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In 1673 Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet were probably the first Europeans to make the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, thus linking the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. This junction rapidly developed into an important trade route. By 1835 the portage had become a plank road, which was replaced by a canal in the 1870s.
The town of Portage grew up around Fort Winnebago, which was built to protect the stream of commerce. Jefferson Davis, a young West Point lieutenant, was assigned in 1829 to cut logs for the barracks. He later became president of the Confederacy.
Modern and attractive, Portage acknowledges its origins with several restorations and the Marquette Trail, a portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that follows the Fox River from the Governor's Bend Locks to the Historic Indian Agency House. The city attends to the present by serving the surrounding farming and dairying area.

Visitor Info
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce 104 W. Cook St. PORTAGE, WI 53901. Phone:(608)742-6242 or (800)474-2525


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Current Location: Portage, Wisconsin
Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center
2701 S CR CX. Portage, WI 53901
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Super 8-Portage
3000 New Pinery Rd. Portage, WI 53901
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Comfort Suites
N5780 Kinney Rd. Portage, WI 53901
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