Did you know there are houses in Ripon that were moved from one location to another?
The photo to the right shows one house “resting” in front of the Campus Theatre downtown while being moved. And there is someone on the rooftop of the house (closest to the downtown building) on the right.
The Ripon Historical Society recently asked if anyone recalled buildings being relocated in Ripon and learned interesting facts.
Comments the historical society heard included:
- Joan Huebel: “My dad moved two houses!”
- Ron Keplin: “One was my grandpa’s house moved from about where Homan Ford is West to Congress Street. They cut the roof off to move it if I remember correctly. I did have pictures.”
- Monique Worthing: “[I] live in one of them and took the day off school to watch my grandfather move the other one down West Fond du Lac Street!”
- Melinda Chamberlin: “I live in a house that was moved in the 1950s to 629 Fenton St. I was told the house moved from downtown some place in the area which is where they now play music in the summer (the Village Green).”
- JG Reinsch: “My grandfather moved the former St. Wenceslas rectory about a half mile east. In ’43 my dad moved a house from Thorne Street (near the college) to 711 Wenceslaus [St.] (house has since been modified, but it’s still there). That one in particular dad wanted to build new, but could not during World War II, so he moved it and reoriented, gutted and renewed. And there have been other houses moved by our family in the past.”
- Bonnie Adams: “I am living in a house that was moved to Spaulding Avenue from a rural area east of Ripon.”
- Jeanne Stracka Shohoney: “The home next to us on the corner of Watertown and Ransom was originally on our lot on the corner of Watson and Watertown. It was moved in 1877 by the Lewis Reed family — and then our home, the first of three Reed family homes built near each other on Watson Street, was built in its place and completed in 1879.”
- Janet Packer Wallenhorst: “Grey two-story [house] off West Fond du Lac Street was moved to Liberty Street to open the land the former Pizza Hut (now Domino’s) was built upon.”
- Colleen Beilke: “I think my dad’s house at 494 South Douglas was moved there.”
- Phil Manthel: “House that was on Liberty Street (originally on part of Immanuel United Methodist Church parking lot) moved to 425 Eureka St.”
- B.J. Neier: My father in-law, Freddy Wilkes, moved quite a few homes in the city of Ripon in his day.”
- Audrey Davis: “In the early 1950s, my father in-law moved a house on Blackburn Street to East Fond du Lac Street to make way for the former Davis Supermarket. The BMO Harris bank is now on that lot.”
- Diane Mijatovich Czoschke: “The Dolske home that was to the right of the Old Eagles Club on Eureka St. was moved around the corner west on Oshkosh St. It is still there; big two-story house.”
- Tom Yancy; “My house in Berlin was moved from the street over.”
Today, moving complete buildings and houses is an option. There are some building movers that have been in business more than 70 years and can be found online.
The equipment includes standard trailers, old-fashioned flatbeds for barns and some farm houses to modern computerized and motorized equipment that keeps buildings balanced to lessen stress on building materials while relocating. Houses and buildings are moved year round and travel through streets, alleyways and across bridges, depending upon size and scale.
The Ripon Historical Society is the oldest continually operating historical society in Wisconsin.
The historical society is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
For more information, follow it on Facebook and/or online at www.riponhistory.org.