Over break I found the Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder, which is exactly what it sounds like. I really geek out on maps and place history, so this was very exciting to me.
I found a July 1937 aerial photo shoot of western Dane County that included our area, and was shocked at how very different it was:
It had never occurred to me that our densely wooded valley was ever anything else, but it certainly appears to have been mostly clear 86 years ago. Perhaps the wood was harvested? Used for livestock grazing? I’m quite curious, but there’s probably no good way to find out.