Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
421 COUNTY HIGHWAY H | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Saxonia House (Saxonia Inn)
Other Name:Saxonia House
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:114614
Location (Address):421 COUNTY HIGHWAY H
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1854
Additions:C. 1940 1855C. 1860
Survey Date:1999
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Side Gabled
Structural System:Half Timber
Wall Material:Stucco
Architect:Ernst Klessig
Other Buildings On Site:1
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Saxonia House
National Register Listing Date:2/22/2006 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:9/23/2005 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. Ernst Klessig was the builder.

Additions: 1860s-1870s: Greek Revival porch added to front entry.
1940s-1950s: Storage shed added near driveway.

Removals: "L" on house originally used as Turner meeting hall/Post Office removed/destroyed in 1920s-1930s.
Brewery between summer kitchen and barn removed/destroyed in 1990-92.

Replacements: Some doors and windows replaced over many years.

Remodeling: Bathrooms, second kitchen, bedrooms added over many years.

Generations of Klessigs have passed down stories of the Saxonia House as a hub of social, athletic, musical and intellectual activities, where German settlers could stay while building their own residences or traveling west. Immigrants and other visitors stayed at the house for days or weeks, breaking bread with the Klessig family, playing and singing German music, discussing books and politics, drinking beer brewed at the Klessigs' Farmington Brewery, and joining in other Saxonia House activities, Turn-Verein (Turner) meetings, dances, and community get toegethers. The Saxonia House also housed the local Post Office for several years.

In addition to the house and other buildings, the property includes a remarkably engineered beer-storage cave with arched ceilings similar to the arched ceilings of the basements under the Saxonia House.
Bibliographic References:H.R. Zimmerman: "The Heritage Guidebook" pg. 244. West Bend Daily News 1/14/2004. Farmington Turner Society Centennial Book, 1962 pg. 11. Oshkosh Northwestern 1/25/2004. Memo and Preliminary Business Plan of Alan C. Pape - prepared in Summer, 1996 (for planned Saxonia House Ethnic Bed and Breakfast). Janesville Gazette 1/25/2004. Wayne H. Jens, "The Klessig Family in America II", 1997. Green Bay News Chronicle 1/25/2004. Racine Journal Times 1/26/2004. West Bend Daily News 3/16/1998. Janesville Gazette 1/30/1998. West Bend Daily News 7/2/1999. Washington County History and Driving Tours presented by the Washington County Landmarks Commission, 1999. Janesville Gazette 12/21/1999. West Bend Daily News 12/23/1999. Hartford Times Press 2/5/2004.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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