Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

NE CORNER OF COUNTY HIGHWAY U AND RENNICK RD

Architecture and History Inventory
NE CORNER OF COUNTY HIGHWAY U AND RENNICK RD | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Gratiot House (Henry Gratiot)
Other Name:HATFIELD, J.W. HOUSE
Contributing:
Reference Number:65249
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):NE CORNER OF COUNTY HIGHWAY U AND RENNICK RD
County:Lafayette
City:
Township/Village:Shullsburg
Unincorporated Community:
Town:1
Range:2
Direction:E
Section:14
Quarter Section:SW
Quarter/Quarter Section:SW
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1835
Additions: 1853
Survey Date:1980
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Side Gabled
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Gratiot House
National Register Listing Date:1/8/1980 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:STONE HOUSE BUILT BY HENRY GRATIOT (D.1836), OPERATOR OF A LEAD MINE AND EARLY INDIAN AGENT, STOOD IN GRATIOT'S GROVE, A TOWN WHICH HAS SINCE VANISHED INTO THIN AIR.

This building is the last reminder of Gratiot’s Grove, a mining settlement founded by Henry Gratiot and his brother, which for a time was one of the largest communities in Wisconsin's lead-mining region. The Gratiots had migrated upriver from St. Louis. Aided by Catherine Myott, a métis woman (of mixed Ho-Chunk and French descent), the Gratiots got permission from the indigenous Ho-Chunks to establish a mining claim. Henry Gratiot soon came to dominate the local economy; he owned one of the area’s two smelters, a general store, and a flour mill and co-owned the local sawmill. He lived in this handsome limestone ashlar house only a short time before he died in 1836, but it remained in his family.

The original structure was an I-house, a folk style found primarily in the South (see IA3). This one, strictly symmetrical, has spare detailing--flat stone lintels over the first-story windows and a simple frieze and cornice. Sometime in the 1850s, the Gratiot family added a second story to the house's east wing and appended a second two-story block with a hipped roof.

More changes came in the 1890s. A one-story porch, with its decorative columns, spindle frieze, and triangular pediment, reflects the Victorian fashion of the day. A second, two-tiered porch was added to the house's west side (the porch you see today is a recent reconstruction). Tall, narrow, glazed double-doors open onto this porch, with a second, shorter pair of doors providing access to the balustraded deck. These additions may have marked the last new construction in Gratiot's Grove; by the 1890s, the lead-mining boom had ended, and this settlement was abandoned soon afterward.
Bibliographic References:Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the record you were looking for, or have other questions about historic preservation, please email us and we can help:

If you have an update, correction, or addition to a record, please include this in your message:

  • AHI number
  • Information to be added or changed
  • Source information

Note: When providing a historical fact, such as the story of a historic event or the name of an architect, be sure to list your sources. We will only create or update a property record if we can verify a submission is factual and accurate.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".