Check out Recollection Wisconsin for info on Reedsburg’s historic buildings

Reedsburg Public Library staff

This historic photo shows the Cornerstone Building. (Submitted photo)

“Does anyone know the history of this building?” is a question often posed on local history Facebook pages.

For Reedsburg buildings, the answer can often be found using Reedsburg Public Library’s digitized collection on the website This website boasts the digitized collections of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies from over two hundred locations in the state. Since 2019, the platform has hosted historic building information from Reedsburg.

The information on the website is the result of the Reedsburg Public Library’s project to digitize the 1983-1984 Reedsburg Historic Survey, which identified historically or architecturally significant buildings in the city, some to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Over 900 properties were surveyed by community volunteers at the time, with extensive research conducted on some locations. Each property file contains a photograph of the building as it appeared in 1983, along with information pertaining to the building’s historical or architectural significance.

To easily access these property files, find the website Recollection Wisconsin on RPL’s homepage slider or alphabetically under the Research Resources tab also on the homepage. Search by address or the name of the business or people who may have been associated with the property. A search on “204 Main” will bring up a photograph and several pages about Reedsburg’s iconic Cornerstone Building. The reader will learn that the building is a significant example of the Queen Anne-style in Reedsburg and that it was built in 1896 by William Stolte for a hotel after the Central House at the same site was destroyed by fire.

While not every home or building on the survey was found to have either historical or architectural significance, those that do offer insight into Reedsburg history as well as biographical information about its early inhabitants.

The entries also contain references to published books on the history of Sauk County and Reedsburg, city directories, and past issues of Reedsburg’s local newspapers, giving the serious researcher additional sources to query.

An accompanying book, “Reedsburg’s Architectural Heritage,” was also digitized, as well as a 212-page volume simply titled “Reedsburg Intensive Survey.” This book recalls the growth of Reedsburg, with separate chapters on the role of agriculture, commerce, industry and education in the developing city. The publication “Souvenir of Reedsburg’s Most Beautiful Residences,” published in 1912, is also available on the Recollection Wisconsin website.

For questions about Recollection Wisconsin, or local history or genealogy research, call the library at 768-READ (7323).