Residence for Wisconsin Veterans
When the Civil War began, Wisconsin was still pretty much frontier land, and although it had been granted statehood in 1848, much of the land was still to be conquered. Of the over 12,000 men who served in the war, many returned tired or crippled and unable to continue the pioneering work they had performed before serving in the war.
Veterans were eligible for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Wood, Wisconsin (one of three such locations signed into law by Abraham Lincoln) but not everyone was accepted there, and there was no accommodations in Wood for families or widows. There was a tiny pension available for veteran's families but it was pathetically small. Many widows wound up in the poor house.
Members of the GAR were appalled at the situation and began to work to start a state home for veterans. Of several potential sites, this one was chosen and by October, 1887 the site consisted of several acres, a central building, six cottages and a farm house.
From these modest beginnings, the site grew to accommodate more veterans, veterans'widows and families. In 1924, the rules were changed to accept veterans of the Spanish-American War and obviously, more changes were made as wars continued.
The site continues today, still providing for those who served.