Roughly bounded by RR tracks, 2nd, Swift, and Cedar Sts. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Roughly bounded by RR tracks, 2nd, Swift, and Cedar Sts.

National Register or State Register


Historic Name: Alma Historic District

Reference Number: 82000631


Location (Address): Roughly bounded by RR tracks, 2nd, Swift, and Cedar Sts.

County: Buffalo

City/Village: Alma



Alma Historic District
Alma, Buffalo County
Dates of construction of contributing buildings: 1855-1955

Alma developed on a narrow strip of land between the Mississippi River and 500-foot limestone bluffs. The first permanent settlers to reach Alma arrived in 1848. Most were wheat farmers, and before long, Alma was a major wheat market. About this same time, a few local businessmen recognized the potential in logging of the Beef Slough, a slow channel of the nearby Chippewa River. This channel was ideal for pulling logs out of the water after being floated down the river.

Alma soon became a major distribution point for lumber cut in northern Wisconsin. From 1867 to 1889, five billion board feet of timber were pulled out of the Beef Slough by as many as 600 men who worked at nine camps along the river run by Alma logging companies. This logging industry brought prosperity and growth to the little river community. During the 1880s, Alma grew with dozens of new homes and businesses. Many of these were fairly simple buildings, but some of the wealthier business owners and lumbermen built houses and offices in the Queen Anne, Romanesque, and Italianate styles as well.

Unfortunately, the logging boom in Alma ended by 1890, halting its growth. As a result, much of downtown Alma looks very much as it would have in the town's heyday in the 1880s.

A new lock and dam built on the Mississippi River in 1935 helped to revitalize the town as well as Alma's relationship with the river, something that had been such an important part of its past.


Period of Significance: 1855-1955

Area of Significance: Architecture

Area of Significance: Community Planning And Development

Area of Significance: Social History

Applicable Criteria: Architecture/Engineering

Applicable Criteria: Event

Applicable Criteria: Person

Historic Use: Commerce/Trade: Business

Historic Use: Domestic: Single Dwelling

Architectural Style: Mixed (More Than 2 Styles From Different Periods)

Resource Type: District

Architect: Multiple


Historic Status: Listed in the National Register

Historic Status: Listed in the State Register

National Historic Landmark Listing Date:

National Register Listing Date: 1982-05-13

State Register Listing Date: 1989-01-01


Number of Contributing Buildings: 121

Number of Contributing Sites: 0

Number of Contributing Structures: 0

Number of Contributing Objects: 0

Number of Non-Contributing Buildings: 14

Number of Non-Contributing Sites: 0

Number of Non-Contributing Structures: 0

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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