Elna Jane Hilliard Grahn, educator
- Henry C. Hansbrough, U.S. Senator from North Dakota
- John R. Hofstatter, Wisconsin State Representative
- Guy E. Holmes, musician and composer
- John J. Jenkins, U.S. Representative
- Robert J. Keller, Wisconsin State Representative
- Len Koenecke, MLB player
- Belle Case La Follette, lawyer and activist
- Aldo Leopold, naturalist
- Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team
- Beryl Newman, Medal of Honor recipient
- John Ringling North, circus
- Stuart Palmer, mystery novelist
- PHOX, folk / indie pop band
- Delando Pratt, Wisconsin State Representative
- Mike Reinfeldt, NFL player and executive
- Cyrus Remington, Wisconsin State Representative and jurist
- Ringling Brothers, circus
- Bradbury Robinson, threw the first forward pass in football history, grew up in Baraboo
- Algie Martin Simons, Socialist newspaper editor, attended high school in Baraboo
- Terry Stieve, NFL player
- Walter Terry, Wisconsin legislator
- John M. True, Wisconsin legislator
- C. F. Viebahn, Wisconsin State Representative
- David Vittum, Wisconsin State Senator
- Lewis N. Wood, Wisconsin State Representative
- Edwin E. Woodman, Wisconsin State Senator
In November 2018, the Baraboo School District’s Superintendent and Baraboo Police Department opened an investigation into a photo that showed dozens of Baraboo High School students — all but one of whom were white — giving the internationally condemned Nazi 'Sieg Heil' salute. 
In June 2019, a group of juveniles killed a Goose in a West Baraboo park.
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- "Fur Trade | Indians of the Midwest". Indians of the Midwest. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
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- The Wisconsin Blue Book 1929. Madison: Democrat Printing Company, 1929, p. 627.
- "Term: Baraboo [brief history]" in Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
- Bill Steigerwald. "Travels Without Charley: A beautiful lake and a movie palace await in Baraboo". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 17, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "GSA - Badger Site Information". Archived from the original on 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- The Museum of Flight "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Airport Journals http://airportjournals.com/9-the-dream-brothers-alan-and-dale-klapmeier/
- Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame - Exciting News From the National Aviation Hall of Fame http://www.wisconsinaviationhalloffame.org/blog/
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Dott, Jr., R.H. (August 2001). "Wisconsin roots of the modern revolution in structural geology". GSA Bulletin. The Geological Society of America. 113 (8): 996–1009. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2001)113<0996:WROTMR>2.0.CO;2.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Dewel, Bob. "'60s, '70s and sophistication too?" In: "The 1970's" [sic] Pages 989 to 1052. Baraboo Public Library. Retrieved on November 22, 2018. CITED: p. 990.
- "St John's Lutheran School Home". 2016-03-08.
- "Community Christian School of Baraboo". Community Christian School of Baraboo. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- Sauk County Historical Society. Baraboo. Arcadia Publishing, 2017. ISBN 1467125105, 9781467125109. p. 84.
- Sauk County Historical Society. Baraboo. Arcadia Publishing, 2017. ISBN 1467125105, 9781467125109. p. 85.
- The History of Sauk County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 437.
- https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/416226-wisconsin-school-district-investigating-photo-of-male-students. Retrieved 12 November 2018. Missing or empty
- https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/12/us/baraboo-high-school-nazi-salute-trnd/index.html. Retrieved 12 November 2018. Missing or empty
- https://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/children-accused-of-killing-goose-in-west-baraboo-park/article_01443bba-52d1-56c4-b25f-f83f86b06e6b.html. Retrieved 1 November 2019. Missing or empty