HISTORIC BLOOMING GROVE TOWNSHIP
Known as Town 7 North, Range 10 East, Blooming Grove Township was organized in 1850, separating it from the town of Madison, organized earlier. In 1880, James Kavanaugh wrote of the area that:
"The earlier inhabitants found this township in a wild, unimproved condition, and in possession of the Indians, who had rudely cultivated a large portion of the lands on the west bank of Monona, directly opposite Madison. The evidences of their rough culture have not entirely disappeared at this time. There are three mounds along the west bank of said lake still apparent. Many of the Indian relics have been found in and about these mounds; but they have never been thoroughly opened and explored. The Indians, in greater or less numbers, have habitually and annually revisited this delightful resort, to engage in fishing and hunting; the lake at all times afforting abundant supplies of fish and game."
Abraham Wood, arriving in Monona in 1837, is recorded as the first immigrant to settle among the Indians. He was hired to build a house for Eben Peck, the first dwelling of its kind in Madison. Some of the wood used in Peck's house was cut in Blooming Grove and hauled across the ice of Lake Monona on a bobsled pulled by a team of oxen.
By 1870, summer cottages began making their appearance along the lake shore in the midst of the township's thriving farm lands, including those of Nathaniel Dean. In 1879, William Jacobs, operator of Madison's Park Hotel, constructed a resort hotel along the shore of Lake Monona accommodating 100 guests and boasting such conveniences as baths and telephones. For sixteen years, until it was destroyed by fire in 1895, the Tonyawatha Springs Hotel was visited by vacationers by means of steamboat excursions across the lake.
After years of steady growth in properties along the lake front, on August 28, 1938, the village of Monona was incorporated with over 1000 residents. By 1960, Monona was the fastest growing community in Wisconsin, with a population of more than 8000. In 1969, it incorporated as a city with more than 10,000 residents.
Today, much of the landscape of eastern Blooming Grove has been claimed and urbanized by the cities of Madison and Monona