About This Place
Mineral Point is a city in Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,617 at the 2000 census. In 2008 the city's population had taken a decline and is currently only 2,462, but still the second most populous community in Iowa County. One of Wisconsin's oldest cities, Mineral Point was settled in 1827 and became a lead and zinc mining center during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the city's historical character has made it a regional tourist destination. The city is located within the Town of Mineral Point.
Mineral Point is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first European settlement at Mineral Point began in 1827. During the following year, large quantities of galena, or lead ore, were discovered around the settlement in shallow deposits. Lead had many uses at the time, and settlers began to flock to the region hoping to make a living by extracting the easily accessible mineral. Lead deposits extended throughout an area that also included Dubuque, Iowa and Galena, Illinois, but Mineral Point became the center of lead mining operations within the bounds of present day Wisconsin (then part of Michigan Territory). By 1829, the region's growing population led to the creation of Iowa County, which included all of the lead mining lands within the borders of Michigan Territory at the time. Mineral Point was established as the county seat later that year. The young settlement's importance was further confirmed in 1834 when it was selected as the site of one of two federal land offices responsible for distributing public land to settlers within the area that now encompasses Wisconsin.