Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

220 N. Beaumont Rd.

National or State Register of Historic Places
220 N. Beaumont Rd. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Crawford County Courthouse
Reference Number:82000645
Location (Address):220 N. Beaumont Rd.
City/Village:Prairie du Chien
Crawford County Courthouse
220 N. Beaumont Road, Prairie du Chien, Crawford County
Date of Construction: 1867-68
Contractor: Michael Merges

The Crawford County Courthouse is located in Prairie du Chien, an early seat of government for western Wisconsin. Crawford County was one of three territorial counties established in 1818. The current courthouse was built in 1867 after the earlier county structures were deemed so unsafe that officials abandoned them. The two-story Crawford County Courthouse has typical Italianate characteristics, such as a simple, cubic form and a hipped roof, which slants on all four sides. It is constructed with off-white Dolomitic limestone hauled from the nearby town of Bridgeport. Additions to the building date to 1896 and 1931.

Located in the lower level of the building is the basement jail, one of the oldest and best-preserved 19th century jails in Wisconsin. Possibly constructed in 1843, the dungeon-like jail contains five 7 feet by 5 feet by 7 feet cells, one cell that is only three feet wide, and two solitary confinement cells that are barely tall enough to stand in. The jail lets in little outside light and still possesses some of its original leg irons and chains. The basement jail closed in 1896 when another jail building was constructed. Currently, the basement of the courthouse is used for storage.

The Courthouse is open during normal business hours.

Period of Significance:1850-18741925-1949
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Politics/Government
Applicable Criteria:Event
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Government: Courthouse
Architectural Style:Other
Architectural Style:Italianate
Architectural Style:Colonial Revival
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/09/1982
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
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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