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Historic places and people in the land of milk and honey: Wisconsin's treasure: a tribute to our past, a celebration of the present and our commitment to continue the good life

[Vienna],   p. 6 PDF (493.5 KB)

Page 6

The early settlers in 1837 were George H.
Palmer, who lived in a log cabin and was
the first to raise corn. Other Settlers were
"Deacon" Britten in 1839, William Lewis and
"Squire" Everett in 1941 and "Judge" Martin
in 1844, building the first saw mill. Samuel
Martin built the first store and was postmas-
ter in 1845 naming the post office
"Martinville". In 1845, the village of Vienna
was founded by Winslow Page Storms and
in 1849, Storms wanted the name of the
post office changed to Vienna. After court,
costing Storms $800, Vienna was estab-
lished, named after a village in New York,
near where he had lived. In 1846, Storms
built the cooper shop and blacksmith shop
and the tavern with five bedrooms on the
first floor and other bedrooms on the sec-
ond ballroom floor and large tavern barn
was built in 1847.
In 1849, the first mill and the schoolhouse
was built with Orlando Stetson the first
teacher. In 1851, the plank road was built
from Racine to Janesville and Storms' tav-
ern was a busy place with horses and wag-
ons carrying produce to Milwaukee and
people traveling west, carefully planning
their trip so accommodations could be
secured. Winslow was known for his oyster
stew with supper served at midnight. The
ballroom music was furnished by two fid-
dlers and dances lasted all night.
In 1853, Zahn bought the mill and in 1868
the spring thaw and ice washed away the
mill dam. Forty men rebuilt and Vienna's
business flourished. After the Chicago fire
with insurance rates soaring, the insurance
was dropped in 1872 and fire then
destroyed the mill. Again, the mill was
rebuilt with friendship and unselfishness of
friends. In 1912, with trends toward large,
consolidated mills and another fire, the mill
was not rebuilt. Sixty hardy early pioneers
settled in Vienna with few new buildings
after 1880. Today, Honey Lake is adjacent
to Vienna. The Zahn's from Racine's famous
department store purchased the property
in about 1854 and built their country estate
home. The Scheunert's purchased Vienna
in 1916. The Kusik's and their eight children
now own and enjoy the house. The 1849
Vienna schoolhouse and the 1929 original
Spring Prairie Town Hall (pictured) are also
private residences.
                           Rita Scheunert

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