Denniston House - Cassville, WI
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member onfire4jesus
N 42° 42.791 W 090° 59.443
15T E 664535 N 4730922
Quick Description: This building was offered free to be used as the capitol building if Cassville was selected as the Capital of Wisconsin. It is located at 117 E. Front St in Cassville.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 9:27:22 PM
Waymark Code: WM5KXP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 7

Long Description:
The marker reads:
"DENNISTON HOUSE

When Wisconsin Territory was established by Congress in 1836, more than a dozen communities eagerly sought to become capital. Daniels, Denniston, and Company of New York offered this building free if Cassville were chosen. When the Legislature selected Madison, Denniston's dream ended in bankruptcy.

Nelson Dewey arrived in Cassville in 1836 and worked for the Denniston firm. Later, Dewey acquired vast properties here including this building which he opened as "Denniston House" in 1854. It has been in continuous operation as a hotel ever since. Dewey's plantation home "Stonefield" is preserved in Nelson Dewey State Park about one mile upriver from here.

Erected 1969"

Another nearby marker reads:
"VILLAGE OF CASSVILLE

Cassville was named for Lewis B. Cass, governor of the Michigan Territory. The earliest mention of the present site was by Henry Schoolcraft in 1820. The settlement began in 1827 when a lead-smelting furnace and a government warehouse were erected and cabins were built.
In 1836, area residents expected that Cassville would become the capital of the Wisconsin Territory. This location was considered central, as the Territory included all of Iowa, Minnesota, and part of the Dakotas. Banking on that prospect, Daniels, Denniston and Company was formed to plat and develop the village of Cassville.
According to his journal, a young Nelson Dewey arrived in Cassville from New York in 1836 and was employed by the Company. The company began construction of the Denniston House that same year and hoped that it would serve to house the legislators. Hopes collapsed when Madison was chosen as the capital in November 1836. The Company's plan was not to be realized.
Dewey became involved in politics and held several county and territorial offices. When statehood was achieved in 1848, he was elected Wisconsin's first Governor. In 1852, he resumed his Grant County law practice.
In 1855, Dewey returned to Cassville and purchased the bankrupt Company's interests. He made order out of a confusion of land titles, revived Cassville's commercial prospects, and attracted scores of settlers. The village prospered and was incorporated on March 28, 1882.
Dewey created a 2000-acre estate, west of Cassville, which he called Stonefield. Family problems, a fire that destroyed his home, and financial adversities left him a poor man. He died in July 1889 in the Denniston House, with only friends to care for his final needs. Remnants of his estate now comprise Nelson Dewey State Park and Stonefield Historic Site.

Erected 2007
Cassville Historical Society
Wisconsin Historical Society"
Street address:
117 E. Front St
Cassville, WI USA
53806


County / Borough / Parish: Grant

Year listed: 1975

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Person: Dewey,Nelson

Periods of significance: 1825-1849, 1850-1874

Historic function: Domestic: Hotel

Current function: Vacant/Not In Use

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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onfire4jesus visited Denniston House - Cassville, WI 10/11/2008 onfire4jesus visited it

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