Visitors may view four pioneer homes
Visitors can step back into a village’s pioneer days during the Rural House Walk Saturday, Oct. 8.
The walk runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features tours of four historical homes built between 1853 and 1860.
The event also includes Rural residents in vintage costumes telling the stories of early settlers and their families, horse-drawn wagon rides and visits to the Rural Cemetery, the Rural Historical Society headquarters and the Weller Store.
Concessions will be available throughout the day.
Tickets will be on sale for $10 per adult and $5 for children age 5 and younger. There will be ticket tables set up at Radley and Main streets and near State 22 and Rural Road.
Located about five miles south of Waupaca off State Highway 22, Rural is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Contributing to the historical site are 23 principal buildings, 22 outbuildings, four bridges and one silo.
Because the village was built by settlers from the eastern United States, the structures have a New England Yankee look.
Samuel Ashmun House
In 1854, James McCrossen built a simple, cross-gabled 1 1/2-story house with two single-story wings. He lived there until he moved away and sold it to Sam and Rachel Ashmun.
Sam and his brother, Jehudi Ashmun, also purchased a store from McCrossen, which provided general merchandise, a local post office, the village’s only telephone and a library with books sent up from Madison. The Ashmuns ran the store for 39 years.
Sam and Rachel’s daughter, Margaret, would earn a teaching certificate from Stevens Point Normal School and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She later became a writer, publishing collections of poetry, short stories and 18 novels for adults and children.
Dean and Carmen Sondrol bought the Sam Ashmun home in 1999.
Joshua Dake built his family’s home in Rural around 1860. The original staircase, banister, wide-plank floors and window panes are among the elements retained of this Greek revival architecture.
Recognizing the appeal of the Chain O’ Lakes, Dake purchased land between Long Lake and the lake that bears his name, Dake Lake.
Jeff and Pat Fletcher purchased the Dake House in 1989. A highlight of the tour includes Jeff Fletcher’s clock collection.
Andrew Potts House
Built in 1853 by immigrants from Scotland, the Andrew Potts House was home to four generations of the Potts family.
The Potts farmed the land for more than a century, growing their property from 80 acres to 370 acres.
Gene and Lois Sorenson purchased the house in 1987 and turned it into a bed and breakfast.
In 2006, Robert and Deborah Benada purchased the bed and breakfast and 11 acres of the original homestead.
The large, two-story house is white with green shutters and has two porches. An addition was built around 1890.
The Benadas have created a Wisconsin native-plant garden, a butterfly garden and rain gardens. They have also restored four acres of prairie and created a walking path through the tall grass prairie and a labyrinth in the short grass prairie.
Jehudi Ashmun House
Built by James Jones in 1858, the house would become a wedding present to his daughter, Ellen Jane Jones, and Jehudi Ashmun after they married in 1859.
Ashmun was a self-taught doctor who pulled teeth and delivered babies, relying on a set of medical books and years of experience.
“He would bleed people,” according to Bettie Smith, one of the events organizers. “He paid kids a penny for each leach they brought him after dangling their legs in the Crystal River.”
The two-story house has a long, one-story wing and a low-pitched roof.
Bob Tevis purchased the home in 2015. Since then, he has restored the exterior, painted the house red and rebuilt the foundation.