Saturday, August 30, 2014

Research Trip: Wade House Stagecoach Hotel

I mentioned earlier on this blog, that I would be sharing some of the historical info that I uncover in my research for the novel I am writing. This week I visited an historical site and thoroughly enjoyed the immersion into the past.

My husband and I visited the Wade House, a former stagecoach stop and hotel in Greenbush, Wisconsin, a short drive from Sheboygan and Lake Michigan. The setting for my novel revolves around a stagecoach inn or hotel.

First Floor Parlor
The Wade House is situated on 240 acres and in addition to the historic inn, includes a blacksmith shop, sawmill and a carriage museum. The most interesting part to me, of course, was the three-story former stagecoach hotel. The building was built in the 1849/50 time period and thanks to the Kohler family, as in sinks and faucets, who provided the funding, the hotel has been restored.

We discovered that the blacksmiths in this country earned a good salary. In Wisconsin they would earn $3.00-$5.00 a day when most people in the state earned just a $1.00 per day. Mr. Wade, the founder, was a blacksmith in the eastern part of the country. He came to Wisconsin and with his saved earnings bought the land to start the hotel.

In addition to providing lodging and meals for stagecoach travelers, Wade also provided horses for the various stage lines. You can visit a blacksmith shop on the grounds and demonstrations by guides will be given.

Guest Room

There is also a sawmill you can tour. A guide will show you how the mill worked and explain that much of the wood was provided to immigrant families desiring to build homes in the Wisconsin woods.

I came back with tidbits like, it cost fifty cents for a night’s lodging and breakfast. The rooms used by guests and the bedrooms in the private quarters of the inn did not have closets, because they did not possess the large amount of clothes we do today. They used hooks to hang their clothing.
Stagecoach replica in museum

Mattresses in the bedrooms were supported by ropes and stuffed with straw. When it was asked why the beds seemed so small, it was noted that most people slept curled up at the time, as many believed that if they slept flat on their backs, they would not live through the night!

If you enjoy history and want to visit an authentic site, this might be for you.

How about you? 
Have you visited a site that has inspired you?


  1. Fascinating blog, including the photos! As you know, I too love history and writing about what I research. In fact, the research for historical novels is often the "best fun"! :-)

    1. Hi Millie. Thanks for stopping by. I know you enjoy history and the fascinating things we find our during our research.

  2. Very Interesting. That looks like a beautiful piece of property.

  3. It is beautiful, Diane. Glad you enjoyed reading about the Wade House.


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