© Photographed April 23, 2017
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin
This park was a gift to the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association to be held in trust for the city of Madison by Colonel William Freeman Vilas and Anna M. Vilas in 1904. At their request, the park was named Henry Vilas Park in memory of their son who died of diabetes in his early twenties.
The park includes 60 acres: Twenty-five of high ground and 35 acres constructed out of the bog. The latter includes four acres of water surface in the form of lagoons. The park was designed by landscape architect O.C. Simonds.
The park houses the Henry Vilas Zoo which began in 1911 with the donation of five deer by Thomas C. Richmond. In the ensuing years numerous contributions from the city of Madison, the Zoological and Aquarium Society, the University, the Audubon Society, and the community have provided for its expansion and recognition as one of the finest small zoos in the country.
The marker is located at Henry Vilas Park, adjacent to the picnic shelter and a bridge, and is accessible from one-way Vilas Park Drive, east of its intersection with Vilas Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53715.
NOTE: The marker is quite a distance from the roadway and can be easily missed. If you come to the entrance to the Zoo, you have passed the marker. You will have to then continue around the park on one-way Vilas Park Drive and re-enter the park. This can mean jammed traffic and long stop lights if the park is busy. Look for the picnic shelter and the bridge, instead of for the marker.
The marker is next to a bridge.
The marker is next to a picnic shelter.
The marker is visible on the north size of the bridge,
beneath the tree to the left.
View from the parking area to access the marker.
The marker is located at the Henry Vilas Park
in Madison, Wisconsin.