Richfield Historical Society

Richfield, WI

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Pioneer Homestead

When families first settled in Richfield as long ago as the mid-1800s, their homestead consisted of simple log buildings. Today, for the most part, log buildings from that era are a thing of the past.  Therefore, when the Richfield Historical Society (RHS) was offered two such log buildings that were going to be torn down, they jumped at the chance to preserve them for current and future generations.

Dismantling Motz Log Cabin

Motz Log Cabin
In 1999, when the Society was only two years old, the Motz family donated the log building that was on its property located near Colgate Road and Willow Creek Road in Richfield. This building was built by J. R. Sutter. It had many purposes during its lifetime ranging from living quarters to a garage to a storage shed. RHS volunteers carefully dismantled the building and marked every log. The rebuilding of the cabin started in 2006 and was completed in 2009 when it was dedicated.Motz Log Cabin

The building now houses a display of artifacts and furniture that represents a family’s living quarters. When children visit, they are amazed that a whole family (sometimes with many children) could live in one room with an upstairs sleeping area. "No way!”, the children exclaim.

Messer Log Barn
In 2001, a log barn that was located on the corner of Elmwood Road Building Messer Log Barnand State Road 164 (formerly Hwy J) was offered to RHS. The wonderful significance of this building is that it had once been owned by Philip Messer who was the brother to Andrew Messer. Andrew Messer built the grist mill located in the Richfield Historical Park. Once again, the log building was meticulously taken down, with every log labeled. Our volunteers started to put it back together in 2003. The final shingle on the roof was put in place in 2010 in time for its dedication.

The log barn contains displays of many pieces of farming equipment such as a hand plow, corn shellers, fly net for a horse, potato and grain hand planters, and much more. A very nice harness collection is also shown there along with some saddles from WWI.

When you take a tour of the Richfield Historical Park or attend one of the Society’s Events, be sure to stop in and take a look at how families lived long ago and how they used log buildings.

 

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