Janesville was named in 1836 for early settler Henry Janes, after the Black Hawk War. The city was a farming hub for years. Gradually expanding its industrial base, the city is now one of Wisconsin’s strongest economic centers. Even when it lost the hometown Parker Pen Company in the late 1990s to a corporate move out of state, Janesville kept its head up with other manufacturing and service industries. Visitors now enjoy the city’s restored and renovated historical sites.
In fact, 20 percent of Wisconsin’s structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places are found in Janesville. The city’s 2,000 acres of parks have earned it the nickname of “Wisconsin’s Park Place.” The Rock River, which flows through the town, is also a draw for hikers and bikers who use its waterside paths. This eTrail from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Milwaukee. Each Day Trip includes destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping.
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