J. & C. Wipf Mills

Also known as: Iola Mills, The Millstone of Iola Mills
280 N. Main St., Iola, Wisconsin

Former flour and lumber mill, and hydroelectric plant, now serving as a cafe


West Elevation

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2016




According to the current owner's website, the Iola Mills property story began in 1854 when the first property owner, Silas Miller dammed the river to power a sawmill. Miller died in 1855, and the mill went through several owners before 1866 when Henry Wipf and his two sons, Jacob and Conrad took over. The Wipf family and their descendants continued to own and operate the mills for the next 100 years.

The adjoining historical marker says Silas Miller was also affiliated with one J.W. Chandler and the town was called "Chandler's Mills." At one time, a railroad siding served the mill.

The Wipfs installed an Edison alternator about 1898 to generate electricity for the mill, current owners have restored the ability to generate power.

The last of the Wipf family to operate the mill was Frederick J. Wipf. The sawmill was demolished in 1930 but he continued feed mill operations until 1963.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1987
Reference number
NR name
Wipf, J. & C., Mills
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1925-1949
Significant years
1860; 1898; 1930
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Contributing sites: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing structures: 2


19th Century (37,306)
Built 1860 (425)
Built during 1860s (3,689)
Iola, Wisconsin (1)
Mill (780)
Moved (2,188)
Private owner (54,396)
Repurposed (60)
Stone (26,161)
Waupaca County, Wisconsin (33)
Wisconsin (2,560)

Update Log 

  • August 1, 2016: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos