Wisconsin Institute of Technology - Platteville, WI
N 42° 44.118 W 090° 28.862
15T E 706201 N 4734498
Quick Description: The Wisconsin Institute of Technology ties its roots to the first State Normal School and the Wisconsin Mining School. In 1971, WIT merged witht the University of Wisconsin to become UW-Platteville.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 1/13/2009 7:55:58 PM
Waymark Code: WM5JJ5
PLATTEVILLE, 31.5 m. (918 alt., 4,047 pop.), a city of hilly streets, old false-front buildings, and irregular layout, is the present metropolis of the mining country. Around it are many marginal mines. The WISCONSIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, 20 N. Elm St., established in 1907, provides three- and four-year training courses for practical mining engineers and foremen, and, in late years, for highway construction engineers. The Platteville State Teachers College, 722 W. Pine St., is the State's first normal school. The House of Major John H. Rountree (not open), one block south on 3rd St. from its intersection with Pine St., is a red-brick, two-story Georgian building of L-shaped design. Interesting features are the Greek pediment, the gingerbread type of decoration in the cornices, a two-story, wooden porch, and long windows which reach almost to the floor. A bronze tablet states that this was the home of Rountree, one of the founders of Platteville in 1827. The building is now an apartment house.
---Wisconsin, A Guide to the Badger State, 1941
Today Rountree Hall at 20 N. Elm St is an apartment building. The Wisconsin Institute of Technology merged with the University of Wisconsin system in 1971 to become UW-Platteville and is now on the west side of town.
From the UW-Platteville web site:
"The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has a long, rich history. It was founded in 1866 as the first state teacher-preparation institution in Wisconsin, then called the Platteville Normal School, and held classes in the former Rountree Hall, located at the corner of Main and Elm Streets. Rountree Hall was actually built 13 years earlier in 1853 to accommodate the rapidly increasing enrollment of the Platteville Academy, founded in 1839 (even before Wisconsin's statehood) by the city's Presbyterian Church.
The university also has roots in the Wisconsin Mining Trade School, established in 1907 to train specialized technicians to work in the mining operations surrounding Platteville. When the Normal School vacated Rountree Hall for its new quarters in Main Hall, the mining school moved in. Classes of civil and mining engineering subjects were added to the school's curriculum, and its name was changed to the Wisconsin Mining School.
One of the university's oldest traditions originated in the year 1936 when the mining school students began work on the "Big M" by placing rocks in a pattern on the southwest slope of the mound located a few miles east of the city. Completed the following year, the "M" measures 214 x 241 feet and consists of some 400 tons of whitewashed stone. The lighting of the "M" is now a tradition at UW-Platteville. The ceremony is held in the fall during homecoming weekend and in the spring after the engineering students' annual "Miner's Ball."
The mining school became the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in 1939 and later merged with the Platteville State Teachers College in 1959 to become the Wisconsin State College and Institute of Technology.
During the 1960s, the college experienced a period of rapid growth resulting in the construction of several new halls. In 1966, its name was changed again to the Wisconsin State University-Platteville. The university and all other public institutions of higher education in Wisconsin merged in 1971 to form the University of Wisconsin System, governed by a single Board of Regents. As a result of the merger, the university experienced its most recent name change to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville."