Villa Louis

Also known as: Dousman Mansion
Villa Rd. and Bolvin St., Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin



The Villa Louis is one of 11 Wisconsin Historical Sites and Museums,including Circus World in Baraboo and Pendarvis in Mineral Point. (Probably the only place in the world with a street named "Shake Rag.") All sites, including this one, require admission for touring. Most of them are featured on this site because they are listed on the NRHP.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning




Hercules Louis Dousman I (1800-1868), prominent fur agent for the American Fur Company, advisor to the government on matters ranging from Indian affairs to land surveys, and owner of river steamboats and a proponent of the railroads, built a large brick Georgian style house here in 1843. In 1870, it was replaced by his son with this villa complex with outbuildings. The house stands on a mound--believed to be a Hopewell site--which was also the site of two early forts. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, October 9, 1960

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
Architectural style
Areas of significance
Commerce; Exploration/Settlement; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Secondary structure
Current function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1843; 1872
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 5

Update Log 

  • May 6, 2012: New photo from J.R. Manning