Richfield Historical Society

Richfield, WI


Upcoming Events

Mark Your Calendar

September 17 & 18, 2022
Thresheree & Harvest Festival

Thresheree & Harvest FestivalDo you want to see and hear steam engines threshing grain and sawing logs? How about touring a 150-year-old grist mill? Do you enjoy live music and tasty brats? Washing clothes the old-fashioned way? This is the event for you....Read More


October 1, 2022
Blacksmith Day/Hammer In (New Event)

November 5, 2022
Luminary Walk (New Event)


Upcoming 2022 Events

Upcoming 2022 Monthly Programs

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RHS in Action

Behind the Scenes at the Park - July 17, 2022

Mill House BasementRichfield Historical Society members and any visitors at the Richfield Historical Park on July 17 experienced a real treat. They got to see parts of the Park buildings that are not visible during RHS events. Some of these areas were the cellar of the Mill House, upstairs of the log buildings and the 3rd floor of the Messer/Mayer Mill.


Art at the Mill"It was a great event". "Fantastic show".

These are just a few of the comments about Art at the Mill held on June 18 at the Richfield Historical Park. It was a perfect day to browse among talented exhibitors....Read More


RHS 25th Anniversary Logo2022 Marks the 25th Anniversary of the Richfield Historical Society

Learn what RHS has done in its 25 years of existence. Throughout this year, the Society's accomplishments will be published. Check back often.....Click Here for Accomplishments


Area 3rd Graders Experience Life As It Was Long Ago

Education Day - Pumping WaterOn May 19, 2022, children from Erin and HNR schools spent a day at the Richfield Historical Park. They sifted flour, pumped water and did many other tasks performed by the Messer and Mayer families who lived on the property long ago....Read More


New Garbage Bins for the Richfield Historical Park

New Trash Containers in the Richfield Historical ParkThis is one of the four trash containers that are located in the Richfield Historical Park. These containers were built to look similar to the historic buildings in the Park, in particular the cedar shingles on the top. These containers were built by the talented Thursday volunteer crew. Please use them as you are enjoying the Park.


What a Turnout for Maple Syrup Maple Syrup Family DayFamily Day on March 26, 2022!!

Even though the weather was quite blustery, maybe visitors enjoyed a pancake breakfast, learned about maple syrup, saw a smithy at work, petted a goat, shredded corn stalks....Read More


Houghton's Fire EscapeFIRE! FIRE! How would you like to escape from a burning building using this fire escape....Read More




Visit the Richfield Historical Park Virtually

A great video has been made of theOverniew of Richfield Historical Park Richfield Historical Park featuring all of the buildings and the RHS events held in the Park. Click here to enjoy!!


Weekly Highlights

Something About Richfield

Richfield Homestead Family: Komp. This article traces the Joseph Komp family from 1808 through 1880. Joseph Komp immigrated from Dreis near Trier, Rheinland Pfalz, Prussia to Richfield in 1852. One can only imagine what it was like then to leave his homeland, at age 44, with his wife, Maria Kristina, and children and cross the Atlantic to this unknown country!

One of the interesting aspects of the family's migration to Wisconsin was gleaned from the land records of Washington County. Through what appears to be a "German Connection", the initial 40 acres of John Joseph & Katharina Komp Schmittland was "purchased" for Joseph Komp, Assignee of Washington County, on June 5, 1851, for $2.96 - the amount due for nonpayment of taxes on the land. This is 11 months prior to their arrival in this country. In June 1852, Joseph purchased the adjoining 40 acres that would comprise the family farm. The Komp land was located near the corner of Pleasant Hill Rd. and the current Hwy 164.

Having fulfilled the requirement of at least five years residency in the United States, Joseph Komp filed his Declaration of Intent to become a citizen of the United States on April 13, 1860, in Washington County. However, no document can be found to verify the fact that he ever fully completed the process in that the Final Petition for Naturalization was never filed by him. This was not necessarily unusual in those years, the author of this article learned. His wife and their children were automatically included for Phillip and Mary Stephan Komp Weddingcitizenship under the husband's petition and no separate records were required if the accompanying children were under the age of eighteen at the time they arrived in this country.

Joseph and Maria Kristina Komp resided on their family farm for 26 years until their deaths in 1878 and 1879. They are buried just a few miles from their home in the cemetery next to St. Hubert's Catholic Church. Five of their children, Katharina (married John Joseph Schmitt), Hermann, Johann, Peter Joseph and Peter lived out their lives in Wisconsin, while the three remaining children, Phillip, William and Mary relocated to Oregon.


Something About the Park

An artifact in the Richfield Historical Society’s collection is a Sandwich Horse Power. This was a device to which horse(s), usually 1, 2 or 4, were harnessed. The deviceSandwich Horse Power was attached to a piece of farming equipment such as a thresher or a sheller. The horses walked around and around the device to which it was harnessed, thus providing the power to operate the thresher, sheller, etc.

Augustus Adams was in the foundry business in Elgin, IL. In 1856, he started the Sandwich Manufacturing Co. in Sandwich, IL.  Adams and his 2 older sons developed their own brand of spring and cylinder corn shellers, both hand and power operated, Sandwich Horse Power Adand soon branched out into other types of farm equipment as well as engines.  While not as large as many of the other equipment manufacturers, the Sandwich Line of high-quality equipment was known the world over.

Sandwich Manufacturing Co. was sold to New Idea Spreader Co. of Coldwater, OH in 1930, and the manufacture of Sandwich Engines was stopped. As New Idea began to consolidate their product line, the plant at Sandwich was converted to a warehouse and Dealers Training Horses Providing PowerCenter.  As part of the changeover, unfortunately, all of the old Sandwich and later New Idea records were destroyed along with over 100 tons of parts for everything from hand shellers to engines.  All Engine records were burned during the clean-up.

Photos: RHS Sandwich Horse Power; Sandwich Two-Horse Samson Power, No. 6; Horses Providing Power


Past Features of RHS in Action



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