Humans have inhabited the area where Madison now sits for at least 12,000 years. Over a thousand years ago, the Woodland Culture people built the highest density of effigy mounds of anywhere on the globe. By 1800, the area had become the homeland of the Ho-Chunk, who called the area Taychopera, which means “land of the four lakes.” After European colonization, Madison incorporated as a village in 1836, a full twelve years before Wisconsin became a state. With such a long and rich history, it’s startling to realize that Madison had never had a historic preservation plan. On May 20, 2020, the Madison Common Council corrected that oversight adopting the city’s first historic preservation plan. Preservation Planner Heather Bailey is the city staff person responsible for implementing the new plan.