La Follette House (J. Sewell photo)
Robert M. La Follette House
733 Lakewood Boulevard, Maple Bluff, Dane County
Date of Construction: c. 1849
Wisconsin governor Robert M. La Follette and his wife Belle moved from downtown Madison in 1905 to rural Maple Bluff near Madison's east side. They resided in a two-story, brick house on a 60-acre farm for the last twenty years of La Follette's life. The house remained in the La Follette family for three generations.
Robert M. La Follette was a prominent State and National political figure. He practiced law in Madison until he was elected to Congress, where he remained until his defeat in 1890. He went back to law while staying in state politics. He became a progressive leader in the Republican Party. In 1900, La Follette was elected governor of Wisconsin. He developed progressive ideas for the state that made Wisconsin a national leader in reform politics such as the "Wisconsin Idea" and curbing the political power of special interest groups.
The year he moved to Maple Bluff he was elected to the United States Senate. While serving four terms as senator, La Follette fought hard to combat conservatism. He broke from the Republican Party in 1924 to form a new Progressive Party. It was through the support of many labor groups and the Socialist Party that La Follette accepted the 1924 presidential nomination, carrying one-sixth the popular vote. The very next year he died in Washington, D.C. of heart disease.
The house is a privately owned; please respect the privacy rights of the owners.