Middleton History

Middleton traces its beginnings to an 1832 fur trading post along the northern shore of Lake Mendota near what is now Mendota County Park. The Township of Middleton was created in 1848 and about a decade later, in 1856, the much-coveted railroad arrived, establishing Middleton as a hub of activity for the area. The current depot was built in 1895 and serves as the Visit Middleton center, located on Parmenter Street downtown.

Middleton incorporated as a village in 1905 and became a city in 1963. Today the city retains its beautiful historic charm and celebrates its landmarks. For more history and photos of Middleton, check out the Middleton Historical Society and Rowley Museum.

Middleton Landmark Tours

See Middleton’s rich history come to life on the Middleton Area Historical Society's Landmarks Tour. Visit 21 stops around the Middleton for a glimpse into the past of the Good Neighbor City.

Download and print the full Landmarks Tour here. Maps are also available at the visitor center.

  1. First Middleton High School
  2. Little White Church on the Hill
  3. W. F. Pierstorff House
  4. Railroad Depot
  5. Opera House
  6. Weinberg/Schroeder Building
  7. American Hotel
  8. H. G. Wolf House
  9. Rowley House

and many more!

Downtown Middleton Stroll & Tell

Step back in time and explore downtown Middleton’s rich past and historic landmarks through the Middleton Area Historical Society’s free guided Historic Downtown Middleton Stroll & Tell. All tours start and end at the Rowley House Museum, with a bathroom break halfway at Capital Brewery & Bier Garten. You can expect each tour to be a leisurely stroll that will take an hour and 45 minutes. Preregistration is not required but appreciated.


Check specific tour dates and times through Visit Middleton's events calendar. Or, learn more about the tour and Middleton Area Historical Society here.

Historic Walking Tours

The Historic Walking Tour takes you on a stroll through Middleton’s past and right by these locations. See the list and map below, or view, download and print the full map and descriptions by clicking here.

  1. First high school, 1878
  2. Little White Church on the Hill, 1870
  3. Pierstorff House, circa 1890
  4. Railroad Depot, 1895
  5. Opera House, 1903
  6. Weinberg/Schroeder Building, 1868
  7. American Hotel, 1867
  8. Wolf House, 1868
  9. Rowley House, 1868
  10. Schwenn House, 1902



A group of people sitting at an outdoor table eating food.

1847 at the Stamm House

The Stamm House was built in 1847 and has served the Middleton community as a…

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American Hotel

The American Hotel, built between 1867 and 1870, attracted diners from Madison to its infamous…

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a black and white photo of an old house

Blacksmith Shop

This building dates to the 1850s and housed a blacksmith shop that served guests from…

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a black and white photo of a house

H.G. Wolf House

The Wolf House was built in1868 as a private residence for Henry G. Wolf, and…

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a black and white photo of an old house

Little White Church on the Hill

Built by German Methodists and Baptists in 1870 at a cost of $1,800, this building…

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Middleton Historical Museum (A.K.A. Rowley House)

The Rowley House Museum is housed in a historic landmark building that was built in…

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a train station with a clock on the front of it

Middleton’s Historic Depot, Visitor Center

Built in 1895, this depot was an active passenger station until 1960 and a freight…

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Opera House

The original building on this site, known as the ‘Opera House’, was constructed in 1855…

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Palmer House

The area’s first home, which was built in 1847. The structure you see today was…

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a black and white photo of a small church

Pheasant Branch School

A one-room elementary school was moved to this property in 1861, from Branch Street near…

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Weinberg Building

The Weinberg Building, named after the original owner Charles Weinberg, was built in the spring…

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a black and white photo of an old house

Whittlesey House

The Whittlesey House was the original residence for Mr. Thomas Tucker Whittlesey, and was built…

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