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Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 Listed in the State Register of | Wisconsin Historical Society

News Release

Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 Listed in the State Register of Historic Places

For Immediate Release (September 21, 2021)

Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 Listed in the State Register of | Wisconsin Historical Society

Stoughton, WI. - The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 (Stoughton, Dane County) on the State Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2021.

Electricity first came to Stoughton in 1891 with the organization of the Stoughton Electric Light & Power Company. However, by the turn of the century, many residents had become dissatisfied with the company’s inability to provide uninterrupted service, and many began to advocate for a municipally owned and operated electrical utility. Following a vote in favor of municipal ownership, the city of Stoughton began operating its own electrical utility system in 1905, initially utilizing equipment and facilities in the adjacent town of Dunkirk that had been purchased from the Stoughton Electric Light & Power Company.

Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 was constructed in 1911 to serve as the flagship power plant in what would soon become a system of three municipal hydroelectric power plants, and the only such plant located within the city limits. Located about four blocks south of Stoughton’s downtown commercial center on the northern bank of the Yahara River, the building is a modest representative of the Romanesque Revival style as characterized by its masonry construction, repeated use of multiple-coursed round arches over window and door openings, and its large, round-arched parapet. As the earliest and most ornamental of the city’s three small hydroelectric power plants, the building served as the most visible element of Stoughton’s municipally-owned electrical utility system from 1911 through the mid-1970s, after which time the property passed into a period of private ownership. Stoughton Municipal Power Plant No. 1 represents the progressive effort the city of Stoughton made to enhance its residents’ quality of life and bolster community development by providing homes and businesses with consistent, reliable, and affordable electrical service for more than sixty years.

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