7195, 7199, 7203, 7207, 7212 and 7213 Horseshoe Bay Road | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

7195, 7199, 7203, 7207, 7212 and 7213 Horseshoe Bay Road

National Register or State Register


Historic Name: Murphy Farms Number 1

Reference Number: 12000314


Location (Address): 7195, 7199, 7203, 7207, 7212 and 7213 Horseshoe Bay Road

County: Door


Township: Egg Harbor


Murphy Farms No. 1
7195-7213 Horseshoe Bay Rd. (County Highway G), Town of Egg Harbor, Door County
Dates of contributing buildings: 1918-1925

The Murphy Farms No. 1 was one of two adjoining farms totaling 700-acres developed between 1917 and 1920 by two Green Bay millionaires, Frank E. Murphy and his nephew, Elbridge N. Murphy. Today, Murphy Farms No. 1 is one of the most intact remaining examples of the large farms built in Wisconsin at the end of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth as showcases for their owners' interests in selective breeding. Such farms are of the same grand scale as the large industrial dairy farms also developed in the early twentieth century, but they differ in the greater attention to the architectural design of the show farm’s components. The higher quality of the materials used in the show farms further indicates that these farms were built without the intention of making financial gain. Such farms were a nationwide phenomenon during this period but few were built in Wisconsin and they are, therefore, perhaps the rarest farm type to be found in the state.

This multi-generational family-owned farm also represents the Murphy-Cowles family's important role in the agricultural history of Door County. Begun in 1914 as part of a real estate development scheme, Frank E. and Eldridge N. Murphy soon after acquired the farm, greatly enlarged it and made it into a showcase for selective Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle breeding. In 1925, the two men dissolved their partnership and Frank E. Murphy became the sole proprietor of the farm. Murphy disbanded the breeding herd, keeping a more modest dairy herd, and emphasized the fruit growing potential of the farm. Under his and his descendants' ownership, it became the largest single producer of cherries, apples and plums in Door County, as well as the county's largest seasonal employer.

The houses and barns on the farm are private and are not open to the public except for special events. Please respect the rights and privacy of the residents.


Period of Significance: 1918-1925

Period of Significance: 1918-1961

Area of Significance: Agriculture

Area of Significance: Architecture

Applicable Criteria: Architecture/Engineering

Applicable Criteria: Event

Historic Use: Agriculture/Subsistence: Animal Facility

Historic Use: Domestic: Institutional Housing

Architectural Style: Colonial Revival

Architectural Style: Other

Resource Type: Building

Architect: Anschutz, Henry


Historic Status: Listed in the National Register

Historic Status: Listed in the State Register

National Historic Landmark Listing Date:

National Register Listing Date: 2012-05-24

State Register Listing Date: 2011-11-11


Number of Contributing Buildings: 12

Number of Contributing Sites: 0

Number of Contributing Structures: 2

Number of Contributing Objects: 1

Number of Non-Contributing Buildings: 5

Number of Non-Contributing Sites: 0

Number of Non-Contributing Structures: 1

Number of Non-Contributing Objects: 0


National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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