Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

W7307 Blackhawk Island Rd

Architecture and History Inventory
W7307 Blackhawk Island Rd | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Lorine Niedecker and Al Millen House
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:31835
Location (Address):W7307 Blackhawk Island Rd
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1946
Additions: 1963
Survey Date:2013
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:One Story Cube
Structural System:
Wall Material:Log
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Niedecker, Lorine, Cottage
National Register Listing Date:2/20/2018
State Register Listing Date:5/19/2017
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Lorine Niedecker was born in 1903 on Blackhawk Island. Her father operated a small resort along the Rock River during the early twentieth century, and despite her parent’s unhappy marriage, Lorine developed an attachment to Blackhawk Island, where she lived most of her life. It served as the inspiration and subject of much of her work. After briefly attending Beloit College in 1922, Niedecker returned to Blackhawk Island and worked a number of jobs including proofreading for Hoard’s Dairyman, writing scripts for a radio station in Madison, and working as a librarian. She soon began to write poetry, which she had published six times during her life. In 1946, after her eyesight became increasingly poor, she moved into a non-extant small log cottage on Blackhawk Island Road in the Town of Sumner. She supplemented her income during this time by cleaning at Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital. In 1963, Lorine married Al Millen. The following year, the couple constructed a large cottage on the same property that she had inherited from her family. Niedecker’s fame has largely come after her death in 1970. Her poetry falls under the auspice of modernist American folk poetry. Writing poetry in both short, haiku-like and long forms, her work is marked by its nuance, sometimes ironic tone, condensed and tightly crafted work. Niedecker’s poetry is often considered to be associated with objectivist approaches to the art form: focusing on the object rather than the feelings of the poet and conveying meaning along a distinctly musical line.

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 State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.
Bibliographic References:Biography, Lorine Niedecker, Poet of Place website. <www.lorineniedecker.org/biog> accessed June 11, 2013. Peters, Margot. Lorine Niedecker: A Poet’s Life. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011. Janesville Gazette 11/2/1997.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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