Wisconsin Historical Society: Mount Horeb Main Street Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Contact: Kara O’Keeffe

Mount Horeb, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the Main Street Historic District in Mount Horeb, Dane County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.

The Main Street district has the largest concentration of architecturally significant commercial buildings in Mount Horeb, including fine Queen Anne, Classical Revival, and Boomtown Front commercial and institutional buildings. It is also important to the history of commerce as its resources span the development of Mount Horeb’s central business district from 1881 to 1968. There are 29 buildings in the district, all built between 1867 and 1948.

Settlement in the village of Mount Horeb initially clustered at the intersection of present-day 8th and Springdale streets, west of the historic district. In 1881, the Chicago & Northwestern Railway extended a line through Mount Horeb, but could not find a location for the depot near 8th and Springdale streets; instead, a site was selected between current South 1st and South 2nd streets. South 1stStreet and East Main Street immediately became the prime commercial area. Some business owners moved their buildings, while others erected new ones. By the early twentieth century, the commercial district was expanding east and west along Main Street, gaining much of its current appearance by the mid-1930s. Through World War II, Mount Horeb primarily served as an agricultural support community for farmers in the surrounding area, most of who engaged in dairying. Following World War II, Mount Horeb developed a thriving tourist sector, which continues to prosper. The Main Street Historic District remains the village’s principal commercial center.

The Fuldner Heritage Fund paid for the preparation of this nomination.  This endowed fund, created through a generous donation by the Jeffris Family Foundation and administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, supports the nomination of historically and architecturally significant rural and small town properties.

The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.

To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.

About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.