This article attempts to list the oldest extant, freestanding buildings in the state of Wisconsin. Some dates are approximate and based on architectural studies and historical records; other dates are based on dendrochronology. All entries should include citation with reference to: architectural features indicative of the date of construction; a report by an architectural historian; or dendrochronology. If the exact year of initial construction is estimated, it will be shown as a range of dates.

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List

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items with reliable sources.

Building Image Location First Built Use Notes
Tank Cottage
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Allouez 1776 Residential Oldest extant building in Wisconsin.[a] Voyageur Joseph Roi built the cottage using the pièce-sur-pièce à coulisse method, which was once common in French-Canadian architecture. Originally located on the Fox River in Green Bay, the cottage was moved to Heritage Hill State Historical Park in 1976.[1]
Strange Powers House
Prairie du Chien 1800-1820 Residential Built using the pièce-sur-pièce à coulisse method common in early 19th century French-Canadian architecture, the exact date of this building's construction is uncertain. When Zebulon Pike visited the area in 1805, he noted at least eight buildings similar to the Strange Powers house in Prairie du Chien; it is not certain if the house was one of the buildings that Pike saw, or if it was built by early settler Strange Powers, who purchased the lot in 1818.[2]
Francois Vertefeuille House
Prairie du Chien 1810-1820 Residential Built by French-Canadian fur traders using the pièce-sur-pièce à coulisse method between 1810 and 1820.[3]
Fort Howard Officers' Quarters
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Allouez 1816-1817 Military One of the original buildings of Fort Howard in Green Bay, the U.S. Army built the Fort Howard Officers' Quarters in the Federal style and garrisoned the fort until 1852. The building was donated to the Brown County Historical Association in 1952 and relocated to Heritage Hill State Historical Park in 1975.[4]
Fort Howard Hospital
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Allouez 1816-1817 Military One of the original buildings of Fort Howard in Green Bay, the U.S. Army built the Fort Howard Hospital in the Federal style and garrisoned the fort until 1852. The building was relocated to Heritage Hill State Historical Park in 1975.[5]
Fort Howard Hospital Ward
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Allouez 1816-1817 Military One of the original buildings of Fort Howard in Green Bay, the Fort Howard Hospital Ward functioned as part of the fort hospital. The U.S. Army built the structure in the Federal style and garrisoned the fort until 1852. The building was relocated to Heritage Hill State Historical Park in 1975.[6]
Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters
Portage 1818-1828 Residential/fur trading/military Originally the home of French-Canadian fur trader Francois LeRoi, the U.S. Army bought the structure in 1828 and used it as one of the original buildings of Fort Winnebago.[7]
Dodge Mining Camp Cabin
Dodgeville 1827 Residential Remaining building of a lead mining and smelting camp organized by Henry Dodge, who would go on to become the first governor of the Wisconsin Territory and first U.S. senator from the state of Wisconsin. Lead mining was one of the major industries in Wisconsin's early history.[8]
Astor Fur Warehouse
Prairie du Chien 1828 Fur trade Built in 1828 by Jean Joseph Rolette, an agent of the American Fur Company, the warehouse is a National Historic Landmark and the only known surviving fur trade warehouse in the upper Mississippi valley.[9]
18F Shake Rag Street Mineral Point c. 1828 Residential Part of the Mineral Point Historic District.[10]
Mark Ingraham House, 28 Shake Rag Street Mineral Point c. 1830 Residential One-story limestone cabin built by Cornish lead miners in southwestern Wisconsin. Today a part of the Mineral Point Historic District.[10]
Baird Law Office
Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Allouez 1831 or 1835 Business Greek Revival structure built by Samuel Wooten Beall at the Main and Monroe Streets in Green Bay. Housed law office of Henry Samuel Baird from 1841 to 1865, and was moved to Heritage Hill State Historical Park in 1975.[11][12]
Old Indian Agency House
Portage 1832 Government/residential The house was the residence for John H. Kinzie, who served as an Indian Sub-agent to the Ho-Chunk.[13]
Prairie Spring Hotel
Willow Springs 1834 Hotel/residential Built by Daniel Morgan Parkinson, a settler from Tennessee, the Prairie Spring Hotel's construction is more typical of the vernacular style seen in the early 19th century Southeastern United States. The structure served as an inn on the road from Galena, Illinois to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and was later the homestead of the Parkinson family.[14]
American Fur Company post
La Pointe 1835 Fur trade In the early 19th century, the American Fur Company maintained a trading post on Madeline Island in the Apostle Islands. A small warehouse remains from that complex of buildings and today is part of the Madeline Island Museum.[15]
Cothren House Mineral Point c. 1835 Residential 1.5-story wooden cabin originally located in Blue River, Wisconsin. Moved to Mineral Point in the 1970s.[10][16]
Gratiot House
Shullsburg 1835 Residential Built by Indian agent and entrepreneur Henry Gratiot in the vernacular Georgian style. The house is the last remaining structure of Gratiot's Grove, a lead mining settlement that thrived in the 1820s and 1830s.[17]
Henry Merrell House
Portage 1835-1839 Residential Residence of Henry Merrill (also spelled Merrell), sutler and postmaster for Fort Winnebago along the Portage Canal. Built 1835 to 1839 in Greek Revival style, originally across the canal from the fort.[18]
John Harris Cottage
Mineral Point c. 1835 Residential One-story cabin built by Cornish lead miners in southwestern Wisconsin.[10]
Pendarvis House and Trelawny House
Mineral Point c. 1835 Residential Limestone cabins built by Cornish lead miners in southwestern Wisconsin. Today the houses are a part of the Pendarvis Historic Site.[19]
Polperro House
Mineral Point c. 1835 Residential 2.5-story cabin built by Cornish lead miners in southwestern Wisconsin. First floor is limestone with upper 1.5 stories made of wood. Today a part of the Pendarvis Historic Site.[19]
Second Fort Crawford Military Hospital
Prairie du Chien 1835 Military Built by Col. Zachary Taylor between 1829 and 1835. The original Fort Crawford was built in 1816in the aftermath of the War of 1812. After the Winnebago War of 1827, the U.S. Army decided to build a larger fort, which was garrisoned from 1829 to 1856, temporarily reactivated during the Civil War, and then permanently abandoned in 1865. The hospital was separate from the military installation and is the only surviving building.[20]
Denniston House
Cassville 1836 Government/Hotel Built in 1836 when the Wisconsin Territorial legislature was in the process of choosing a state capital, Denniston House was designed to house the territorial Supreme Court in the hopes that Cassville would be chosen as the seat of government. Cassville was passed over, and the building sat vacant for 18 years until Nelson Dewey bought the building in 1854 and opened it as a hotel.[21]
First Capitol Historic Site
Belmont 1836 Government The legislature of the Wisconsin Territory held its first session in Belmont on October 25, 1836. Much of the session was spent deciding on a new location for the territorial capital, and the legislature never reconvened in the Belmont capitol building after 1836. The buildings were later used as private residences and livestock barns.[22][23]
Walker House Mineral Point 1836 Hotel Oldest hotel in Mineral Point. Constructed of limestone in three parts, the first in 1836 and the last completed in 1860. Part of the Mineral Point Historic District.[10]
Bendickson cabin
Wind Lake 1837 Residential Built by Norwegian immigrant Halvor Bendickson in 1837, the structure is one of the oldest buildings in Racine County. It is one of several structures built by early Norwegian immigrants that are preserved in Heg Memorial Park.[24][25]
Hazelwood
Green Bay 1837 Residential Built in 1837, Hazelwood was the home of early Wisconsin political Morgan Lewis Martin, who drafted the Constitution of Wisconsin. The building is owned by the Brown County Historical Association and is a museum.[26]
Mill House Sheboygan Falls 1837 Residential/hotel Two-story wood-frame Greek Revival structure built by the Rochester Lumber Company in 1837 as a boarding house for workers. Also functioned as an inn for settlers arriving in the area. Part of the Cole Historic District in Sheboygan Falls.[27]
Mitchell-Rountree House
Platteville 1837 Residential 1.5-story cottage built in 1837 of carefully fit dolomite for Rev. Samuel Mitchell in a style from his native Virginia. Mitchell had served in the Revolutionary War. John Rountree, founder of Platteville and husband of Mitchell's daughter, probably built the house.[28][29]
St. Germain dit Gauthier House
Prairie du Chien 1837-1840 Residential Built by French-Canadian immigrants. Owned by the City of Prairie du Chien.[30]
209 Commerce Street cottage Mineral Point 1838-1839 Residential Two-story limestone cabin built by Cornish lead miners in southwestern Wisconsin. Part of the Mineral Point Historic District.[10]
Joseph Goodrich Log Cabin Milton 1838 Residential/hotel One-and-a-half-story log cabin built by Joseph Goodrich in 1838. In 1844, Goodrich built the Milton House hotel near the cabin and connected the buildings via an underground tunnel. The site was a safe house on the Underground Railroad, and enslaved African-Americans used the tunnel as a hiding place. As of 2020, the cabin is part of the Milton House museum.[31]
Gredler-Gramins House
Brookfield 1839 Residential Benjamin Carpenter built the initial fieldstone house in 1839. In 1850 John Gredler expanded that building with a 2-story brick Greek Revival-styled front, producing a saltbox form.[32][33]
Isham Day House
Mequon 1839 Residential One of the oldest known buildings in Ozaukee County, the cottage was built by Yankee Isham Day in 1839, before the influx of German immigration in the 1840s. The construction is unusual, with walls framed in vertical sawn timbers joined by mortise and tenon and infilled with brick.[34][35]
Odd Fellows Hall
Mineral Point 1839 Fraternal meeting place Wooden Greek Revival structure built as a meeting place for the Iowa Lodge No. 1 chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Still used by the organization, it is reputed to be the oldest chapter west of the Allegheny Mountains. Part of the Mineral Point Historic District.[10]
Old St. Peter's Catholic Church
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle 1839 Church The first Catholic Church in Milwaukee, originally located at 2469 N. Murray Ave. before being moved to the grounds of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary c. 1940. It was later moved to the Old World Wisconsin open-air museum.[36][37]
Blue house
Nashotah 1842 Academic The Blue House was the first building of the Nashotah House Episcopal seminary, constructed in 1842 by the missionary James Lloyd Breck and his followers. The Chapel of St. Sylvanus, located next to the Blue House, was constructed in 1843.[38][39]
Hickory Hill House Madison 1842 Residential Possibly the oldest extant building in Madison, Wisconsin, the Hickory Hill House was built from local sandstone by John G. Hicks, a farmer who came to Wisconsin from New York.[40][41]
Middle College
Beloit 1847 Academic The first building constructed on the Beloit College campus, Middle College is the oldest academic building still in use in Wisconsin[42] and serves as the college's administrative offices.[43]
North Hall
Madison 1851 Academic Oldest extant building at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[44]
Gates of Heaven Synagogue
Madison 1863 Synagogue Oldest extant synagogue in Wisconsin and eighth-oldest synagogue building in the United States.[45]

See also

References

Informational notes

  1. ^ The St. Joan of Arc Chapel on the Marquette University campus in Milwaukee is technically older, having been built in the 15th century. The chapel was built in France, shipped to the United States in 1927, and reconstructed at Marquette University in 1966.[46] The Tank Cottage is the oldest Wisconsin building that was originally built in Wisconsin.

Citations

  1. ^ Anderson, D. N. (March 23, 1970). "Tank Cottage". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  2. ^ Donath, David (April 7, 1979). "Strange Powers House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "Vertefeuille, Francois, House". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  4. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (June 7, 1971). "Fort Howard Officers' Quarters". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (November 2, 1970). "Fort Howard Hospital". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (June 18, 1971). "Fort Howard Hospital Ward". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (August 25, 1970). "Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Miller, Elizabeth L. (June 1, 2004). "Dodge Mining Camp Cabin". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  9. ^ Blanche Higgins Schroer (December 9, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Astor Fur Warehouse / American Fur Company Warehouse" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 4 photos, exterior and interior, from 1936, 1975, and undated. (775 KB)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Anderson, Donald N. (1970-11-16). "Mineral Point Historic District". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-10-12. With 17 photos.
  11. ^ "Baird Law Office". Heritage Hill State Historical Park. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  12. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (June 24, 1970). "Baird Law Office". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "Indian Agency House". City of Portage. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  14. ^ Eisley, Jane (August 1, 1998). "Prairie Spring Hotel". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "History of Madeline Island Museum". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Lewis, Chelsey (February 13, 2020). "The 1830s Cothren House cabin in Mineral Point is great for a cozy winter getaway". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  17. ^ Hatfield, J. W. (November 5, 1979). "Gratiot House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Joyce McKay (1992-07-02). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Merrell, Henry, House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  19. ^ a b Anderson, Donald N. (1970-09-28). "Pendarvis". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-10-26. With three photos.
  20. ^ "Second Fort Crawford Military Hospital". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  21. ^ Engel, Charlene Stant (July 26, 1974). "Denniston House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  22. ^ D. N. Anderson (1970-01-23). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: First Capitol". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-03-06. With one photo.
  23. ^ "History of First Capitol". First Capitol. Wisconsin Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  24. ^ "Norwegian Buildings at Heg Park". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  25. ^ Terry L. Shoptaugh; Pastor Eugene Leschensky (1979-12-15). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: Norwegian Buildings at Heg Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-07-18. With one photo.
  26. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (January 13, 1970). "Hazelwood". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  27. ^ Hildebrand, Janice (September 1988). "Cole Historic District". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  28. ^ "Mitchell-Rountree House". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  29. ^ Anderson, Donald N. (1971-08-17). "Mitchell-Rountree House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  30. ^ "St. Germain dit Gauthier House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. May 10, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  31. ^ Miller, Elizabeth L. (December 1, 1997). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Milton House" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 9 photos, exterior and interior, from 1997. (1.80 MB)
  32. ^ "Gredler-Gramins House (John Gredler)". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  33. ^ Thomas A. Eggebrecht (June 1980). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: Gredler-Gramins House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-07-29. With one photo.
  34. ^ "Isham Day House". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  35. ^ Cartwright, Carol Lohry (1999-08-15). "Day, Isham, House". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  36. ^ "St. Peter's Church". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  37. ^ "St. Peter's Church photograph". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  38. ^ "Nashotah House: Our History". Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  39. ^ "Marker 160: Nashotah Mission". Wisconsin Historical Markers. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  40. ^ "Hickory Hill House, 1842". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  41. ^ Hardee, Howard (March 9, 2020). "Just Ask Us: What is the oldest building on Madison's Isthmus?". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wisconsin. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  42. ^ "Beloit College: Our History". Beloit College. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  43. ^ "Beloit College: Campus Map". Beloit College. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  44. ^ Blanche Higgins Shroer and S. Sydney Bradford (May 1975) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: North Hall, University of Wisconsin, National Park Service and Accompanying 3 photos, exterior, from 1975.
  45. ^ Donald N. Anderson (December 17, 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Old Synagogue". National Park Service. Retrieved February 6, 2016. Accompanying drawing and two photos.
  46. ^ "A History of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel". St. Joan of Arc Chapel website. Marquette University. Retrieved 31 May 2012.