Welcome to Sumpter, Wisconsin
The Town of Sumpter is located in southeastern Sauk County, and is unique in many historical and geographical ways.
The town was established in 1849, as the Town of Kingston. In 1861, with Union loyalty sentiments running high after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the residents of Kingston seized upon the name of Sumter for their township. No logical explanation has been given for the change of spelling, but the official records show, “Town of Sumpter” beginning in 1862, consistently spelling it with a “p”.
Eighty years later, in 1942, the town, again, would undergo a transition to accommodate a war effort. Badger Army Ammunition Plant, occupying 7354 acres, was constructed along the eastern portion of the Town of Sumpter. The Badger Army Ammunition plant has been declared excess, and land is being transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, USDA Dairy Forage Center, Secretary of the Interior in trust for the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the Bluffview Sanitary District.
Town of Sumpter topography is defined by three ecological regions, which intersect here to produce picturesque landscapes, desirable habitats and prime agricultural soils. The Baraboo Range, which cuts through the northern edge of the township, contains the pristine headwaters of the Upper Otter Creek Watershed in Baxter’s Hollow Preserve and large tracts of Nature Conservancy property for public use. The crown jewel of the Baraboo Range, Devil’s Lake State Park also has its southern borders lying in the Town of Sumpter boundaries. Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River border the southeastern corner of the township, and Otter Creek winds its way through the forests and farmland.
Sumpter Township has long been characterized by its rural lifestyle. Because of the prime soils found in the area the farming operations are diverse, producing a variety of crops and products.
The community also contains three rural residential subdivision areas, providing a range of housing options for residents. Residents in Gruber’s Grove enjoy the beauty of Lake Wisconsin and surrounding areas. Maple Park and Bluffview residents enjoy scenic views of the Baraboo Bluffs and rural countryside.
Recreational opportunities in Sumpter include hiking through the Bluffs, bicycling through the scenic countryside, and enjoying the waters of Devil’s Lake and Lake Wisconsin. The Sauk Prairie Recreation Area being developed by the DNR will offer additional options to area residents and visitors.