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Architecture and History Inventory
1784 BARTON AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Gadow's Mill (Barton Roller Mills)
Other Name:Gadow's Mill
Reference Number:17077
Location (Address):1784 BARTON AVE
City:West Bend
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1865
Additions: 1905
Survey Date:1978
Historic Use:mill
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Gadow's Mill
National Register Listing Date:12/24/1974 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Another map code for this building is WT 20/13, found on the DOT West Bend map.

This two and one half story other vernacular styled commercial structure features a rectangular shaped plan configuration, a brick foundation, a brick exterior and trim and an asphalt shingled gambrel roof. The windows throughout the structure have two-over-two panes set within segmentally arched openings. Brick lintels and projecting sills further distinguish these windows. The entrances on both the front and side elevations are segmentally arched as well. Portions of the structure contain a denticulated cornice. The historically named Gadow Mill is in fair condition. It was built in 1865, with an interior renovation having occurred in 1905. (See Bib. Ref. A). Robert Price was the original builder of the structure. (See Bib. Ref. B).

The currently named Barton Roller Mills is situated on the north side of the Milwaukee River west of Barton Avenue. It includes a main building, warehouse sections, a railroad spur, parking lot, a dam, mill race and flood gates. It is a three story vernacular buff brick building capped by a gambrel roof.

Individuals associated with this mill and the dates of their associations include the following: Robert Price, from 1865 to 1882; Charles Suckow 1894-1900; and William Gadow, from 1900 to 1964. (See Bib. Ref. A, B, C).

Architectural/Engineering Singificance:

This mill is important as one of the few remaining examples of water mills.

Historical Background:

Robert Price erected this structure in 1865. When completed, Price's mill measured sixty-five feet by forty-four feet, and was two and one half stories high. Price named the facility Barton Roller Mills. For a number of years Washington County farmers brought their wheat to Price's mill where it was ground, packed into wooden barrels, and shipped by wagon to Allenton from where it was then shipped by rail to larger markets.

Barton Roller Mills remained active into the 1890s. During this time ownership of the building changed hands several times. In 1894, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Suckow of Milwuakee pruchased the mill. In 1900, Mr. Suckow erected a new elevator (not extant) on the east side of the mill. William F. Gadow acquried interest in the mill in 1905. Nine years later fire destoyed most of the equipment and some of the structure itself. Gadow turned this misfortune into an opportunity to update his mill. That year he replaced the lost machinery with five new Allis-Chalmers roller for wheat, five mills for rye, and a French Burr Stone which Price (Gadow?) used to produce coarsley ground flour. The mill remained in the Gadow family until 1964, at which time the owners discontinued operations.

In 1966, the city of West Bend purchased the mill, and in 1975, the city turned the building over to Leonard S. Dricken (son-in-law of Water A. Gadow) who would later restore the mill. (See Bib. Ref. B). The Gadow mill was the last mill in Wisconsin to grind wheat flour and also one of the last to operate on water power.

Historical Significance:

The Barton Mills building has been a pivotal structure through much of the history of the town of Barton. It was the cause of the town's growth and remained important until it was closed down in 1964. It also remains an important visual focus of the town.
Bibliographic References:B. The History of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin. Barton, WI: n.p., 1976. C. West Bend Historical Album. West Bend, WI: Serigraph Sales & Mfg. Co, Inc., 1976. D. Zimmermann, Russell. "The Heritage Guidebook." (Heritage Banks, 1976). Washington County History and Driving Tours presented by the Washington County Landmarks Commission, 1999.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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