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Wade House

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PO Box 34, Greenbush, WI 53026
http://wadehouse.wisconsinhistory.o...
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(920) 526-3271 Additional Contacts
 
Wades Establish Village in Frontier Territory In 1844 Sylvanus and Betsey Wade and their family settled in what was to become Greenbush. At that time Wisconsin was a frontier territory. The land between Fond du Lac and Sheboygan was a wilderness of vi...read more
Wades Establish Village in Frontier Territory In 1844 Sylvanus and Betsey Wade and their family settled in what was to become Greenbush. At that time Wisconsin was a frontier territory. The land between Fond du Lac and Sheboygan was a wilderness of virtually uninterrupted forest. Years later, Betsey Wade would tell her children that the forest was so dense that, even on a clear night, she "could hold in her apron all the stars she could see." The Wades were the first permanent settlers in Greenbush. They came to the remote area not to carve a single homestead out of the wilderness, but to establish a village on the developing frontier. Sylvanus and Betsey Wade selected the location for their village carefully. They chose a place halfway between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac along a well-used stagecoach trail. The Mullet River crossed the trail, offering a promising source of water power. The Wade's purchased several sections of land around a potential mill site as well. Wisconsin became a state in 1848. At that time Greenbush was a booming little village with two stores, a school, a sawmill, a wagon shop, a blacksmith, and a doctor. The trail between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac had been improved by the territorial government. There were plans for further improvements by building a plank road. Sylvanus Wade sold most of his land to enterprising settlers. They, like him, were willing to stake their futures on the little community. The Wades kept a tavern in their log house. As the years passed and business grew, they twice expanded the structure. By 1848 Wade's "Half Way House" was a regular stop for the stagecoach lines operating between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. The Wades planned to build a new large and elegant inn to serve the growing traffic. It would also lend an aura of establishment and civilization to the growing village of Greenbush. Wade House Stagecoach Hotel Opens, 1850 The new Wade House stagecoach hotel opened to the public in 1850. It was built of locally harvested and sawn lumber. Its three-story Greek Revival-style reflected the architectural fashion of the "civilized" east. To travelers, Wade House represented the prosperity and progress of the young village. The inn was the scene of cotillions, business meetings, political caucuses and circuit court sessions. The taproom buzzed with debates of issues as mundane as last year's crops and as heady as secession and the abolition of slavery. Construction of the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Plank Road began in 1851. This seemed to ensure that the Wade's village and inn would continue to flourish. Heyday Wanes, New Railroad Bypasses Greenbush, 1860s The Wade House stagecoach hotel heyday lasted little more than a decade. In the early 1860s the railroad became the main transportation artery between the port of Sheboygan and the interior of the state. It bypassed Greenbush entirely, establishing a terminal two miles north in Glenbeulah. By the mid 1860s the growth and prosperity of Greenbush had stalled. The village became a sleepy rural hamlet. For the next 80 years three generations of Wades lived in the building and it continued to function as an inn until around 1910. Restoration Plans Falter and the Inn Deteriorates, 1940s In 1941 the inn was sold by Sylvanus' grandson, William Wade, to family friend Mary Dorst for $5,200. Mrs. Dorst planned to restore Wade House to its original 19th-century splendor and use the many Wade furnishings still within the house. Unfortunately, by 1949 Mrs. Dorst no longer had the funds to continue the repairs necessary to maintain or restore the building. Kohler Family Restores Wade House, 1950s By 1950, 100 years after its construction, Wade House was dilapidated but stood in a basically unaltered condition. Marie Christine Kohler and her sister-in-law, Ruth De Young Kohler, were soon going to bring Wade House's rich history back to life. It was the vision of Marie Kohler, daughter of Kohler Company founder John Michael Kohler, to restore th
 
 

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  • 1850 Greek Revival Stage Coach Inn, 1856 Residence of Charles Robinson & Julia Wade Robinson, Wesley Jung Carriage Museum with over 100 horses & hand-drawn vehicles, Gift shop, picnic area, working bl... More 1850 Greek Revival Stage Coach Inn, 1856 Residence of Charles Robinson & Julia Wade Robinson, Wesley Jung Carriage Museum with over 100 horses & hand-drawn vehicles, Gift shop, picnic area, working blacksmith shop, Guided tours, Midway between Fond du Lac & SheboyganLess
 

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Wades Establish Village in Frontier Territory In 1844 Sylvanus and Betsey Wade and their family settled in what was to become Greenbush. At that time Wisconsin was a frontier territory. The land between Fond du Lac and Sheboygan was a wilderness of virtually uninterrupted forest. Years later, Betsey Wade would tell her children that the forest was so dense that, even on a clear night, she "could hold in her apron all the stars she could see." The Wades were the first permanent settlers in Greenbush. They came to the remote area not to carve a single homestead out of the wilderness, but to establish a village on the developing frontier. Sylvanus and Betsey Wade selected the location for their village carefully. They chose a place halfway between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac along a well-used stagecoach trail. The Mullet River crossed the trail, offering a promising source of water power. The Wade's purchased several sections of land around a potential mill site as well. Wisconsin became a state in 1848. At that time Greenbush was a booming little village with two stores, a school, a sawmill, a wagon shop, a blacksmith, and a doctor. The trail between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac had been improved by the territorial government. There were plans for further improvements by building a plank road. Sylvanus Wade sold most of his land to enterprising settlers. They, like him, were willing to stake their futures on the little community. The Wades kept a tavern in their log house. As the years passed and business grew, they twice expanded the structure. By 1848 Wade's "Half Way House" was a regular stop for the stagecoach lines operating between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. The Wades planned to build a new large and elegant inn to serve the growing traffic. It would also lend an aura of establishment and civilization to the growing village of Greenbush. Wade House Stagecoach Hotel Opens, 1850 The new Wade House stagecoach hotel opened to the public in 1850. It was built of locally harvested and sawn lumber. Its three-story Greek Revival-style reflected the architectural fashion of the "civilized" east. To travelers, Wade House represented the prosperity and progress of the young village. The inn was the scene of cotillions, business meetings, political caucuses and circuit court sessions. The taproom buzzed with debates of issues as mundane as last year's crops and as heady as secession and the abolition of slavery. Construction of the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Plank Road began in 1851. This seemed to ensure that the Wade's village and inn would continue to flourish. Heyday Wanes, New Railroad Bypasses Greenbush, 1860s The Wade House stagecoach hotel heyday lasted little more than a decade. In the early 1860s the railroad became the main transportation artery between the port of Sheboygan and the interior of the state. It bypassed Greenbush entirely, establishing a terminal two miles north in Glenbeulah. By the mid 1860s the growth and prosperity of Greenbush had stalled. The village became a sleepy rural hamlet. For the next 80 years three generations of Wades lived in the building and it continued to function as an inn until around 1910. Restoration Plans Falter and the Inn Deteriorates, 1940s In 1941 the inn was sold by Sylvanus' grandson, William Wade, to family friend Mary Dorst for $5,200. Mrs. Dorst planned to restore Wade House to its original 19th-century splendor and use the many Wade furnishings still within the house. Unfortunately, by 1949 Mrs. Dorst no longer had the funds to continue the repairs necessary to maintain or restore the building. Kohler Family Restores Wade House, 1950s By 1950, 100 years after its construction, Wade House was dilapidated but stood in a basically unaltered condition. Marie Christine Kohler and her sister-in-law, Ruth De Young Kohler, were soon going to bring Wade House's rich history back to life. It was the vision of Marie Kohler, daughter of Kohler Company founder John Michael Kohler, to restore th