Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

WI 23 S

National or State Register of Historic Places
WI 23 S | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Prairie Spring Hotel
Reference Number:99001273
Location (Address):WI 23 S
Township:Willow Springs
Prairie Spring Hotel
State Highway 23, Town of Willow Springs, Lafayette County
Date of construction: 1834

The Prairie Spring Hotel is a rare survivor of the earliest settlement period in southwestern Wisconsin. In a time and place when most buildings were small and temporary, Daniel Parkinson's hotel was an anomaly. Hotels such as this were the first semi-public buildings in many rural areas. Not only did they provide a place of rest and refreshment for travelers, they typically served as meeting locations, polling places, post offices, and occasionally courthouses.

The Prairie Spring Hotel was built in the southern vernacular I-house form; in fact, Parkinson was born in Tennessee where this style was prominent. The building has a full width two story porch and two floors of rooms. It is constructed of oak with mortise and tenon framing.

After the primary road from Mineral Point to Galena, Illinois shifted further to the west, Parkinson’s hotel business diminished. After the closing of the hotel, the Parkinson family continued to use the buildings as their home. The family occupied the house until 1928. In 1994, the Lead Region Historic Trust moved the building 800 feet north to a new site. Portions of the building underwent repairs and the original two story porch was reconstructed. The former hotel is now used as a living archaeological site for preservation and vernacular studies.

Period of Significance:1875-18991850-18741825-1849
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Exploration/Settlement
Applicable Criteria:Event
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Domestic: Hotel
Historic Use:Domestic: Single Dwelling
Architectural Style:Greek Revival
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:10/21/1999
State Register Listing Date:04/29/1999
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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