The Boorman House
Step Back In Time at The Boorman House
Mauston traces its modern roots back to the French traders in the mid 18th Century who plied the rivers of south Central Wisconsin in the mid 18th Century, but the thriving mill town of Milton Maughs was really coming into its own in 1864 when Benjamin Boorman sold his grain mill in Delton, Wisconsin and purchased the estate and sawmill of Maughs, who had died the previous year.
Boorman’s first wife died in 1874, leaving him with three children. Two years later, he married Margaret Hall, the sister of his brother Clarence’s wife, and work began on the cream-colored brick 13-room Victorian mansion on the banks of the Lemonwier River. Boorman died in 1886 and was survived by his widow and four children.
The Boorman House, built in1876 for $12,000 ($257,000 in today’s currency) stands as a superb example of the craftsmanship of that era. The house, located at 211 Union St., is listed on both the Wisconsin and the National Registers of Historical Places.
According to Rose Clark, Juneau County Historical Society historian, the cream-colored brick was made locally and the interior lumber “was of the finest wood from the Boorman Mill.
“There was a carriage shed, an extensive lawn and a formal garden. Several brick sidewalks extended to the street. There was a large, columned porch on the
front or east side of the house and a cupola or “Widow’s Walk” adorned the roof,” says Clark.
The Juneau County Historical Society purchased the house in 1987 from Edward and Mary Pierce and maintains it as the county’s historical museum with period furniture, clothing, exhibits and special events.
Visitors can step back in time to the late 19th Century in this living piece of history, enjoying the detailed craftsmanship and historical feel of its grand mahogany staircase, three marble fireplaces, period stain glass, clothing, utensils and furniture, including a grand piano in the parlor.
The Boorman House Historical Museum is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day and by appointment at any time.
On the last weekend of November and the first weekend in December this Victorian beauty is lavishly decorated for a holiday open house with that features carolers and entertainment, refreshments and a raffle. Donations are accepted in lieu of an admission fee. Other annual special events include an ice cream social in June and a quilt show in September.
For more detail on The Boorman House Museum and on the history of Juneau County, visit: wcwcw.com/feature85.html and their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boorman.house