Friday, July 13, 2012

Mystery House Number One

When you drive by abandoned houses do you ever wonder what stories the house could tell? Maybe I’m just weird but I always wonder about who lived in the house over the years. Who had it built? Who was the last family to live there and why did they leave? Every abandoned house has a story, in fact, has many stories. I am going to try and learn, in the words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story about abandoned houses I come across. 
This is house number one. If you are driving east on Highway 64 in Wisconsin this house is on your left, a few hundred feet into Chippewa County. I’m guessing it has been at least 25 years since anyone has lived in the house. There are a few out buildings and a large barn. The barn is in fairly good shape. I think it might be being used to store hay. There are tire tracks in the driveway.
I will be trying to find out more of this house’s history by visiting the Chippewa County Historical Society and the county surveyor’s records. When I learn more I will post the rest of the story.
There is an abandoned house in southern MN near the IA border I want to learn more about. It’s on Highway 52. It will be mystery house number two. I’ll post it next month. I hope to do one house per month.
As viewed from Highway 64 West

As viewed from Highway 64 East

The front of the house

The side of the house
From Google Maps


  1. I'm sure the county records office will have platt maps, among other things. Wonder if City Directories would work for the venue? Once you establish when it was built the Federal/State Census should be the next step to finding the names of the occupants! In what county is Tomahawk located? This is really exciting!!

    1. Patty, Tomahawk is in Lincoln County. This house is in Chippewa County. My daughter is the Marathon County Surveyor so she will help me with platt maps. And yes, I'll be using the census too. I don't think I'll find city directories as this house is far from any near by city or town. But I might find some farm directories. I'm going to choose a day the first week in August to go over to Chippewa Falls, the county seat, to get started although I'll do some initial looking on line.

  2. I too wonder about old houses. Here in rural north Florida there are lots of old, dilapidated houses. I find myself wondering about the families that once occupied the homes and wondering what happened to the families.

    Usually these old houses are set amongst grown-up trees and brush. Sometimes with a tree growing through the old house. In contrast to the plains, there is not much open land here. Makes for a much different setting. :-)

    1. I'm glad I'm not alone in this wondering about old homes. They all have stories to tell. It's so much more humid in FL I wonder if the houses deteriorate sooner?

      Are you close to Wakulla Springs? I've stayed there twice and love it. I don't know if it has changed but the hotel there had no phones and no TVs. It was such a peaceful place.

  3. Great looking blog!
    I, too, wonder about abandoned homes. I will be excited to see what you discover. What a great project!

  4. Oh, this is a very interesting looking one! Hope you update soon, I'm curious now, too.

  5. Thanks Charlie. Next week I will be going to Chippewa County and hopefully getting started.