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Potosi, Wisconsin
—  Village  —
Coordinates: 42°42′10″N 90°42′56″W / 42.70278°N 90.71556°W / 42.70278; -90.71556
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Grant
 - Total 1.6 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 - Land 1.6 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation [1] 814 ft (248 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 711
 - Density 432.1/sq mi (166.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
FIPS code 55-64650[2]
GNIS feature ID 1583964[1]
The Potosi Brewery, a landmark at the west end of the village, operated continuously from 1852 to 1972.

Potosi is a village in Grant County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 711 at the 2000 census. The village is in the Town of Potosi. Known as "the Catfish Capitol of Wisconsin," the village holds an annual Catfish Festival and Fireman's Fish Fry, typically on the 2nd weekend of August. The event includes a truck and tractor pull, beanbag and a euchre tournament, fireworks, live music, a parade, and the fish fry. The National Brewery Museum and Library opened in the village on the site of the Potosi Brewery in 2008. The museum features historic beer and brewing memorabilia, including signs, advertisements, bottles, cans, and miscellaneous paraphernalia.[3]



Potosi is located at 42°40′53″N 90°43′12″W / 42.68139°N 90.72°W / 42.68139; -90.72 (42.68154, -90.720247)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.3 km²), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.3 km²) of it is land and 0.61% is water.


In 1839, the leaders of three settlements (Snake Hollow, sometimes called Head of the Hollow, Van Buren, and La Fayette) decided to combine the villages. The new, larger community was named Potosi, probably by miners from Potosi, Missouri. During the 1830s, many Missouri and southern Illinois miners had moved into Wisconsin's lead region.

The post office (1837 to present) was originally located between Van Buren and Head of the Hollow, then at Van Buren, then at La Fayette, then at Potosi.

Potosi was the home of the Potosi Brewing Company, makers of "Good Old Potosi Beer," from 1852 to 1972. A brewery restoration project has begun to preserve the history and tradition of the company.[5]

Origin of name

There are several explanations for the origin of the name Potosi, but the correct one is unknown. One explanation is that Potosi is a corruption of "Potosa," the name of the wife of Julien Dubuque, an early settler in the area. Another explanation is that Potosi was named for Potosi, Missouri, where a lot of the early lead miners originated.[6] Many mining towns are named Potosi, ultimately derived from the fabled mines of Potosí, Bolivia.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 711 people, 302 households, and 199 families residing in the village. The population density was 432.1 people per square mile (166.4/km²). There were 320 housing units at an average density of 194.5/sq mi (74.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.02% White, and 0.98% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 302 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the village the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $35,294, and the median income for a family was $47,955. Males had a median income of $28,478 versus $25,982 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,189. About 4.9% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ American Breweriana Journal, No. 153, May-June 2008.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "Potosi Brewing Co.—Preserving the History and Tradition," American Breweriana Journal, No. 132, November-December 2004, pp. 17-32.
  6. ^ Potosi [origin of place name]

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