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Antoine and Sarah Gordon House Listed in the State Register of Histori | Wisconsin Historical Society

News Release

Antoine and Sarah Gordon House Listed in the State Register of Historic Places

For Immediate Release (September 20, 2021)

Antoine and Sarah Gordon House Listed in the State Register of Histori | Wisconsin Historical Society

Town of Gordon, WI. - The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Antoine and Sarah Gordon House (Town of Gordon, Douglas County) on the State Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2021.

The Antoine and Sarah Gordon House is an exceptionally rare home associated with Métis culture. The Gordon family was métis, a unique and identifiable cultural group that bridged relationships between American Indian tribes and early white explorers and settlers during Wisconsin’s early settlement period.  The Métis were critically important to the ability of European explorers to access the land at the interior of the state and in these explorers’ ability to form and expand important fur trading enterprises and other trade networks.    Métis families wielded powerful influence in social, political and economic development.  The Gordons are furthermore associated with the transition of the Ojibwa/Chippewa and métis cultures following the end of the Fur Trade Era in northern Wisconsin. Due to the Gordon family’s familial ties with the Chippewa tribes of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, the area surrounding Gordon’s home and trading post remained a largely native and métis settlement through the end of the 19th century. Following the arrival of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railroad in 1882, white settlers began to move into the area and establish homes and businesses.

As the home of the founders of Gordon, this house is significant to the area’s history of exploration and settlement.   The Métis were an influential cultural group who affected settlement of Wisconsin, but buildings associated with them are rare today.  The community of Gordon was originally founded as a métis settlement, and was named for its founder, Antoine Gordon.  Antoine Gordon also developed businesses, influenced the arrival of the railroad, and was responsible for the community’s growth and development.  The early settlement and founding of the town of Gordon was inextricably linked to Antoine Gordon’s activities and affiliations in the mid-to-late 19th century. This house represents the historical arc from initial métis settlement to the intersection of larger trends in northern Wisconsin’s settlement. The evolution of his property in terms of its location, architecture, and ownership foreshadowed the close of the pioneer era in Gordon.

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 www.wisconsinhistory.org