Waunakee, Wisconsin

Waunakee (/ˌwɔːnəˈk/)[6] is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 14,879 at the 2020 census. It is part of the MadisonMetropolitan Statistical Area. Waunakee bills itself as “The Only Waunakee in the World.”

Village in Wisconsin, United States
Waunakee, Wisconsin

Downtown Waunakee on Wisconsin Highway 19
Motto(s): 

The Only Waunakee in the World

Location of Waunakee in Dane County, Wisconsin
Coordinates:

43°11′14″N89°27′8″W

Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Dane
Government

  Type Village Board
  Village President Chris Zellner[1]
Area

[2]
  Total 7.17 sq mi (18.58 km2)
  Land 7.17 sq mi (18.57 km2)
  Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation

[3]
928 ft (283 m)
Population

 (2020)[4]
  Total 14,879
  Density 1,959.83/sq mi (756.74/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
53597
Area code(s) 608
FIPS code 55-84350[5]
GNIS feature ID 1576318[3]
Website www.vil.waunakee.wi.us
Welcome sign for Waunakee

. . . Waunakee, Wisconsin . . .

When the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad wanted to expand its line from Madison to Saint Paul, a door was opened for development of a town. The original location of the village was intended to be at Packham’s Mill, about where Mill Road crosses the railroad track today two miles southeast of today’s downtown Waunakee. However, two local settlers, Louis Baker and George Fish, platted a village on their land two miles further northwest along the railroad. Railroad officials agreed to moving a train depot to the new community in exchange for $1,500 and two miles of right of way.[7] The village was founded in 1871 and formally incorporated in 1893.[8] Baker and Fish did not want to take credit for naming the community, so they asked Simeon Mills and Mr. Hill of Madison to come up with a list. The name “Waunakee” has a Native American origin meaning “fair and pleasant valley.”

Robert F. Kennedy visited the village to campaign for his brother John for president in February 1960.[9]

Former First Lady Barbara Bush visited the village to campaign for her son George for president in October 2000.[10]

The landmark Waunakee Railroad Depot located in the central part of town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It now houses the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce offices.

Waunakee is located at 43°11′14″N89°27′8″W (43.187253, -89.452244).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.39 square miles (16.55 km2), of which, 6.38 square miles (16.52 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[12]

The village is bordered on the south and east by the town of Westport, the north by the town of Vienna, the northwest by the town of Dane, and to the west by the town of Springfield.

Six Mile Creek, the main waterway through the community, runs west to east before making a southerly turn through the village on its way to Lake Mendota.

. . . Waunakee, Wisconsin . . .

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. . . Waunakee, Wisconsin . . .