Town Halls to City Halls by Winnie Lacy

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Fitchburg Town Hall and city garage, 1961

When Fitchburg became an entity unto itself in 1847 it was known as Greenfield Township. A township is an area six miles square. In 1853, because of postal confusion with the Township of Greenfield in Milwaukee County, it was renamed Fitchburg Township. The governing body of the township in the 1840s consisted of a Town Chairman and two Supervisors, which was sufficient for a population of 598 people in 1850. Road surveys were a large part of the business of the town in the early days. That, along with taxes for schools ($65.00 in 1854), monitoring farm animals that tended to roam, and weed eradication, was some of the business conducted at the time. General meetings of the board were held in the homes of the chairmen and the Annual Town Meeting, held during the first week of April, was conducted in a centrally located one-room school. In 1878 a vote was taken to build a suitable structure for a town hall and a wood frame building was built at what is now 2377 S. Fish Hatchery Road for the lofty sum of $500.  As vehicles for the burgeoning town were acquired a brick garage building was added to the town hall property. The wood town hall served until the early 1960s when an addition to the maintenance building was completed. This building served as the town hall with offices for staff and a meeting room for the Annual Meeting. That room was also used as a polling location and a quasi-community center.

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Fitchburg’s First City Hall, 1988

The present Community Center building was constructed in 1988 and the large room at the town hall (later City Hall) was converted to more office space. At that time the council meetings and elections were held at the community center building.  As the town grew (population of 15,952 in 1990) and became a city the building at 2377 S. Fish Hatchery Road proved to be inadequate.  The present City Hall at 5520 Lacy Road was built in 1998.

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Current Fitchburg City Hall