Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm Park Type: Mini Acres: 3.58 Restroom: No Drinking Water: Yes
Orton Park comprises the entire Block 180 of the original plat of Madison. The settlement of Madison was officially recognized as a village in 1846 and in 1848 Block 180 was designated as the village's official cemetery. In 1857, however, shortly after Madison became a city, the land that is now Forest Hill Cemetery was purchased for that purpose. In 1877 all of the burials that could be found where removed from the old village cemetery and reinterred at Forest Hill. In 1883 the old cemetery site was declared an official city park, the first in Madison. It was named after Harlow S. Orton, one of Madison's former mayors and a supreme court justice at the time. In 1887 the park was officially opened. Orton Park remained the city's first public park until the Madison Parks and Pleasure Drive Association started their campaign to add parks to the city at the turn-of-the-last-century.
Orton Park was designated a City of Madison landmark on October 6, 1975 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. More history can be found on Orton Park's Landmark Nomination Form (pdf).