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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Thelen House (Mead and Hunt photo, 2007)

Thelen Barn (Mead and Hunt photo, 2007)

Thelen Smokehouse (Mead and Hunt photo, 2007)

John Nicholas and Hermina Thelen House
1383 and 1405 Thelen Farm Trail, Town of St. Joseph, St. Croix County
Dates of construction: circa 1873-1917

In 1863, German immigrants John Nicholas and Hermina Thelen purchased and settled 80 acres of farmland in St. Croix County. Through successful wheat farming and supplementary pursuits, they began acquiring additional acreage, and by 1897 had amassed 280 acres, making them one of the largest landowners in the Town of St. Joseph. In 1885, the family hired builder Augustus Jackson to erect a home that reflected their growing prosperity. The resulting house is a handsome wood-frame example of the Italianate style adapted to a farm house. The house retains many of its original features, including its original wood siding, its decorative wood brackets below the eaves, and its wide front porch with the original columns, balustrades, and corner brackets.

As the farm's operations transitioned from wheat to diversified farming, several outbuildings were constructed to adapt the farmstead. The smokehouse and windmill date from the era when St. Croix County was emerging as Wisconsin's most prolific wheat-producing area. The transition to dairy farming can be seen in the modern dairy barn and silo constructed in 1917. These remain largely as built, with no modern additions, and portray the ways the farmstead adapted to meet new farming demands.

This property is privately owned. Please respect the rights and privacy of the owners.


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