Stonefield, home of Gov. Nelson Dewey and the State Agricultural Museum
Interest in specialty museums that would interpret unique themes in Wisconsin history fueled the evolution of the Wisconsin Historical Society's first historic sites in the early 1950s. After the opening of Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien in 1952 and Wade House in Greenbush a year later, history enthusiasts in southwestern Wisconsin donated funds and furnishings to begin the interior restoration of Nelson Dewey's reconstructed home in Cassville for use as a museum. In 1953 the Legislature designated the Dewey homestead as site of "the state farm and craft museum," culminating lengthy deliberations aimed at establishing a museum of rural life in the state. Today Stonefield is home to the State Agricultural Museum, Wisconsin's largest collection of farm tools, models, and machinery that detail the state's agricultural past. The Dewey homesite, largely unchanged from the day of its opening, continues to provide a focal point for Stonefield's colorful heritage as the former home of Wisconsin's first governor.