For a structure that opened its doors after most of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Class of 2018 were born, it’s hard to imagine Monona Terrace’s roots actually stretch farther back in Wisconsin history than Bucky the Badger himself.
The history of swimwear fashion mirrors in many ways the history of fashion itself. The Smithsonian notes that the first depiction of swimwear for women appeared in writing in 1687. In that time, women wore stiff, layered dresses. Later, in 1829, the first painting of women in swimwear appears. “Mermaids at Brighton” by William Heath shows women in large, complex bathing gowns that are as unwieldy as they are unfitting.
Madison is defined by its lakes. The isthmus affects every part of life in Wisconsin’s capital. It provides beauty, recreation and attracts people from across the world. But the lakes also provide hard boundaries where development is impossible, and they require constant monitorization for environmental problems. Homes, businesses, parks and so much more line the lakes. They’ve shaped and molded life in Madison it’s hard to dissociate them from the town at this point, but once not so long ago they stood undisturbed by development.
Lake Mendota in Hocąk — the Ho-Chunk tribe’s language — is Waaksikhomik, which means “where the man lies.” This name derives from a Ho-Chunk legend of a young man who fell in love with a water spirit that lived in the lake. He transformed himself into a fish to be able to live in the water, in order to be with his love.
UW-Madison is located beside Lake Mendota, but this romantic legend may not be widely known to UW-Madison students.