Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

13 COMMERCE ST

Architecture and History Inventory
13 COMMERCE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:MINERAL POINT PASSENGER DEPOT
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:56144
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):13 COMMERCE ST
County:Iowa
City:Mineral Point
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1856
Additions:
Survey Date:19871993
Historic Use:depot
Architectural Style:Side Gabled
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Mineral Point Historic District
National Register Listing Date:7/30/1971 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
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. THIS TWO STORY, SIDE GABLED DEPOT FEATURES A MASONRY STURCTURAL SYSTEM; ITS FOUNDATION, EXTERIOR WALLS AND TRIM MATERIAL ARE ALL COMPOSED OF STONE. Original stonemasons were John Toay and Philip Allen, who emigrated together from Cornwall in 1842. IT IS RECTANGULAR SHAPED IN PLAN, AND ITALIANATE IN DESIGN. THE GABLE ROOF IS COVERED IN WOOD SHINGLES. ROUND ARCHED STONE WINDOW AND DOOR HOODS APPEAR ON THE LOWER STORY, WHILE PLAIN RECTANGULAR WINDOWS APPEAR ON THE UPPER STORY. AS OF NOW, THE WINDOW AND DOOR OPENINGS OF THIS VACANT STRUCTURE ARE BOARDED UP. AN ENCLOSED, WOODEN DOORWAY ON THE MAIN FACADE WAS REMOVED SINCE 1982. PRESENTLY, THE BUILDING IS IN GOOD CONDITION.

THIS BUILDING WAS CONSTRUCTED IN 1856 BY TOAY AND ALLEN. (SEE BIB. REF. A, D). IT WAS KNOWN HISTORICALLY AS THE MINERAL POINT PASSENGER DEPOT (SEE BIB. REF. B), AND AS THE CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE AND ST. PAUL RAILROAD PASSENGER DEPOT (SEE BIB. REF. C). THE STRUCTURE FUNCTIONED AS A DEPOT until 1929. (SEE BIB. REF. B). The first train arrived here from Warren, Illinois on 6/17/1857.

THE BUILDING WAS DESIGNATED LOCALLY, BECOMING PART OF THE MINERAL POINT LANDMARK DISTRICT IN 1972.

2012- "Built by Cornishmen John Toay and Phil Allen Sr. The passenger depot was originally one of several railroad buildings that included an engine house, a machine shop and a variety of warehouses.

The first train came to Mineral point in 1857 and the last one left in 1984. The Depot, in serious disrepair by the end of the century, was meticulously restored by a committed group of volunteers and reopened as a railroad museum in 2004. One of only a few surviving pre-Cuivil War depots in the United States, the building is open for tours during the summer and includes a model railroad diorama.

The Mineral Point Railroad Company was incorporated in 1852, formed by most of the mecrchants and prominent men in town. Moses Strong was expecially enthusiastic and had a plan that showed how investors would make a 7% return for the first eight years, during which the construction costs would be paid off, and a 26% return every year thereaafter. It didn't quite turn out that way. Costs rose, contractors quit and were replaced, the county was asked to contribute via a bond issue, which was widely considered to be approved because of some shady political maneuvering, investors were asked to cough up more cash, but eventually the trains ran."
-from "A Field Guide to Mineral Point" by Nancy Pfotenhauer of the Mineral Point Historical Society, 1st Edition, 2012, Little Creek Press.
Bibliographic References:“Architecture/History Survey: Reconstruct USH 151: Dodgeville To Belmont.” WHS project number 92-0510IA/LT. October 1993. Prepared by Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center (GLARC). A. MINERAL POINT TRIBUNE, 23 SEPTEMBER 1856, 25 NOVEMBER 1856; NATIONAL DEMOCRAT, 30 AUGUST 1854, 30 JUNE 1857. Mineral Point Democrat Tribune 12/7/2000. B. IBID; SANBORN MAP, CITY OF MINERAL POINT, WI (NEW YORK: SANBORN MAP CO., 1889 -1929); TAYLOR AND WILLITS, MINERAL POINT, IOWA COUNTY [MAP] (CHICAGO: TAYLOR AND WILLITS, 1871). Wisconsin State Journal 3/6/2004. C. SANBORN MAP, CITY OF MINERAL POINT, WI (NEW YORK: SANBORN MAP CO., 1889-1929). Sheboygan Press 3/7/2004. D. MINERAL POINT TRIBUNE, 23 SEPTEMBER 1856. Mineral Point Democrat Tribune 8/27/1998. Mineral Point Democrat Tribune 5/6/1999. Historic Mineral Point Architectural Walking Tour brochure, 2000. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/7/2004. Superior Daily Telegram 3/8/2004. From Mining to Farm Fields to Ethnic Communities: Buildings and Landscapes of Southwestern Wisconsin. Ed. Anna Vemer Andrzejewski , Arnold R. Alanen and Sarah Fayen Scarlett for “Nature + City: Vernacular Buildings and Landscapes of the Upper Midwest,” 2012 Meeting of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) in Madison, Wisconsin.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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