Miners build a little "Cornwall" in Mineral Point
Mineral Point was founded by unemployed tin-miners who immigrated from Cornwall, England beginning in 1830. Skilled Cornish stonemasons soon began building cottages reminiscent of their homeland. Three restored Cornish houses are nestled on a hill along Shake Rag Street, facing the slope where miners once dug pits to obtain lead ore.
In 1935, Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum saw Mineral Point's history and heritage teetering on the brink of oblivion, and they decided to preserve what they could of its most tangible symbols: the stone cottages built by early 19th-century Cornish immigrants. Neal and Hellum acquired and rehabilitated not one, but several, of the original structures. In 1970, the Wisconsin Historical Society acquired the property and the next year began operating the restoration as a historic site interpreting the history of Cornish settlement and Wisconsin's lead-mining heyday.