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Lafayette County is proud to lay claim to the first capital of the territory of Wisconsin located near Belmont. The territory, created by a bill signed by President Andrew Jackson on April 20, 1836, included all of present day Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and part of the two Dakotas. President Jackson appointed Henry Dodge as governor who, along with elected representatives, chose Madison as the permanent capital during a legislative session that convened for 46 days from October 25 to December 9, 1836 in old Belmont during which time they passed 42 laws. Two of the historical buildings have been restored and are operated by the State Historical Society. With the selection of Madison as the permanent capital, old Belmont died when the East-West Branch Railroad (now the Pecatonica Trail) passed three miles to the south.

A new Belmont was established on the rail line in 1867 and was incorporated on June 18, 1894. Belmont’s name is from the French “bell monte” which means “beautiful mountain” in reference to the Belmont Mound located north of Belmont near the First Capitol Historical Site.

The Pecatonica Trail offers many recreational choices for ATVs, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, and snowmobiles. A hotel, three gas stations with convenience stores, and various eating establishments will satisfy any traveler’s needs. The Belmont Area Visitor Center provides tourism information, maps, clean restrooms, and a secure park-and-ride lot for visitors and carpoolers. There is a beautiful campground with a lake three miles north of Belmont which offers an abundance of fun and relaxation for everyone.

Two French cheese plants produce and sell award-winning specialty cheeses including Brie, Camembert, feta and several flavored varieties. Attached to the hotel is a convention center for large meetings and receptions as well as a conference room for smaller gatherings. Some of the other businesses offer animal feed and ag products, grain handling and trucking, lumber and building needs, car, truck, and semi repairs, auto body work, massage and spa services, fresh meat processing, full service bank, greenhouse plants, hair care, plumbing and heating equipment and repairs, and RV sales and service. In addition, three churches offer worship services every weekend, there is a public library, daycare facility, two parks, and senior citizen housing.

The Village of Belmont has a tax incremental financing district with improved land available for business development. There are three subdivisions with improved lots available for residential development.

For more information about Belmont, visit our website at www.belmontwi.com or contact the Village Office by calling (608) 762-5142 or sending an email to vilbelm@mhtc.net.

© 2010 Lafayette Development Corporation