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A.D. Thompson Cabin Listed in the State Register of Historic Places | Wisconsin Historical Society

News Release

A.D. Thompson Cabin Listed in the State Register of Historic Places

For Immediate Release (September 20, 2021)

A.D. Thompson Cabin Listed in the State Register of Historic Places | Wisconsin Historical Society

Town of Gordon, WI. - The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the A.D. Thompson Cabin (Town of Gordon, Douglas County) on the State Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2021.

Located in northern Douglas County, the A.D. Thompson Cabin is a very good example of a Rustic style log cabin, constructed in the early 20th century as part of a recreational retreat and one of the best examples of the style in Gordon. It features materials and design characteristics that define the Rustic style which gained widespread popularity during this period, expanding on the traditional pioneer log cabin form associated with traditional American national identity.

The A.D. Thompson Cabin was constructed in 1906 with locally available round logs and stone. Unlike its pioneer-era predecessors, this Rustic style cabin features distinctive architectural elements and a larger floorplan. Other buildings on the site include a woodshed, children’s cabin, outhouse, and a teepee frame structure. These buildings serve to enhance the property’s historic and intended use as a recreational summer retreat, and are themselves rustic in appearance and simply constructed. The property is one of the best, most intact examples of a Rustic-style log cabin in Gordon.

The area that became Gordon was once known as Amik, or Beaver, to local Ojibwa. The first permanent settler was Antoine Gordon (Gaudin), a trader of métis heritage who set up a trading post in Amik in the 1850s. By 1859, Gordon and his wife Sarah and family had built a cabin and hotel along the St. Croix Trail, which had been enlarged into a military road and stagecoach route between the newly established city of Bayfield and Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The area surrounding Gordon’s home and trading post remained a largely native and métis settlement well into the 1880s.

While logging and milling were the primary economic drivers in the area during the late 19th century, by the early 20th century, Gordon and the surrounding area evolved as a popular resort area for summer tourists. Seeking a respite from crowded urban areas, many wealthy sportsmen and their families from places like Chicago, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities began traveling to Wisconsin’s North Woods for extended summer vacations amid natural settings and rustic accommodations.  The A.D. Thompson Cabin is an excellent example of the Rustic style cabins that came to define Wisconsin’s North Woods.

The State Register is Wisconsin's official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin's heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.

To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit