Brown County Historic Sites


Site Monument Text Location
Red Banks [+]marker 1634 - 1909 · Commemorating the discovery of Wisconsin in 1634 by Jean Nicolet, emmissary of Governor Champlain of New France. In this vicinity Nicolet first met the Winnebago Indians.
Unveiled August 12, 1909, by members of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and the Green Bay Historical Society.
On Benderville Road, which is an old alignment of Nicolet Drive (County Trunk Highway A) in the Town of Scott, at Red Banks. (The site of the marker is also known as Nicolet Landing, a non-government historic park.)
Whether this is truly the correct historical location is yet a different matter. See Jerrold Rodesch's article in Voyageur (Spring 1984), "Jean Nicolet".
Left Panel

Samuel de Champlain


Considered to be one of the fathers of Canada, Champlain soldier, explorer, artist, naturalist, and most importantly a cartographer who sent Nicolet on his voyage to the land of the Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago Indians.

In 1608, he was commissioned by King Henry IV of France to lead 32 colonists to establish a fur trading center in North America, which led to the founding of Quebec. In 1632, he bcame governor of New France.

He suffered a stroke and died on Christmas Day in 1635.

Center Panel

1634 - Wisconsin Tercentenary - 1934

Nicolet's landing on the shores of Green Bay

The U.S. Postal Service issued this commemorative stamp in 1934 to celebrate the three hundred year anniversary of Nicolet's landing on the shores of Green Bay. It is one of many similar images of Nicolet's landing.

Right Panel

Jean Nicolet

1598 - 1642

Nicolet was born in France, possibly Cherbourg. He moved to Quebex in 1618. At the direction of Samuel de Champlain, he was sent to live among various American Indian tribes to learn their language and customs, to establish trade, and to assure them that the French were there in peace.

In 1634, as an envoy of Champlain, then governor of New France, Nicolet traveled from Quebec to the Bay of Green Bay, making him the first European to set foot in what is now Wisconsin. He met the Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, Indians in the vicinity of Red Banks.

In 1642, while traveling by boat from Quebec to Three Rivers, he drowned when his boat was overturned by a storm.

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