Phone: (715) 588-1241









The village of Franklin is in the National Register of Historic Places due to the very unique architecture which includes half timbered structures. There are over 150 of these structures in Franklin and the nearby areas, making the town the only U.S. origin/cluster of its type.

A little history of Franklin:

1847-motivated by poverty, settlers came from Langenholzhausen and Hoenhausen Germany on the ship Agnes of Bremen.

Overloaded with migrating immigrants, they could not land in New York because of breaking the weight rules. The ship went on and landed in Canada, where some embarked on a journey to Wisconsin, Their final destination was the area north of Milwaukee. These lands were also inhabited by the Winnebago Indians.

1848-Settlers began clearing the lands for farming and basic survival. As there was no electricity, running water or indoor plumbing, life was very primitive.

The felling of trees for timbers, then making them square was all done with human hands using axes and hand operated saws.

1854-A sawmill and flour mill were established. Then a Brewery, Blacksmith, Shoemaker, Carriage shop, Coopers (barrel makers), a cheese factory, tavern, and a general store. A church followed, and a college named Mission House (now known as Lakeland College) was constructed. A fire department was a necessity which came into existence in the early 1900's.

There is a lot of history in the nearby villages such as Rhine Center, Ada, Pine Grove, and others- having history records back into the early 1850's.

Exploring the countryside and rural back roads, many of these buildings can be seen, along with original homesteads. Franklin is a very small village-generally not on a map. It is near Howards Grove and Elkhart Lake, WI.

Best of Nature mantels are created from some of these historical timbers that were used over 100-150 years ago. Utilizing the same hand tools such as drawknives and adzes from the past, we create the antique timber mantel styles.

*Information taken from the Sheboygan County Historical Museum

Photo of Main Street Franklin 1909

Artists version of Franklin 1875

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Phone: (715) 588-1241

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