The October 30, 1941 issue of the Sauk County News, (published in Prairie du Sac, WI) carried the above headline. That was the first that any of the local people new that a plant to be known as the Badger Ordnance Works was going to be built here. The farmers whose farms were to be taken, organized to protest and implore the Government to consider other suitable sites and spare this area with some of the best farm land in the state of Wisconsin. Their efforts were for nothing as the decision had been made and was not going to be changed. By March 1, 1942 the farmers had left their farms, and construction went into full swing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, . Ten months later the first production area went into operation.
The official Army photo above of the main production area was not dated, but based on dated photos showing more progress then you see here we can estimate that this photo was taken some time in May 1942. A tremendous amount of work has been done in just a few short months to construct the roads, railroad, and the buildings seen here on land that had been farm fields.
This is a huge story that starts with a glacier and ends with today. Along the way the story will encounter the stories of the Indians and settlers who called the Sauk Prairie home and the ammunition plant that was built here. To tell this story will take much research and study. We (Badger History Group) have been at this since 1998, and in that time have only scratched the surface. It is our intent with this website to open windows to this story with brief descriptions of what you can see in this and other photos and also that which you can not see. We will show the places and some of the equipment and attempt to tell the human stories. The stories of the farm families that had to leave their homes and the stories of the people who worked to build this facility and those who operated it to produce the propellant for the ammunition needed by U.S. and Allied solders around the world in three wars.
This story is going to grow, and as it grows so will this website. As we learn the story we will share it with you. So join us and explore the photo above and see where it takes you. When you see the pointing hand, click on it.