The name says it all. The Town of Garden Valley is a picturesque area comprised of rolling hills, scenic bluffs, fertile farmland, and vast woodlands. This beautiful countryside is the result of being in a unique region of the Midwest known as the Driftless Area. The region's unusual terrain is the result of its having escaped glaciation in the last glacial period.
The first known inhabitants to this area were the Native American Indians. Silver Mound, located near Alma Center, is an isolated hill where for many centuries, Native American Indians quarried quartzite, with which they made stone tools. Tools made from Silver Mound's quartzite have been found as far away as Kentucky. The oldest have been dated to around 11,000 years ago, so they provide clues about the first people in Wisconsin. Silver Mound is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
The first known settlers in this area were loggers, attracted here by the abundance of white pines. After the logging trade began to slow, the area was settled by farmers. Today, agriculture remains as the predominant industry in the Town. Therefore, one of the Town’s number one goals is to "Reinforce the Town’s rural character by preserving agricultural land, farm operations, sensitive environmental areas, wildlife habitat, rural vistas, and local cultural resources."
The Town of Garden Valley is located in west-central Wisconsin in the north western portion of Jackson County. The Town is bordered to the east by the Town of Alma, to the south by the Town of Hixton, to the west by the Town of Northfield, and to the north by the Town of Cleveland. The Town is about 23,155 acres (36 square miles) in size with the predominant land uses being agricultural and woodland.
Garden Valley was created from the Town of Alma in 1868. Later, it was split into the Towns of Cleveland and Garden Valley.