Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

SE of Spring Green in Tower Hill State Park

National or State Register of Historic Places
SE of Spring Green in Tower Hill State Park | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Shot Tower
Reference Number:73000080
Location (Address):SE of Spring Green in Tower Hill State Park
Tower Hill State Park, Town of Wyoming, Iowa County
Architect: Unknown
Date of Construction: 1831-1833

The Shot Tower, constructed between 1831-1833 is located at Tower Hill State Park. Used for the production of lead bullets or shot, the Tower consists of a wood frame "melting house" which rises from a ledge about a third of the way down the side of a steep bluff. The tower covers a 120 foot vertical shaft dug through the ledge to the base of the bluff. At the base of the cliff lies a horizontal tunnel 90 feet in length, leading to the base of the shaft. The tunnel and shaft were hand dug, the principal tools being the lead-miner's pick and gad. Both the tunnel and shaft are approximately six feet in diameter. At the bottom of the shaft is a round basin of water about three feet deep. Carefully measured balls of molten lead were dropped down the shaft and plunged into water to create rounded lead shot.

The old shot tower is a rare surviving piece of Wisconsin pioneer technology. It is reflects the importance of this lead-rich region to the Wisconsin settlement and played an important role in the state's early commerce by supplying lead shot that was moved along a trade route from the lead region to Green Bay and Milwaukee.

The Shot Tower is open to the public during Tower Hill State Park operating hours.

Period of Significance:1825-1849
Area of Significance:Commerce
Area of Significance:Engineering
Area of Significance:Industry
Area of Significance:Social History
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Industry/Processing/Extraction: Manufacturing Facility
Architectural Style:No Style Listed
Resource Type:Structure
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:04/03/1973
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:1
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:1
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: