In less than 75 years, Wisconsin's roads, and much of the rest of the country's, evolved from haphazard and unreliable trails and primitive roads to the present day modern road system. During this period, a complete complement of roadside architecture was constructed along Wisconsin's highways and byways. In response to the popularity of the automobile, the introduction of the motel, gasoline station, and roadside restaurant forever changed the way America travels and lives. The modern convenience store, which evolved from the early filling station, has replaced the small neighborhood grocery in many communities. Many families now eat meals at fast-food restaurants, a roadside development, and the motel has allowed for unlimited travel and changed the way families vacation.
The resources highlighted in this website represent only a fraction of Wisconsin's roadside architecture. Together they begin to tell the story of early road development and automobile tourism in Wisconsin
Anonymous. "Fill 'er up, Keep the Change." Mineral Point Democrat-Tribune , June 26. Mineral Point, WI, 1980.
Conners, Dean and Dana Duppler. The 1834 Prairie Spring Hotel, Biography of a Building . Lead Region Historic Trust, Shullsburg, WI, 1997.
Heggland, Timothy F. and Katherine H. Rankin. Hotel Retlaw . National Register Nomination, 1984.
Howard Needles Tammen & Bergendoff. Washington Avenue Historic District . National Register Nomination, 1985.
Jakle, John A. and Keith A. Sculle. Fast Food . The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1999.
Jakle, John A. and Keith A. Sculle. The Gas Station in America . The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1994.
Jakle, John A., Keith A. Sculle, and Jefferson S. Rogers. The Motel in America . The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1996.
Kreisa, Paul P. Raube Road Site . National Register Nomination, 1992.
Liebs, Chester. Main Street to Miracle Mile . The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1995.
Margolies, John. Pump and Circumstance . Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY, 1993.
Margolies, John. Home Away From Home . Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY, 1995.
McBride, Sarah Davis. Freeman and Jesse Thorp House and Cottages . National Register Nomination, 1997.
Mead & Hunt, Inc. Van Beek Filling Station (Precision Saw & Cycle) . National Register Determination of Eligibility, 1999.
Mead & Hunt, Inc. Oatman Filling Station . National Register Nomination, 2000.
Miller, Elizabeth L. Slight's Standard Oil Filling Station . National Register Nomination, 2000.
Rausch, Joan. Cunngingham House and Filling Station . National Register Determination of Eligibility, 1994.
Sculle, Keith A. "C. A. Petersen: Pioneer Gas Station Architect." Historic Illinois 2(1):11-13. Illinois Department of Conservation, Division of Historic Sites . 1979.
Stoffels, Kenneth. "Milwaukee -City of Pagodas." Milwaukee Sentinel , October 25, 1997.
Unknown. Gallo, Gregario Auto Accessories and Gas Station . National Register Nomination, 1994.
Unknown. Freitag's Pure Oil Service Station . National Register Nomination, 1980.
Walters, Dorothy V. "Devil-wagon Days." Wisconsin Magazine of History 30(1):69-77, 1946.