Visit the Middleton Historical Museum

In the heart of Middleton, an impressive brick home has graced Hubbard Avenue for 150 years. The Rowley House holds the Middleton Historical Museum – now open for the 2018 season! Step inside the home’s beautiful 1800s architecture and take a look back at Middleton’s rich history. Read more about the museum, which celebrates a special birthday in 2018.

The history

In 1868, Middleton Doctor Newman C. Rowley constructed the home for $800. The home was built with 30,000 bricks, thought to be produced in a nearby Pheasant Branch brickyard. The house was built in a style common then in rural Wisconsin, a 19th century form known as a Gabled Ell. Rowley occupied the house until his death in 1871. He was the first of three generations of Rowleys to occupy the home. In fact, the Rowley family lived in the house for 120 years—the last occupant, Arlene Rowley Morhoff, lived in the house until her death in 1988.

The Middleton Area Historical Society took ownership of the property and operates the Rowley House Museum, which is open from April-October.

The Rowley House is a Middleton Landmark and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1999.

The collection

Each room of the home houses a different mix of historical treasures. On the main floor, you’ll find one of the Midwest’s largest displays of depression era glass. In other rooms you’ll discover:

  • Native American artifacts
  • A vintage kitchen
  • Medical equipment from the 1800s
  • Turn-of-the century cooking implements and appliances
  • Old-fashioned toys and school materials
  • Uniforms and other military items from war veterans from the city
  • Photographs and manuscripts of early Middleton
  • Histories of area churches, schools and businesses
  • Farm implements and an antique buggy

The celebration

The award-winning Capital Brewery is producing a special beer commemorating the Rowley House’s 150th birthday. The beer will be available at the brewery from Aug. 4-Aug. 26, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Middleton Area Historical Society. Look for a beer release party from 1-5pm on Aug. 4 in the brewery’s Bier Garten.

 

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