Welcome to Lafayette County

Welcome to Lafayette County

Lafayette County Fall Road

Situated in beautiful Southwest Wisconsin, Lafayette County lies within the Driftless Region of the state.  With a total area of 634 square miles, it borders Grant County, WI to the West; Iowa County, WI to the North; Green County, WI to the East; and Jo Daviess County, IL, and Stephenson County, IL to the South.  The 2017 population estimate was 16,741 people according to US Census Bureau data.

The first settlements perfected by permanent occupation in Lafayette County were made during the year 1824.  The existence of the lead mines led to the early development and stability of the County.  Lafayette County was formed in 1847 when the Legislature divided Iowa County into two separate counties.  The Southern portion became Lafayette County, named after Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the Revolutionary War. 

Today, Lafayette County is one of the leading agricultural counties in the state, with 1,400 farms averaging 285 acres in size.  Blessed with the fertile soil of our region, farming continues as the primary enterprise of Lafayette County.  Yet the County has welcomed new industries that have found growth and prosperity.  This can be attributed to the County's ability to accommodate new businesses and a workforce with a strong work ethic.

Lafayette County is a wonderful place to visit year-round.  The County has developed into a wonderful outdoor recreational area with man-made lakes providing excellent fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities.  Well-developed campsites offer complete facilities for vacations.  The County welcomes snowmobilers, horseback riders, and ATVers along our Cheese Country Trail and other club trails. Driving along the miles of country roads through the rolling hills of Lafayette County, you will soon discover the bounty and rich history our Southwest Wisconsin county has to offer. 

Early Twentieth-century architecture that was born of the lead mining settlements of the 1800s is carefully preserved in our cities and villages.  One of the most interesting historic sites in Lafayette County is the Lafayette County Courthouse. The Lafayette County Courthouse was built between 1905 and 1907 at a total cost of $136,556.17.  When Mr. Matt Murphy from Benton, Wisconsin, died in 1903, he bequeathed that 70% of his estate be used toward the construction of a County Courthouse. Today, Lafayette County has the distinction of having the only Courthouse still in use in the United States that was paid solely by one man.  Lafayette County is also the home of Wisconsin's first State Capitol located just outside of Belmont, Wisconsin.  This Capitol and Supreme Court building were in use only once during the 1836 session before the Capitol moved to Madison.

Are you interested in joining us in Lafayette County, WI? Click here to find out more about why you should relocate to #LafCoWisco, where talent finds its perfect landscape.