Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

114 Shake Rag St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
114 Shake Rag St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Pendarvis
Reference Number:71000038
Location (Address):114 Shake Rag St.
City/Village:Mineral Point
114 Shake Rag Street, Mineral Point, Iowa County
Architect: Unknown
Date of Construction: ca.1842-ca.1852

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.

Built in 1845, "Pendarvis," a simple stone cottage, reflects the typical cottages of their Cornwall homeland. The front is faced with carefully fitted local limestone, so tightly fitted that even a knife blade cannot be forced in between them. The walls are 18" to 20" thick and the interiors are covered in plaster. The ca. 1842 "Trelawny" is a two-story, gable-roofed cottage with a "saltbox" profile and a rear lean-to built into the rock hillside. The roof continuously slopes from the two-story portion to the one-story rear wing and resembles the shape of an old salt storage box. The cottage is constructed of the same local limestone. The Polperro is a three and a half story building with a first story stone base surmounted by a two and a half story log structure. It has a stone lean-to addition set into the rocky hillside at the rear. Like the other two houses, this was also built in the mid-1840s, but, unlike the other two, the stone is laid without the careful fitting of the face stones on the front side. The less formal treatment easily ties in with the log construction of the upper floor walls.

A century later, Robert Neal, a Mineral Point native of Cornish ancestry, and Edgar Hellum, a visitor seeking to salvage building material, met and decided to save these exceptional immigrant buildings from ruin. Beginning with the restoration of Pendarvis, these pioneering Wisconsin preservationists soon acquired and restored two others in the first phase of their project.

In 1970, the Wisconsin Historical Society acquired the property and began operating the restored historic site interpreting the history of Cornish settlement and Wisconsin's lead-mining days.

Pendarvisis open seasonally to the public, offering guided tours by costumed interpreters. Visitors are welcome to learn more at Pendarvis's web site.

Period of Significance:1825-1849
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Social History
Applicable Criteria:Event
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Domestic: Single Dwelling
Architectural Style:No Style Listed
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:01/25/1971
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:3
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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