As a former township, Fitchburg covers approximately 35 square miles. John Stoner began farming in the area of Fitchburg in 1837, near the southern portion of Seminole Highway. Since Stoner worked the farm during the week and returned to Madison where he lived weekends with his family, the title of first permanent settlers goes to the Vroman brothers William, George and Joseph. They were Dutch immigrants who came to the area to work on the State Capitol, but they began farming and built a residence in Fitchburg in 1839.
At one time the area of Fitchburg was part of a township called Rome, which also included part of the present towns of Oregon and Dunn. Fitchburg separated and became known as the Town of Greenfield in 1847. Joseph Vroman was the first Town Chairman serving from 1847 to 1849. The new name was chosen to describe the lush rolling fields around the town. Greenfield's name was changed to Fitchburg in 1853 due to confusion with Greenfield in Milwaukee County.
Many of Fitchburg's one room schoolhouses are still standing, and many can be located by the historical markers along the roadsides in the vicinity of Syene and Lacy, Grandview Road, Fish Hatchery and Whalen, County M and Fitchburg Road.
Fitchburg officially became a city on April 26, 1983. Driven by Madison's continued encroachment into its boundaries and annexations of Fitchburg lands, the township government pursued a method of petitions signed by a percentage of Fitchburg's residents in order to declare itself a city. The fight to become a City was finally determined by a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision which allowed incorporation to proceed.