The Wade House & Frank Lloyd Wright 

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Image by the Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wade House in Greenbush, Wisconsin is one of the twelve historic sites owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. The site is named after Sylvanus and Betsey Wade, who first settled with their family in the frontier territory during the first half of the nineteenth century. After Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848, the Wades expanded the structure of their log house on two separate occasions to accommodate for growing stagecoach traffic.

Roughly one-hundred years after the initial construction of the Wade House, the structure was in desperate need of restoration. In 1950, Marie Christine Kohler (daughter of John Michael Kohler, the founder of Kohler Company) and her sister-in-law, Ruth DeYoung Kohler, made it their mission to bring the site back to its former glory. That same year, the Kohler family and Kohler Foundation purchased the Wade House and began the restoration process. In June of 1953, under the directive of Ruth, the restoration was completed and the property was deeded to the Wisconsin Historical Society as the second historic site in the state.

Through May 31 of next year, the Wade House is hosting a special exhibit to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the famous Wisconsin architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth. Carriages, photo albums, and guest speakers will be featured over the course of the next ten months to highlight the many accomplishments and storied life of Wright, who has served as a lasting inspiration for architects and designers across the globe.

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Frank Lloyd Wright (Image by PBS)

Leading up to the 150th anniversary, a ceremony at the SC Johnson headquarters in Racine was held to announce the official opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, which spans a stretch of 200 miles from Racine in the southeast corner of the state to Richland Center in the Western Upland region (the birthplace of Wright). In traveling the entirety of the trail, visitors will be able to explore nine of Wright’s sites and observe the natural landscapes that originally influenced his unique style and works.

To learn more about the Wade House exhibit and the various features of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, please visit the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Wade House webpage and the Department of Tourism’s summary article on the trail.

18 South, State Capitol, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882  (608) 266-7513, (800) 662-1227