Backstory and Context
After finishing his second term as Wisconsin's first governor, Nelson Dewey began constructing this home in the middle of his 2,000 acre estate. The house was completed in 1868, featuring three floors of beautiful Gothic Revival architecture. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed Governor Dewy's dream home in 1873.
In 1879, the ruins of the governor's house plus 40 acres were purchased by General Walter Cass Newberry, who after farming the land for over a decade began constructing a summer home in place of the governor's old home.
The Newberry estate was sold in 1896, and it passed through several owners until the state bought the land and buildings in 1936. In 1954, the site was designated as a historic site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the grounds include a replication of a 18th century rural village and is also home to the State Agricultural Museum, which houses the state's largerst collection of agricultural tools and machinery.