Kissel, Louis, & Sons of Hartford TR

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"The influence of Louis Kissel & Sons upon Hartford can not be understated. Their business empire grew to include more than 10 enterprises, the most significant of which was the Kissel Motor Car Company. Wisconsin was home to thousands of agricultural support communities. Few of those, however, became major manufacturing centers as did Hartford.

"Kissel influence in Hartford is manifested in several ways, not the least of which is the City's physical, or built, environment. The individual properties and districts included in this nomination reflect this physical influence.

"The Kissel Motor Car Factory is located on the east side of Hartford, on a flat piece of land between the Rubicon River on the south, the railroad tracks on the north and an old mill pond on the west. Laid out on an eastwest axis, the complex is a group of interconnected buildings constructed between 1905 and 1920. These buildings are nondescript, utilitarian structures. Most are built of brick/stone around wooden superstructures, are three stories high, and profusely punctuated with windows. All have flat roofs, with the exception of two buildings which have saw-tooth roofs.

"The Kissel Addition is located in the gently rolling southwest quadrant of the city, and the Kissel Wheelock Addition is in the flat southeast quadrant. Both were developed by the Real Estate Department of I.. Kissai & Sons, under the direction of Otto P. Kissel. Operating as a vertically integrated company, much like Henry Ford's company in Detroit, the Kissels controlled virtually all facets of building production. They bought timber from northern Wisconsin, maintained their own lumberyard, developed a brick yard and quarry, bought land, hired local construction labor, and sold their buildings - frequently to their own employees. Consequently, the fabric of Kissel houses was largely uniform. They offered stone basements, frame construction, golden oak finish, hardwood floors, electric lights, and enameled plumbing fixtures as well as water and sewer connections."

~From the NRHP Inventory Nomination Form for Hartford, Published by the National Park Service. The automobile factory site was not added to the NRHP, but has been a manufacturing site for more than a century.Examples of Kissel automobiles may be seen at a museum in Hartford. The NRHP nomination form can be found in its entirety at the National Park Service website:

http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/64000941.pdf


George A. Kissel House (Washington County, Wisconsin)
Two story, brick Colonial Revival structure
Kissel's Addition Historic District (Washington County, Wisconsin)
A subdivision of mostly single family homes
Kissel's Wheelock Addition Historic District (Washington County, Wisconsin)
Residential district developed with Kissel Family influence
Louis Kissel House (Washington County, Wisconsin)
Queen Anne built by the patriarch of the Kissel industrial family
Otto P. Kissel House (Washington County, Wisconsin)
Two and One Half Story Clapboard House
William L. Kissel House (Washington County, Wisconsin)
A large structure converted from single family to multi-family home