Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
3022 COUNTY HIGHWAY P | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Aslak Lie Cabin
Reference Number:4555
Location (Address):3022 COUNTY HIGHWAY P
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:SE
Quarter/Quarter Section:SW
Year Built:1849
Survey Date:1980
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Log
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Lie, Aslak, Cabin
National Register Listing Date:4/3/1986 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 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-Public History.

Few parts of the United States are more Norwegian than the Mount Horeb area. The chain of Norwegian immigration to this area began about 1846, when two men originally from Valdres, a valley region in south-central Norway, spent some time here. They sent encouraging letters back home, prompting Aslak Olsen Lie to bring a larger party of emigrants. Lie’s group established the community of East Blue Mounds, the first Norwegian settlement in western Dane County, in 1848.

In his homeland, Lie had been a master carpenter, cabinetmaker, and blacksmith. But in America, he had to work with unfamiliar materials, so in building his cabin, Lie combined old-country traditions with American techniques. The cabin’s first story reflects the traditional log architecture of rural Norway. Lie joined the logs by chiseling the ends into dovetails, and he filled the chinks with wood, likely covered with mortar or clay to keep out the wind. But, because he found it difficult to hew the local oak, a much harder wood than Norwegian fir and spruce, for the second story he used oak-timber framing with vertical siding, a construction method virtually unknown in Norway. Along with the siding, Lie also installed American-style double-hung windows on the second floor. But he retained the traditional room arrangement inside: kitchen to the left, living room to the right, two bedrooms upstairs. Lie’s handmade decorative woodwork and hardware survive inside. The exterior, too, reflects his attention to ornamental detail: note the sawtooth molding beneath the cornices of the gable ends.

The house once had a two-story sval, an exterior passageway common to Norwegian dwellings, which ran almost the whole length of the south elevation, extending a few feet beyond the west wall. A subsequent owner removed the sval and made windows out of some doorways that once opened onto it. The Norwegian double-casement windows that Lie used in the log portion of the house are also gone, and a new window has been cut into the center of the second story. Still, the Lie Cabin retains most of its original character. One of the oldest Norwegian American buildings in Wisconsin, it is visited each year by scores of Norwegians from Lie's hometown.

See inventory 0607-04; research by Jack Holzheuter on family.

Dates of significance: 1875-1899. Associated person: Aslak Lie, 1814.

Dismantled in 2003 and moved to Folklore Village located in Dodgeville, Iowa County. Currently waiting on funding to reassemble (2009).
Bibliographic References:Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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