Welcome to Stoughton, a thriving city in Dane County, Wisconsin that sits on the Yahara River and is about a 20 mile drive from the Wisconsin State Capitol. The city is known best for its Norwegian heritage and culture, which you can learn more about from exhibits and special events at the Livsreise – Norwegian Heritage Center, located in the heart of downtown Stoughton.
The historic downtown area is thriving with locally owned boutique shops and eateries, as well as the Stoughton Cinema Cafe and Opera House. The Yahara River perfects the downtown area and offers a beautiful, rustic view as you head down Main Street. Just east of the downtown area is the Stoughton Country Club that offers memberships, an immaculate golf course and a beautiful event space to residents.
A short drive along the northeast shore of Lake Kegonsa will lead you to Lake Kegonsa State Park. This park is abundant with wildlife, prairies, forests and wetlands, and offers many different hiking trails to please your inner adventurer. Stoughton also has 15 city parks, including 3 multi-use trails, 6 shelters, a bike park, skate park, disc golf course, a memory garden, a memory walk, the Rotary Gazebo and a community garden.
As you’re leaving Stoughton and heading toward Oregon and Madison, be sure the stop by Euster’s Farm Market and Petting Farm for some family fun, famous sweet corn and other fresh produce. The farm is also a great place to pick pumpkins in the fall!
Fun facts about Stoughton you may not know:
- Stoughton is the birthplace of the coffee break, community television and the world famous Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers.
- The Stoughton Opera House brings in tens of thousands of people annually and hosts performers from all over the world.
- Stoughton is world headquarters for many international corporations such as Stoughton Trailers, Nelson Global Products, Universal AET and Cummins Filtration.
- Stoughton’s state-of-the-art hospital employs over 300 people and has served the community since 1904.
- Stoughton has an Arts Council and its main goal is to raise awareness of local artists and performers. The Opera House is a big part of the Arts Council.
- The Stoughton Chamber of Commerce hosts many festivals throughout the year, the biggest being Syttende Mai – a festival in May celebrating the Norwegian Constitution Day with many events and two parades.
- Admission is free at the Livsreise – Norwegian Heritage Center where you can learn about the journey of the Norwegian emigrants.
- The Stoughton Historical Society owns the local history museum and displays at the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce in the old Train Depot and the Luke Stoughton Pioneer Home.
- Dozens of houses in the historic neighborhoods and downtown area of Stoughton are listed on the local landmarks registry as well as the State and National Register of Historic Places. The Stoughton Landmarks Commission has a lot of great information on self-guided walking tours of our historic districts!